As previously stated, God’s love is available to every person who has ever been born. But as was the case with the water and horse parable, one must partake of His love in order to possess that love. Knowing about, believing in, professing, claiming, etc. His love accomplishes nothing. So, if knowing, believing, professing, claiming for oneself, etc. the love with which He “… so loved the world ….” does not equate to true Christian conversion, what does it take to be truly converted (enter the strait gate) and walk the (narrow) way to salvation? As always, the Lord answers all questions for those who truly hunger and thirst for a one-to-One relationship with Him. The problem is that the vast majority of God-seekers only want salvation, not righteousness–oneness with Him. The reason for this error is that righteousness requires the death of self and total, voluntary enslavement to God. True oneness with Him means that one has made Him his Lord whom he must obey. The question then becomes, what does one obey? Again, He provides the ONE AND ONLY answer. Having found the answer, the remaining question can be answered (only) by the seeker himself–will I obey? Let us determine what it is that one must obey in order to be counted worthy of eternal life upon the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish His Father’s kingdom.
In John 14:21,23,24 Jesus said: “He that has (believes) My commandments (Law) and keeps (obeys) them, (only) he it is who loves Me. He (only) who loves Me is loved by My Father …. If a man love Me, he will keep My Words, and (then) the Father will love him …. (only) he that loves me keeps My commandments ….” Note that Jesus said nothing about loving those who do not keep His commandments/words. Note that the Father’s love comes after one begins keeping His commandments. God commands proof of our love for Him and His Son. According to their Word/Truth/Law/Scriptures, there is only one way to prove our love for Them–OBEDIENCE TO THEIR WORD/LAW. No amount of church-going, Scripture-reading, praying, fasting, witnessing, giving, preaching, etc. will substitute for obedience.
A telling statement by Jesus relative to God’s love for man is found in John 17:9 where He is praying to the Father about His disciples: “I PRAY FOR THEM. I DO NOT PRAY FOR THE WORLD, BUT (ONLY) FOR THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE GIVEN ME FOR (ONLY) THEY ARE YOURS.” Two questions must be asked and answered: 1) Who are those who belong to God? and 2) why do they belong to Him? The following passages answer both questions.
Those who belong to God are His Son’s brethren and friends. Who are His brethren and friends? We find the answers in Matthew 12:46-50 and John 15:13,14,15. In the first passage we find Him identifying His brethren as “… whosoever does the will of My Father in heaven.” In the second passage He identifies His friends. Here He tells His disciples that He will lay down His life for His friends (only). He then identifies His friends: “You (disciples) are My friends IF you do whatsoever I command you” (His Word) … for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” The moral of these passages is that Jesus prays only for His brethren/friends, for whom He died. These are they who obey His Words which He received from the Father. Every word from Genesis to Revelation are His Words, every Word of which man must live by (Mat. 4:4) in order to qualify for eternal life. L.J.