Does The Culture's Definition of “Love” as “Acceptance” Match Up With The Bible's Definition?
American society has developed another definition of “love” over the past sixty years that is totally and diametrically opposed to the Bible's definition of love. If there was another synonym for American society's definition of “love”, it would be the word “acceptance.” Many Americans believe that you must accept (or “love”) everybody no matter what their behavior is.
In his gospel account, Mark records an additional statement that is not recorded in the other gospel accounts regarding the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23). The additional detail is found in Mark 10:21: “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ Jesus loved this man. He loved him so much that He wanted the rich young ruler to give up his love of money because it was an idol that was choking out his spiritual life and leading him away from true discipleship (Mark 10:29-31). Jesus did not accept the covetous behavior of this young man; but He did love him enough to show him the right way by speaking the truth (Ephesians 4:15) – what the young ruler needed to hear (not what he wanted to hear).
Jesus loves the whole world, but He does not accept the immoral behavior of anyone. He will judge you in the last day as a rebel who scoffed and did not humbly submit to His will, unless you submit to His gospel (Matthew 7:21; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 26:19-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 John 1:7, 9).
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