As Long as I Love ...
by Keven A. Sulc
via The Berean, Vol. 5, No. 6, August 1996
There are many concepts and beliefs that are held regarding salvation. We must never just accept something because it is commonly accepted or taught by religious teachers but see what the Scriptures say lest we be deceived.
Let us examine the concept of "As long as I love Jesus, it doesn't matter what I do in my life." The young man who said this to me several years ago was attempting to justify a sin in his life. As I have discussed religion with people in the 13 years since this statement was made, it has become clear that this doctrine is very popular in most religious groups. But what does the Bible teach? Can a person lie, curse, commit immoralities, or do anything he wants to do and still be righteous in God's sight, providing he "loves" Jesus? Salvation would indeed be easy if it were true. We would not have to be concerned with commandments! Ah . . . I think we have found why this concept is so prevalent. But is this a concept of wisdom that really leads to salvation?
I find it hard to believe that any honest Bible student would accept any doctrine that says salvation has nothing to do with what we do in our life. "Are we not saved by the grace of God," you ask? Certainly, see Ephesians 2:8. But I ask you, "May we sin so that the grace of God abounds on us?" Paul answers "No!" in Romans 6:1. If you examine the complete context of Ephesians 2 (and any passage which speaks of salvation), you learn that the means of our salvation is a gift from God, namely, the cross of Christ, but that it is conditioned upon and for the purpose of our walking in the good works that are of Christ and not in the works of disobedience (e.g. read all of Ephesians 2:1-10, not just verse 8).
"But I love Jesus," you say, "isn't that all He wants?" What do
you mean by love? "Love" has been redefined in the "Christianity"
of today to simply mean you have some sort of subjective inward
emotion that makes you feel "close" to God. Biblically, there is
more to it. Think about it. If we say we love someone, but it is
only a feeling, is it really love? Not as defined by I Corinthians
13. Jesus Himself said, "If you love me, you will keep my
commandments" (John 14:15). If we really love Jesus, it does
matter what we do in our lives.