What if God’s Love is NOT Enough (to save you)?

“Jesus loves me, this I know.” Did you read the words or sing them? Those of us who grew up in church are familiar with the song we learned a long time ago. It was probably the first thing we absorbed in church. Jesus loves me. God loves me.

God’s love is a one of the most central themes of Scripture. Some would say that without the love of God, He would not have created the universe or put humanity within it.

Another staple of early learning in Christianity is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” The path to true life is founded on Heaven’s love. Imagine what would not exist without the motivation of that love: forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, relationship, purpose, mission, spiritual gifts and fruit, hope, everlasting life.

But is it really enough that God loves us? Is this inexplicable connection which breaks through time and space enough to fill us with the “blessed assurance” that Jesus and His promises are mine? Will God’s love alone save me, or you?

What did you just say?

If you clicked the link to continue reading, you are probably double-checking if you need gather up a posse to burn me at the stake.

Blasphemy. False gospel. Crazy talk. Any or all of these, or maybe a bunch of other thoughts already crossed your mind. Please do not let your knee-jerk reaction keep you from hearing what I’m trying to convey in this post.

God loves you. God loves me. There is not a single soul disqualified from the love of God. How do we know? Because in another place we are told, “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

It is a big deal. Maybe the biggest big deal. To be human, full of faults and limits and failures, yet to be loved by Almighty God, Himself faultless and limitless and perfect. We should rejoice at the possibility and be knocked over in awe at the same time.

But not every person who hears the truth of God’s love for them will receive it. Some will scoff at it. Others will politely write it off as our personal truth but it doesn’t work for them. You might even get laughed at or bullied for saying it.

This is our first clue. God’s love is incredibly amazing but it is not enough to save us. Don’t believe me? That famous verse about God’s love for the world gives us our second clue. In case you don’t know the rest of John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

“Are you still there?”

It is great to hear an automated phone system or streaming service double-check if you are still connected. Do you want to continue with us or have you left? If you’re still reading, we are making progress.

Chances are good that if you have publicly confessed to be a Christian for even a short amount of time, you have run into people who are not interested in the love of God. If you are someone who is just starting to get interested in God’s love, I pray you take hold of it. Now. Today. Why wait?

I also hope there are people reading who have accepted God’s love for them. The idea of such a powerful, undying love makes your heart swell and gives you hope.

What if you have accepted the message of God’s great love for you? Is that enough to save us? Is hearing about and taking hold of this love enough?

Paul wrote the Romans about how God showed His love for us through Jesus.

But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, CSB)

There are a few big ideas in this verse:

  1. Sin. We can’t run away from it. Sin has entangled every one of us. It is a problem that needs fixing and we cannot do it on our own.
  2. Jesus. He died to defeat the power of sin for us and in us.
  3. God’s Love. It is proven by Christ’s death.

And when did God love us? While we were sinners. Not when Christ died, or after we decided to embrace the good news of Christ’s payment of our debt. Remember John 3:16: God loved the world so He gave Jesus.

What am I getting at?

Okay. You’ve held on this long. What is the point I’m headed for? Why go through all of this to get us thinking about a limit to what God’s love can do for us?

God’s love is a big topic for people who understand it is true. They rave about it. They’re thankful for it. They want everyone to realize it’s out there and take hold of it. But honestly, it is entirely possible to get blinded by God’s love and not make any further strides in becoming like Christ.

"Jesus loves me, this I know."
"He loves me, O how He loves me."
"Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God"

Deep inside a lot of people have become desperate for the love of God. The world and its struggles crush their spirit. The emptiness loneliness and the scars of rejection drive them to find the truest love of all.

Even if we have a Touched By An Angel moment and have a glorious revelation that God is alive and He loves us more than we can imagine, God’s love for a sinner does not make the sinner right with God.

“This is the way”

If God’s love fulfilled every requirement there would be no need for Jesus, no need for a sacrifice. He has loved since before the clock of time started ticking. Why offer the only Son who comes from Him if God could just love us into eternity with Him?

The never-ending love of God is not enough to save. It has moved God to complete all of the work necessary to open the door and clear the path, but more is required.

The only way to ensure the effective work of God’s love on your behalf is to love God.

To love God fully is His greatest commandment (Mark 12:30). He desires our love more than sacrifices (Hosea 6:6), and for us to love Him more than anyone else (Matthew 10:37). It is the sign of true relationship with Him (1 John 4:8).

Maybe you know one of the phrases adopted by fans of the Star Wars series, The Mandalorian: “This is the way.” To love God is the only way.

This is freeing because it means we do not have to (and just plain can’t) work “hard enough” for God to love us enough. There is no more love for Him to give us; He already loves us with all the love He has and is.

It is also terribly frightening. Love is a hard road for some people to travel. They have experienced a lot of hurt and disappointment. To love God requires faith and trust in One we cannot see our touch.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9, CSB)

It is hard to imagine any mortal heart resisting the incredible love of God. Some theological camps would suggest that it is not possible.

Such is the natural reaction when you have responded positively to something from God. How could anyone turn this down? The truth is out there, though, in the countless souls who say “No thanks” to God every day.

You cannot simply know God loves you, agree with the idea of it, and expect everything to be all good. God calls you to love Him.

Take A Minute

Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God. How are you doing at loving with God 100% of each part of your life? How big of a slice might He actually be getting? What is filling the rest of the pie?

  • Your HEART. The people and things you have affection for or get emotional about.
  • Your MIND. The ideas and concerns you spend time thinking about.
  • Your SOUL. What you “life for”, dreams and life pursuits, what “gives you joy”.
  • Your STRENGTH. Physical energy, resources like time and money, your unique gifts and talents.

7 thoughts on “What if God’s Love is NOT Enough (to save you)?”

    1. So is mine, Sara. But that means believing I’m a sinner, accepting His work on the cross, loving Him with all of me, and making Him my Lord. Jesus does not only love those who love Him, but all. But those who don’t accept Him won’t be saved, regardless of His great love.

    2. No problem at all. I appreciate the honest interaction. It also helps put the big point here into a simple blurb. The main goal is to increase the family.

Comments are closed.