Love or Lost

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8

Read and re-read that verse.  Think about the telling truth in those words.  Its scary.  Its eye-opening.  Its heart-breaking.  Look at it again in plainer English, "The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love."

If you know of Barack Obama, you know that he is the president of the United States.  You can't know who Obama is without knowing that fact.  Its too much a part of who he is.  In a much greater sense, you can't truly know God unless you love.  Love is God, God is love.

So why is this scary?  Look at the evidence.  Things like bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, and hate reside in churches and in people who claim to be believers.  According to this scripture, its impossible to have hate and a lack of forgiveness and be a Christian.  I think John uses this statement as a sort of litmus test.  It separates the believers from the unbelievers.  Sadly, many unloving unbelievers are calling the shots among Christ's people.  They're running churches.  They're claiming to have a faith that they really don't have.  They are the same as the "antichrists" that John mentions earlier in this book (1 John).

Why share this?  Am I trying to be a negative Nancy?  No.  I share this because I look at this verse and my heart is burdened.  I'm burdened for the lost.  I'm burdened for God's church.  I'm burdened for children.  I'm burdened for those who think they're saved.

Fortunately, I also read this chapter and find great peace and encouragement.  God's love is truly amazing.  A completely innocent Jesus Christ, who had all deity and power, was obedient to God to the point of being accused, beaten, and killed.  He did this out of His great love.  We're born as a rebel against God, living as His enemy, yet He still chooses to save some out of His great love and forgiveness.  This is who God is.  If you know Him, you know this and you strive to live this.