The Lie Of Unconditional Love

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”

I Timothy 4:7



Preparatory Reading: Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 11.



  1. The Bible tells ministers what to preach, what not to preach, and what is their goal in preaching (I Tim 4:6-7).
  2. It is hard to imagine I need to preach on this subject, for the whole Bible is a book of conditional love; but I want each one of you established in Biblical thinking and not the babblings and old wives’ fables of men.
  3. The world, especially the Christian world, has run amok with crazy ideas of love and self-worth by being.
  4. Many talk about it as a wonderful concept and invention that takes love and relationships to new heights.
  5. Never have ears itched so much as today. Turning from truth to fables, men have changed a terrible God into a bundle of meaningless love and the truth of responsibility into the lie of unconditional acceptance.
  6. This is a hard subject to preach about, because the heretics promoting it cannot define their heresy; there is a quaint saying that applies to nebulous arguments like this, “How do you argue with dumb?”
  7. Before we even begin, let us remove a few stumblingblocks that some of you might have in hearing me.
    1. There is no security in unconditional love, because it is impossible by definition, simply imagined by lazy people, and without the conditions of when and where your great lover will suddenly forsake you!
    2. The security of conditional love is knowing at all times what is expected and how you can be accepted.
    3. God’s love is absolutely conditional in all spheres, as we shall see; yet He will receive any sinner coming at anytime, for any sin or sins, in sincere repentance. He will in no wise cast out true seekers (John 6:37)!
    4. God’s love bringing eternal life is absolutely unconditional to us, for Christ performed the conditions.
    5. All love is unconditional in many minor respects, which should provide security about your sneezing.
    6. When we say “for better or for worse,” we intend definite limitations in every single wedding ceremony.
    7. When we are expecting children, we intend to love whatever God gives us, regardless of physical or mental limitations or handicaps. Though we will switch to conditional love as they develop. Read on.
  8. Please love me. I am just a little boy that doesn’t like to see naked emperors shaming themselves in public!

What Is Unconditional Love?

  1. We must try to understand the words and see how men apply them, for they cannot define them well.
    1. The words mean you accept and kindly treat another person without conditions or qualifications.
    2. The words mean you provide loving action to another person regardless of their performance.
    3. The words mean you promise perpetual acceptance and reception regardless of their behavior.
  2. Most cannot define it, for what do you then love? A person is only as valuable as their performance.
    1. It may mean maintaining a constant level of conduct toward another regardless of their behavior.
    2. It may mean accepting another person for what they are rather than what they do or not do.
    3. Unconditional marital love is when a person continues to provide all the action of acceptance and love toward an unrepentant spouse engaged selfish conduct, even marriage-violating sin.
    4. Unconditional parental love is when a parent provides all the action of acceptance and love toward a rebellious child, whom he will not force to meet certain conditions for acceptance.
  3. Unconditional love is a popular mantra by psychologists that was invented to accompany self-love.
    1. Developed from existentialism gone to seed, it reasons that humans are lovable by merely being.
    2. It is a fundamental rule of humanism – the worship of man – by ascribing intrinsic value to man.
    3. Self-love and unconditional love are products of the religion of humanism – I am god myself.
    4. “Since I am lovable merely by my existence, then I should love myself, which I do very gladly.”
    5. “Since I am lovable merely by my existence, then you should love me unconditionally as well.”
    6. It is expressed, “Love me for what I am, not what I do,” or “Love me for who I am, not what you want me to be.” All references to acceptance and/or affection without performance are heresy.
    7. Everyone wants to be loved unconditionally, because then they can behave any way they wish – they will not have to meet any standards of conduct, measurement, or performance. Absurd!
    8. It is a feel-good theory like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, with no basis in Scripture or nature.
    9. It has spawned the most permissive society in the history of the world, including most Christians.
    10. Since man knows he is a failure by any measure, he imagines and requires unconditional love.
    11. It is an escape from accountability and responsibility, the two great fears of dysfunctional lives.
    12. It is a corruption of the value of Christ’s sacrifice by substituting for it an intrinsic value of self.
  4. Of course, the psycho-heretics, like James Dobson, look for a Bible basis to justify their theories.
    1. “God is love; and He created me; and John 3:16 is in the Bible; therefore He must love me uncontrollably and regardless, and all other humans too, for all time, world without end. Amen.”
    2. They presume on conditional promises like “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” If you do not understand this promise is conditional, then read these: Deut 31:17; Ps 22:1; and Jer 23:39.
    3. A fabulous lesson in Bible wresting is Bill Gothard requiring a husband to support his wife in open adultery and neglect of family and children. You have to read it to believe it. Unbelievable!
    4. Once you propose that the second commandment is to love yourself in order to love others, there is no limit to what your mind will imagine about mushy subjects like love!
  5. Its consequences in doctrine and practice are great, as both God and man must not be judgmental.
    1. The rush to universalism and elimination of hell owe much to this warped view of God and man.
    2. The lack of judgment in home and churches that has just about ruined both reflect this heresy.
    3. The lack of Christ-honoring singing, preaching, and speech is man feeling good about himself.

What Does the Bible Say About It?

