No. God hates the wicked (Psalm 11:5). When the Lord Jesus comes back, He will inflict “vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9). If we do not know God and do not obey God, we should not be put at ease by the thought of God’s love, but we should be terrified by the thought of God’s judgment.

God is love

So God does not unconditionally love everybody in the sense that everybody will go to heaven. God is love. And because He is love, He cares about who we are and what we do. Because He is love, He hates evil. God’s love of what is good must lead to His judgment on what is evil, otherwise His love is empty.

Yet there are a few ways in which God’s love is unconditional. God “is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35). He “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). When we become believers, we know that God has loved us with a special kind of unconditional love. His love for us is not based on anything that we did, but flows from who God is, because “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:9).

Abide in His love

But even when we are Christians, we can easily go wrong by talking about God’s unconditional love. Jesus tells us “abide in my love” (John 15:9). We can move away from God and experiencing God. God’s love for us is linked to our obedience. Jesus says there are two conditions for us if we want to be loved by God: loving Jesus and keeping His commandments – and these really are one and the same (John 14:21). So we should not go through life thinking “God loves us – everything will be okay, it doesn’t matter what I do.” That is a wrong understanding of the love of God.

It starts with God

It all starts with the love of God. He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Our security is not in what we do, but in His promises. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). But our answer to God’s love matters. God’s love is wonderful, eternal, overwhelming, deeper than we can imagine and it is for us if – note the conditions! – we trust Jesus as our Savior, if we love Him, if we obey His commands, if we devote ourselves “to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

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