God’s Special Love
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Here is a dispute between the Arminians and the Calvinists: ask an Arminian what is meant by “beloved of the Lord,” and they will say that there is meant the general redemption, and so the “beloved of the Lord” signifies all the men that were ever born into the world; so, they say, God loves all. That is a good broad bridge to take them in, but broad bridges are not always the strongest bridges in the world. The Arminians will assert Judas was as much beloved of God as Peter, or any of the other apostles. And those who are not Arminians, but are what you call Quakers, and there are a good many, I believe, among them, that have better hearts than heads; they say that we are all alike, that we all come into the world with a seed of grace, and shall be happy according to the improvement of that grace. Hence they talk nothing of a Christ without but only within; happy are they that experience Christ within! God’s mercy is sure, and over all his works; and in one sense our Lord Jesus is the Savior of all men; that is, all sorts of men. Even the wicked are beholden to Jesus, whom they despise, for every worldly comfort they enjoy. In this sense we should learn to love as our Lord loved the young man. But we must go more to what we call Calvinism, which I call Scripture truth. The love Jesus bore for the rich young ruler was quite different from that love which with he loved Martha, Mary, and their brother, Lazarus.
*Excerpted from George Whitefield Daily Readings, p. 58 (Christian Heritage, 2010).
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