  1. Of course, any reader knows that the whole book is one of conditions with rewards and punishment.
    1. When God offered Adam and Eve paradise with Him, there was a definite condition involved.
    2. When God offered rewards to the over comers in Revelation 2-3, there were conditions required.
  2. Let us start with the relationship between God and His Son Jesus Christ, the greatest love of all!
    1. Can you accept and believe that God the Father loved His Son Jesus more than any other love?
    2. God forsook Jesus of Nazareth, causing Him much distress, due to the existence of sin (Ps 22:1).
    3. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him, when He had laid our sins to His charge (Is 53:10; Rom 8:32).
    4. When He had shed His blood and laid down His life for those sins, He was received once again!
  3. Let us move to the relationship between God and His elect, which is the next greatest love of all!
    1. God only loves His elect based on conditions performed by the Lord Jesus Christ on their behalf.
    2. God only loved us in the eternal phase by His covenant choice of us in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3-6).
    3. God only loved us in the legal phase by Jesus Christ actually coming to die for us (Romans 5:8).
    4. God only loved us in the vital phase by the Holy Spirit giving us a new holy nature (Eph 4:24).
    5. God only loved us in the final phase by the complete renewal of body, soul, and spirit in Christ.
    6. Our practical relationship with God is based in Christ and depends on obedience for blessings.
    7. The value of Jesus Christ depends on your repudiation of self-worth and unconditional love to see the precious intervention of Him for your infallible, guaranteed acceptance by God forever!
  4. A relationship with God depends on repentance, which restores a performance-based relationship.
    1. What is the need for repentance, if love and relationships have no conditions whatsoever?
    2. Repentance and forgiveness restore a conditional relationship, contrary to unconditional love.
    3. Even David knew, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).
    4. Does repentance merely have benefits from a psychological standpoint of expressing excuses?
  5. God said He would turn from a righteous man leaving his righteousness to do evil (Ezek 18:1-32).
  6. God offers to draw nigh unto us when we draw nigh unto Him, not while leaving Him (Jas 4:8-10).
  7. God abhorred His own people for their sins; which does not sound very unconditional (Deut 32:19).
    1. Let every bleeding heart that craves unconditional love read Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 11.
    2. He promised to destroy them, if they did not serve Him gladly with joyfulness (Deut 28:47-48).
    3. He swore in his wrath against Israel that it was too late for performing conditions (Ps 95:7-11).
    4. The God of love turned to be the enemy of His people for the wickedness of their sins (Is 63:10).
    5. He did not care what they did to win His approval back, He would not accept them (Jer 14:12).
    6. He divorced, deserted, and destroyed His bride for lascivious fornication with others (Ezek 16).
    7. Have you read the “unconditional” love letters from Jesus to seven pastors in Revelation 2-3?
  8. Let us consider a few examples of relationships dependent on conditional performance to continue.
    1. Let’s begin with soul friends, you know, the most intimate and tender love of all (Deut 13:6-11).
    2. Moses told parents to bring disobedient sons for “unconditional” public stoning (De 21:18-21).
    3. God judged the priest Eli horrifically for loving his own sons a little too much (I Samuel 2-3).
    4. David dumped Michael when she mocked his zeal in worshipping God (II Samuel 6:20-23).
    5. Asa would not allow his mother to remain queen due to her pagan idolatry (I Kings 15:13).
    6. David had very conditional terms for those abiding in his house and service (Ps 101:1-8).
    7. David was committed to friends of the performance sort, who kept God’s precepts (Ps 119:63).
    8. There were many Corinthians weak, sickly, and dead (I Cor 11:30)! How unconditional was it?
    9. Paul told the Corinthians not to confirm love to the fornicator before repentance (II Cor 2:6-8).
    10. A condition for the ministry is loving good men (Tit 1:8). How unconditional is that love? Are all men good? Is this good conduct? Barely acceptable? Or as close to God as men can get?

Is It Even Possible?

  1. No! It is ridiculous. “But the emperor has no clothes!” It is hard to imagine it even being imagined, but the degree to which evolution and existentialism have corrupted thought processes is great. Men are in love with themselves and demand the same love from others more than ever before in history.
  2. When someone says, “Love me for who I am,” what in the crazy world do they mean?
    1. Should we love them for what they are physically, a corrupting and decaying sack of water?
    2. Should we love them for what they are spiritually, a depraved enemy of God under judgment?
    3. Should we love them for what they are emotionally – an unstable and fickle life of selfishness?
    4. Should we love them for what they are practically – a constant source of disappointment?
  3. Some silly mothers think childbirth creates a relationship of unconditional love to her children.
    1. We choose to love the children God gives us, but we begin measuring by behavior as they grow.
    2. What do they do with the verses above? What do they love about children above performance?
    3. It is patently foolish and wrong to apply God’s legal love for us to a mother and her children.
  4. When wedding vows include “till death do us part,” there are violations implied that would end it.
    1. We can agree that marital love is unconditional relative to circumstances such as health and wealth and conditional relative to desertion and adultery and so forth.
    2. Men may love more conditionally than women, for she was made for the man (I Cor 11:9).

What Is the Greatest Love?

  1. Conditional love is not weak or uncommitted. It just means that it has limits to the sin it will allow.
  2. God is of purer eyes than to behold evil (Hab 1:13), but He has provided for you in Jesus Christ.
  3. God’s love in our salvation to eternal life is unconditional to us, because Jesus performed for us!


  1. When you hear or read anything about unconditional love; without strict qualification, it is rank heresy.
  2. Your practical relationship with God that governs your life right now is entirely conditional on performance.
  3. Your duties to other members of society – at home, work, or church – depend on conditional judgment.
  4. But you are altogether eternally safe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for He has performed the conditions for you!

For further study:

  1. Sermon Outline: The Lie of Self-Love
  2. Sermon Outline: Jesus Loves Losers