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Question and Answer

Mustn't God Love Everyone?

Question:

Since God is perfect His love would also have to be perfect; so wouldn't that mean He has to love everyone? I know he does not love everyone with the same love he loves the saved, but still wouldn't he have to love His enemies and the "unlovable?"

Answer:

You are certainly right in saying "God is perfect," but it does not follow that, to be perfect, he has to love everyone. He does not love Satan, even though he created Satan in the first place. However, when he created Satan he was not at all what he is now. He was originally a mighty angel, pleasing to God. But then he rebelled against God. He did not want to remain in the status that he had been given by God who created him.

In a similar way, man was originally pleasing to God. Adam was created in God's image. But then he too rebelled against God. And because the whole human race derives from Adam it too is in rebellion against God. You are therefore also correct when you say that God "does not love everyone with the same love he loves the saved." It is for this reason that the Bible speaks of God's special love for those whom he has chosen out of the fallen human race. It is therefore not correct to suggest that God "has to love everyone." No, God does not have to love everyone. Why should he? There is nothing outside of God that compels him to do anything. He is only compelled to do what his own perfectly holy nature inclines him to do.

It is certainly correct to say that God loved all creatures that he created before they started hating him (for no reason whatever). But now that the human race is fallen, God has every right to say "Jacob have I loved, but Esau I have hated." The fact that God loved Jacob is indeed amazing. But the fact that he hated Esau does not seem to me to be at all amazing.

The place to begin (and end) with respect to these things is to come to realize that because of the fall of man in the sin of Adam we deserve nothing but God's wrath and curse. Starting there, we can see the wonder of God's redeeming love.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

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The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

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You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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