Unconditional Love with Conditions

Most Christians have heard of the term “agape” love, which means loving unconditionally. We are to love others as we love ourselves; husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. We are told to accept others as they are, and to exercise tolerance, patience, gentleness, forbearance, and kindness.

Yet, with all of this teaching on love, there is an imbalance that raises several crucial thoughts. I think we could all agree that a big part of loving people is exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, like those mentioned above, and simply being “nice” to others. I mean, no one wants to come across as mean, hard, callous, uncaring and unforgiving. But does being nice always mean accepting a situation or showing tolerance, no matter what? Does it mean going along just to get along with someone else? Does it mean being a people pleaser?
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Can God Hate People?

Introduction:
I have a good friend and we debate our theologies on occasion. Recently, she made a claim that in order for one to be a true Calvinist they would have to believe God does not love everybody. In fact, she seemed to imply that God would have to even hate those whom He does not choose for salvation. As a “true” Calvinist myself, I disagree with her assessment and wrote a brief article basically explaining why and how those in Reformed theological circles can indeed believe God does love all people.

However, there are many Calvinists that actually do hold the position she presented, so I thought I’d play “devil’s advocate” and present a case from that view as well. How are they able to believe God hates people? How can they claim He has the ability to hate any of His creation? If God is love, then how can He possibly hate anyone, or anything for that matter?
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The Master’s Prayer Part 3

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:13-19 NIV
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Living Life as an Example

“I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Introduction:

Sadly, it seems that Christians today are better recognized by what we are against than what we are for. It is true that there are many things God has called us to turn our backs on, but I think we should be recognized by what we are for. I think we should be living examples to both unbelievers and fellow Christians as well. Following is a handful of characteristics that I believe the bible teaches that Christians should be known for:

One – LOVE: 1 John 4:8, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (ESV).
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