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If That Isn’t Love

If That Isn’t Love
By Dennis Huebshman

In John 17, Jesus knew His time here was about to end. He prayed for His disciples, that they would be kept safe from the evil one; so that unlike Judas, they would not fall away from the Truth. Jesus knew they would be persecuted, and except for John, who died of old age, the rest were all martyred in some manner shape or form. From all accounts that have been passed through the ages, no one else that was with Jesus turned away from Him.

The good news about His prayer is, that He prayed for all of us as well. John 17:20-22, “I am not praying only on their (apostles) behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony; (21) that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in Me and I am in You. I pray that they will be in Us so that the world will believe that You sent Me. (22) The glory You gave to Me, I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are One.” (any emphasis mine)

When Jesus said, “through their testimony”, there was no time limit put on that. It applies even today as we have the testimony of key people from that time that proclaimed Jesus as Lord and Savior. When we share the words of our Savior, we continue to fulfill His desire that everyone be given the opportunity to call out and be saved. (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; 2 Peter 3:9)

In John 16 7-8;13-15, Jesus tells about the “Advocate”, or “Helper”, or “Comforter” that will be sent to us. No matter what translation you may read, this Person refers to the Holy Spirit who is sent to dwell in each and every believer. He is the Third member of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Advocate/Helper/Comforter will not come to you. (8) And when He comes, He will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. (13) But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but will speak whatever He hears (from the Father), and will tell you what is to come. (14) He will glorify Me, because He will receive from Me what is Mine, and will tell it (the truth) to you. (15) Everything that the Father has is Mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is Mine, and will tell it to you.”

Being God Himself, (John 10:30) Jesus knows that most people of this earth will not accept the Truth, but will fall for satan’s deceiving lies. (Matthew 7:13-14) Only those who truly realize this earth is temporary, and eternity will be a long time to have made the wrong decision, will know to seek the Truth and be saved. (John 8:32;36) He also knew that as believers, we would be “hammered” by satan, his demons and all those people who accept satan as their god. This is why we get the honor of having the Holy Spirit live within us, and be a part of Jesus’ flock. (John 10:16)

We have a Heavenly Father who is all about complete and pure love. We can only imagine how deep His love for us goes; but while on this earth, we will never understand it completely. John 3:16-18; John 10:17-18 and Romans 5:8 are only a few of the many verses that reveals our Father’s love for us. And, before anyone tries to boast that we are in any way “worthy” of the gift from the Father, Ephesians 2:8-9 sets this straight. We are saved by Grace through Faith, and the Mercy of God; not works or anything else of our own doing. For those who refuse to accept the precious gift which our Savior left His Home in Heaven for us, to knowingly come to this earth as a human to die for our sins on a cruel cross at Calvary; there can only be one outcome – the Lake of Fire as given in Revelation 20:11-15.

If we check out all other so-called religions that are on this earth, are any of their “gods” as loving and generous as the one True Creator of the Heavens and the earth? Being man-generated, most demand specific rituals that our Heavenly Father despises. Their subjects are required unending works and prayers to their deity, along with continuous offerings. For their followers, they can only hope they have done enough and have been good enough to possibly enter their so-called paradise. The story of Elijah and the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:16-46) is an excellent example of how our God is the only true God; and that all false gods cannot begin to stand up to Him.

Our Heavenly Father’s love is absolutely true. He gives us free will to decide for ourselves, whether or not we wish to accept Jesus as our Savior. With little or no effort, He could demand our worship, and literally force our obedience. That would not be an act of love, but that of a cruel selfish dictator. He even makes provisions for children who have not reached their age of accountability, to have a special place in His heart. Consider Matthew 19:13-15; “Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, (14) but Jesus said, Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven. (15) And He laid His hands on them and went away.”

We do not know at what age each child reaches their own accountability. Matthew 18:2-6 goes more into detail; “And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them (3) and said, truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (4) Whoever humbles himself/herself like this child, is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (5) Whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me; (6) but whoever causes one of these little ones, who believes in Me to sin, it would be better for him/her to have a millstone fastened around his/her neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Going on to verse 10, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you, that in Heaven, their Angels always see the face of My Father, who is in Heaven.” That is a very obvious warning against all those who would abuse children. I believe this also applies to those who are older, but never reach mental maturity.

To speak of the Love of our Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, one song proclaims this very well. We have, “If that isn’t Love”, composed by Dottie Rambo back in the 1990’s. It has been performed by numerous artists from George Beverly Shea to Elvis Presley.

(1) He left the splendor of Heaven; knowing His destiny; was the lonely hill of Golgotha; there to lay down His life for me

(c) And if that isn’t love, then the ocean is dry; there’s no stars in the sky; and the little sparrows can’t fly. If that isn’t love; then Heaven’s a myth; there’s no feeling like this; if that isn’t love.

(2) Even in death He remembered; the thief hanging by His side. Then He spoke of love and compassion; and He took him to paradise. (repeat chorus)

No matter who performs this wonderful song, it only touches the surface of the absolute love He has for us. After calling out to My Savior over thirty years ago, telling Him I was so unworthy, but wanted Him as my Savior, and to finally have a real relationship with Him, I know my eternal destiny changed from torment to paradise. Our Father promises that all who receive and accept the gift Jesus gave, will be saved, and God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)

It’s a very exclusive gift that is reserved only for true believers. The admission cost has already been paid by the pure shed blood of our Jesus. Your social status in this world does not matter to Him; as long as you confess you are a sinner (Romans 3:23); believe His gift is real and have faith that by calling out to Him you are now a real part of His flock, and you have a final destination of a Home forever with Him. He will prepare your Home Himself (John 14:1-3).

It’s too important to put it off. He could be calling all believers up to meet Him any day now. He’s waiting and listening, but the time to be saved from entering the wrath/tribulation is growing shorter. It’s the absolute most important decision each person can make. Hope to see you there.

Shalom!

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