<< Back to Articles Main List

God's Unconditional Love - Fact or Fiction?
By Kori Ashton

Have you heard of God’s unconditional love? That phrase “unconditional love” is never mentioned in the Bible, so does it actually exist or is God’s love earned by following conditions and rules? This is answered in two keys verses of the Bible John 3:16 and Romans 8:38-39.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16. This shows us that God loved us first – without conditions – just as we are.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38-39. This passage tells us that NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THAT LOVE! What an amazing gift! His love is in fact unconditional.

Does this unconditional love encompass salvation/ eternal life?
Let’s look again at the above mentioned verse John 3:16? "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Looks like this says that God loves the world – all of us! But this verse ends with a condition – IF you believe in Jesus Then you will have eternal life. So looks like that gift of salvation has a condition.

Christian GaysWebster’s Dictionary says a condition is “a premise upon which the fulfillment of an agreement depends: or a stipulation, requirement.” Most conditions are presented in a contract as an IF/THEN clause. IF you do this THEN you gain that. Many scriptures have this same IF/THEN clause. One of the most commonly quoted scriptures in Romans contains this: “If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, (THEN) you will be saved” Romans 10:9. There’s not one passage in the Bible that mentions God’s love getting you into heaven without a condition attached.

So what about all those times you’ve heard about the “Free Gift of Salvation?” John 3:16 does not say that Salvation is a free gift because it contains an "if" statement – you will not perish and have eternal life if you believe in Jesus! So there is a condition to that gift, and that condition is that you must accept that Jesus is Lord. While God’s love is unconditional - God's promises are conditional – they are only "free" if you obey certain conditions.

So, what does unconditional love offer us?
God’s unconditional love allows us access to Him through His forgiveness and mercy. He will always let us come to Him. He loves us just as we are, but wants us to use our God-given free will to live our lives for Him. Just acknowledging that Jesus Christ is Lord is not sufficient – even Satan acknowledges that Jesus is Lord but no one could claim that Satan was saved! We must submit to God's authority and walk in His truth. Does that mean that we earn salvation? Nope – it means that when Christ died on the cross He provided a way to eternal life – the only way to receive that gift is to embrace it!

Lord, thank you for your love and your grace in my life. Teach me more of how to walk in your ways. Help me to seek to please and glorify you with all I do. Amen!

More Info: There are over 1,500 versus in the Bible containing the word “If.” Many in the Old and New Testament, but for this article let’s just list a few from the New Testament.

Jesus said: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, (THEN) your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, (THEN) your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

...If you want to enter into life, (THEN) keep the commandments. Matthew 19:17

Jesus said: If you believe, (THEN) you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22

If the Son sets you free, (THEN) you will be free indeed. John 8:36

If anyone keeps My word, (THEN) he will never see death forever. John 8:51

If you love me, (THEN) you will obey what I command. John 14:15

Jesus said: If anyone does not remain in me, (THEN) he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. if you remain in me and my words remain in you, (THEN) ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. John 15:6-7

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, (THEN) you will ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

If anyone does not love the Lord – (THEN) a curse be on him. 1 Corinthians 16:22

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, (THEN) he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17