From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

When did God start loving people, was it at the time of creation or when He sent Jesus to earth?

— I.S.

Dear I.S.: God’s love did not begin at creation, at the manger, or at the cross; God’s love began in eternity past. Before the world was established, before the time clock of civilization began to move, God’s love prevailed.

But not until the Good News of Jesus Christ burst onto the human scene was the word love understood on earth with such depth, as God coming down to us in human form, an expression of unmerited love. Popular songs constantly talk about love, yet divorce rates continue to skyrocket.

Years ago, a pop duo sang a song that insisted they wouldn’t live in “A World Without Love.” Yet Love came down from Heaven to the whole world, and the world rejected Him. It was God’s love that knew mankind was incapable of obeying His law and loving Him. So, in love He promised a Redeemer, a Savior, who would give true love away. Speak about the love of God and faces light up, but speak of God as a Judge, and attitudes change.

There is one thing that God’s love cannot do; it cannot forgive the unrepentant sinner. For this reason, God sends things into our lives to block the route to destruction, with holy desire to drive us back to His love. The 17th-century scientist Blaise Pascal said, “If eternal damnation is possible, no sacrifice is too great to prevent that possibility from becoming a reality.” The love of God that reaches man can be entirely rejected. We can also choose to accept it by faith and receive His forgiveness and love. No one can do this for us, it is a decision for every individual soul. We can love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

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