For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
The love of Jesus Christ is expressed through His sacrifice upon the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead. He died to reconcile us to God. We need reconciliation because our sins have separated us from God. We need reconciliation because we are enemies of God because of our sinful nature, which is at enmity with God.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And you sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8
Our sins and our hatred of God, deserve only the just judgment of God as expressed in His wrath against His enemies, and His assignment of unrepentant sinners to eternal judgment in hell fire.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 2:1-3
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. Revelation 14:11
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf delivers us from the wrath of God and rescues us from slavery to sin that is our destruction.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died on our behalf. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:8-11
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:1-6
The love of Jesus Christ isn’t about our ease, dreams, or our happiness; the love of Jesus Christ is about reconciling us to God our Father through His death and resurrection so that being saved from God’s wrath we have eternal life. Eternal life is defined by Jesus Christ as knowing the Father and knowing Him.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Coming to Christ for any reason other than salvation from sin and God’s wrath is false pretense and results in false profession of faith with the end result of producing false brethren. While these false brethren can be brought to repentant faith in Jesus Christ, if they do not turn from the false way and come to Jesus Christ on His terms, they will spend eternity in hell.
These false brethren are the fruit of the preaching and teaching of false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing. Two men who come immediately to mind are Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. One, Joel Osteen, preaches a “it is your kingdom that matters message”, while the other, Rick Warren, preaches a “we are building the kingdom now apart from Christ” message. Osteen’s message appeals to the sinful nature and resonates with the covetousness of the natural man. God’s word condemns covetousness as idolatry.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5
Warren’s message appeals to the sinful nature by teaching that sinners can please a holy God. He promotes the social gospel and ecumenicalism. He doesn’t warn the sinner that they are bound for hell; that they need to repent and believe the gospel. He anesthetizes the guilty conscience by propagating a false system of works righteousness which is the heart of the social gospel. Those who do not reject these false gospels, repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ are bound for hell. Because the false abounds within the Christian church we need to make sure that we believe the truth and not the lie. We must compare everything that we are taught with the Word of God, the Bible, and rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. He will let us know those whom we can trust and those whom we cannot trust. We must be sure that every thought is controlled by the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,… 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
We must make sure that we are holding fast to the truth of the Word of God and not deceived.
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified. 2 Corinthians 12:5-6
What we believe must be in agreement with the Scriptures and witnessed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Who leads us into all truth so that what we believe is in line with the Scriptures. Additionally, as we contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, let us be diligent to share the gospel with everyone who God brings into our paths. Let us share the truth of the Word of God and the gospel with those who do not know God and are being led astray by false teachers.
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20
If we truly want to share the love of Jesus Christ, we will tell the lost sinner about his need for salvation, the forgiveness of sins, the reconciliation with God that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ procures for us, saving us from the sure wrath of God and giving us eternal life. Praise God for His love given to us through His Son Jesus Christ.