You Cannot Get To Heaven Without Love

“The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Numbers 14:18

How we live and what we teach our children affects them and their children to the third and fourth generation. So what kind of an example are you setting and what type of family are you or will you produce? What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Have Americans become very selfish people with little concern for their children and grandchildren? It is estimated that those 45 and younger spend very little time planning on what they wish to leave for future generations. Decisions we make today not only affect us but influence the lives of our family. We are seeing it today. Many unwed teenagers having children with little chance of them growing up with a spiritual upbringing. Unwise choices destroy families and affect our society. Our country is becoming morally out-of-control.

The Apostle Paul started a church in Corinth. The people came from a pagan background. They had committed probably every sin possible. They were converted, received the Holy Spirit and received a number of spiritual gifts. However, the gifts may have made them overly self-righteous. They thought the gifts made them special. So Paul wrote the thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians addressing that problem.

I Corinthians 13:1 – 3 – “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

We are told no matter how many spiritual gifts we have been given, if we do not have love our gifts are worthless. We may have the gifts of tongues, prophecy or preaching. It is possible to understand all mysteries and have all knowledge and not have love, we will develop a spirit of being judgmental. We may have the gift of giving but if we give out of duty and lack love our treasures in heaven may be less than we expect.

I Corinthians 13:4 – 7 – “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Love is having patience with people but not necessarily with normal events of life. Love is being kind in dealing with people. An unkind Christian lacks love. If we want positive responses from other, they normally come when we are kind and thoughtful in dealing with people. A person with love will not boast. We realize how unworthy we can be were it not for Christ’s death and resurrection. Love keeps us humble and it never offends. Love forgives and holds no grudges. Love is trusting and takes God at His word. The worst thing a Christian can have is a negative attitude.

I Corinthians 13:8 – 13 – “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

There may be a time when all the things we take pride in, pass away. However, we can still have love. Satan can never take away God’s love for man and man’s love for God. We must remember that without love and holiness we will never know the mysteries of God or live with Him in eternity.

Great as hope and faith are, love is greater. Faith without love can be cold. Hope without love is the potential to miss opportunities. Love is the passion that gives us faith and hope.
I believe people today are confused about love. One of the greatest human qualities is love. True love or unconditional love comes from God. Love instigates unselfish service and kindness to others. Faith is the acceptance of God’s message. Hope is looking forward to God’s arrival of His permanent kingdom. It is so important to realize that we will never become a part of that kingdom without love. God is love and only those who love will be accepted. Love provides faith and love makes hope possible.

Let us look at the importance of love. The ultimate gift of love was given by Christ on the cross. Love keeps us from yielding to temptation. You may have heard some people sing very well. But some sing from a heart of love and you can tell the difference. Love gives us power, charisma and a different attitude. Christ says they will know my people by their love. The love we have been given by God needs to be given to others. This is our main mission and purpose, to love God and others and this is he reason we were created.

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