There is a belief that God loves only those who are considered to be the elect—that is, the chosen ones, the Church or the believers. This limits the love of God for only a few selected ones. All unbelievers are excluded. They are not loved by God—because, according to this reasoning, they have not been elected or chosen by God. It’s their fate, whether they like it or not. God is the Potter, humans are the clay. We have no say on this matter. This is the logic behind this belief. Is this biblical truth? Is this the God of the Bible as revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ himself?
God Loves Everybody
Thank God that is not true. The truth is, God loves absolutely everybody. He so loved the whole world that he was willing to give his Son for the salvation of everyone. In his heart he is not willing that any should perish (John 3:16). He did not come to condemn people but to save (John 3:17). The God revealed to us by the Lord Jesus Christ is a God of love. God is love (1 John 4:8). Everything he does is because of and results in love.
Israelites Commanded to Love their Neighbors
The ancient Israelites were told to love their neighbors as they loved themselves (Lev. 19:18). It was nothing new. But I have a feeling the Israelites misunderstood it for centuries until the time when Jesus came on the scene some 2,000 years ago. To them, this command to love their neighbors was only applicable to their blood relatives, their fellow Israelites! They continued to despise the Gentiles and considered them as lowlife—”Gentile sinners” (Gal. 2:15).
In other words, many Israelites had a limited view of God’s love. They thought God only loves Israelites. They thought that the command to love their neighbor was applicable only to their immediate neighbors–that is, their blood brother Israelites and not Gentiles!
Jesus’ Command: “Love Your Enemies”
Jesus corrected that erroneous concept of God’s love by explicitly saying, “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:43-48). In this passage, Jesus clarified the scope of God’s love. It was not only limited to a few. Here we are all commanded to not just love our close friends and neighbors but to also love those whom we hate. Jesus was saying that the Jews should not limit their love to fellow Israelites but to also love the Gentiles whom they hate. Jesus did not limit God’s love. He intentionally went to Samaria to encounter and meet Gentiles. Jesus loved everybody and not Jews only. God loves all of us. This is what Christ reveals to us in Scripture.
God’s Blessings: For All—Good or Bad
Notice further what Jesus is trying to explain in Matthew 5:43-48. God’s love is not limited for the righteous only. He sends his blessings (the sun and the rain) to all—the righteous and the unrighteous, the evil and the good!
Israel Chosen to be a Blessing to Others
What for were the Israelites chosen then? Why were they elected? Well, God tells us in Genesis 12:1-3 that they were chosen to become a blessing to others. Why? Because God loves everybody. Why is the Church elected? To show forth his praises so that all may believe in God (1 Pet. 2:9, 12). Why? Because God loves everybody.
God Loves All!
So don’t believe the lie that God loves only the elect, a limited few who happens to be called “believers.” That is very much against the teaching of Jesus himself. Jesus commands us to love not only our friends but even our enemies—everyone. The truth of the matter is, Jesus is the Elected One and through him all of humanity has been elected—absolutely everybody. Everybody is included, elected and loved by God through Jesus Christ. God loves everyone!