Your donation helps provide answers and spread the gospel. GIVE NOW! Matching gift doubles your donation.

Is God’s love unconditional? I think not


#1

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE 18. … “capable of loving with the Lord’s unconditional love… It was unconditional and remained faithful”…

Pope Francis says twice that God’s love is unconditional but is there an official Church document that defines that as an article of Catholic Faith? Is there an ex cathedra document, or stated explicitly in the CCC, or a Council document that defines that or some other Encyclical that establishes that as official Church teaching? I have never seen it and cannot find it and don’t know of any such document.

What I see is that God is love and God so loved the world and God loves Israel with an everlasting love but nothing I see says that God loves everybody all the time unconditionally. I see the following that God’s love is NOT unconditional and God does not love everybody all the time…

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. Jn 15:10. (Even Jesus says he may have lost his Fathers love!!!)
.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. Jn 13:1

Keep yourselves in God’s love Jude 1:21

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. Jn 15:9
.
You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. Ps 5:6.

The LORD examines the righteous, the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. Ps 11:5.

I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. Ps 119:158.

the LORD loves the righteous. Ps 146:8


#2

God did not cease to love the Israelites when they rejected Him, just as He does not cease to love us when we reject Him. If He did, He would not call us back to Himself, and we would be utterly incapable of repentance.

Also, chastisement does not equate to a lack of love. I may discipline my son, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him, it means that I desire for him to be better and to learn from his mistakes.

God loves the righteous, and the unrighteous. If He didn’t , He never would have sent His son to die for us.


#3

You can quote the part where it says the rain falls on the good and the wicked as well.


#4

God love us in the sense that even if one were to be in mortal sin God still offers graces for that person to repent.


#5

Yes the Trinity loves unconditionally. People, however, may not abide or dwell in that love, by rejecting grace given. So as John 15:10 “remain in” is our acceptance.


#6
  1. It is not science that redeems man: man is redeemed by love. This applies even in terms of this present world. When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life. But soon he will also realize that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life. It is a love that remains fragile. It can be destroyed by death. The human being needs unconditional love. He needs the certainty which makes him say: “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then - only then - is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him in his particular circumstances. This is what it means to say: Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us. Through him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because his only begotten Son has become man and of him everyone can say: “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
    SPE SALVI - BENEDICT XVI

God sent his only Son to die for us and we were forgiven ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ Jesus teaches us that not only are we to love our neighbour, but also our enemies who persecute us. If that’s not unconditional love, I don’t know what is :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks for the reference. Since I am a layman I will try to answer as best I can.

  1. if God’s love is unconditional and God loves everybody all the time then why aren’t there MANY specific and de fiede statements of that in the Church. Why is it missing CCC? Why isn’t it said at every Mass and every funeral? Why isn’t it shouted in every encyclical? Why is it not in the Our Father, Glory B or Hail Mary? It doesn’t make sense.

  2. Yes God started out loving the world but some people loose his love. We are commanded to love our enemies but that is not incumbent upon God. Jesus died on the Cross for us but some reject it a loose his love.

  3. “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction” Romans 8;22. This is why God lets it rain on the wicked.

4 No one has explained how I have misinterpreted the Scripture passage I cited in the OP. No one has contradict the Scripture quotes showing God does not love everybody.

Thanks


#8

Because God doesn’t force Himself on anyone.
People choose to reject His love.
People lose that communion with God through their own actions.

God does love everybody, we are all created in His likeness.
God doesn’t love sin.


#9

#10

Man can only live in friendship with God by freely submitting himself to God. God and sin cannot reside in man at the same time. When we sin we are rejecting God. However, God does not abandon us. The way we can return to God is not by our own efforts, it is only by God’s grace. This is because of God’s love for us.

We, the Catholic Church, do not take Scriptural verses in isolation. God created us in his love. Man sinned, and God redeemed him by sending his only Son to die on the cross for us. Man has no capacity of his own to return to God without God’s abundance of grace. The Son redeemed us, and teaches us to love everyone… we are not to judge others, but to love even enemies. I don’t see how you can’t acknowledge God’s love for us.

If you’re looking for biblical references to show that everyone will be saved, because God loves us unconditionally, you aren’t going to find them because that’s not what it’s all about. Those who aren’t saved have persisted in their rejection of God, not the other way around.


#11

Goodbye, goodbye


#12

Thank you for the spiritual words.

I am still looking of a refutation of the words of Jesus that says Jesus could have lost the Fathers love…

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. Jn 15:10. (Even Jesus says he may have lost his Fathers love!!!)

This is such a huge, paramount issue that if you are correct that God loves everybody unconditionally all the time then it would surely, it must be, it would have to be in the CCC. But it is not.

Would you mind address these two issues of mine?


#13

This of it as a loving parent. When your child does something wrong, do you stop loving your child? Discipline = love. Lack of discipline is apathy.


#14

I think it is in the catechism, just not in so many words… you may not find the term ‘unconditional’ though I haven’t actually checked for it, so, who knows. God’s love for us is certainly in the catechism and all throughout Scripture. God willed us into existence out of love, and without its continuation we would not exist.

As to refuting Scripture, I can’t and I won’t. I don’t believe that Jesus could have lost his Father’s love, though. I think his words were meant to teach a lesson rather than saying that he could personally have lost his Father’s love. At the time the disciples didn’t know that Jesus was God.


#15

I think the difference of opinion here is that we don’t see failing to “remain in” God’s love as meaning that God stops loving that person.

Adam and Eve failed to remain in God’s love, and they and their descendants suffered for it, but God all along “so loved the world” that He had a plan to set things right from His end.

Consider Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God may permit a sinner to suffer the consequences of his sin; might withdraw his active favor and apply corrective discipline; may even let an unrepentant sinner march straight into Hell in the end … but none of that signifies a failure or cessation of love on God’s part.


#16

Type “Is God’s love unconditional” on www.catholic.com. There are numerous articles, audio and videos on this topic.

Some smart guy said that “God loved you into existence.” and “God is Love itself.”. I can’t remember who and when.

I know that Jesus loved me as a response to me yelling at God to go to hell when I told Him all the reasons why I couldn’t be Catholic. (Think toddler tantrum that lasts for several hours.) If I had stood up, I would have been knocked to the floor. It was that intense.


#17

One can step outside of the Father’s love by disobeying in a grave way. That doesn’t mean that God stops loving. God IS love. It is who He is. He cannot not love. We can reject it but he is still there loving.

CCC 27 …
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists, it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.


#18

Yes an intense story and I am glad it turned out well. Thanks


#19

This an excellent anti abortion quote. Thanks.

OK then there may be multiple meanings of love. All this says is his love keeps us alive. I was thinking more along the lines of …

“Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw. your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample. them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Mat 7:6. Jesus obviously considers and calls some people pigs and dogs. Is that love? I doubt it.


#20

I think you are right about that. I see no other way to see “failing to remain in Gods love” except as " God stopped loving that person".

Can you tell how these psalm passages means that God loves them?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.