16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him
be Anathema, Maranatha.”
2 Cor. 8:8,
“I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness
of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.”
OUR TWO TEXTS SHOW US THE FOLLOWING:
That if we do not love God, we will be lost.
B. That God tests our love.
1. We are taught to test ourselves.
2 Cor. 13:5,
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own
selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in
you, except ye be reprobates?”
HOW THEN DOES GOD TEST OUR LOVE?
A. He does it by:
BY REQUIRING THAT WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT.
We cannot perceive God directly with any of our physical
We cannot see Him with our physical eyes.
We cannot physically touch Him, etc.
Even if we went into space in a space ship, we could not
physically come in contact with Him.
Russian cosmonaut said, “I was out in space, but I
didn’t see God.” Question: Who expected him to?
B. However, we do have evidence of God’s existence.
1. From nature:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament
sheweth his handiwork.”
1:18-22, (Emphasize that God is revealed through the physical
2. From the Bible – God’s inspired Word.
The evidence found therein provides unquestionable proof
that it is the inspired Word of God.
BY PERMITTING HIS GREAT “RIVAL” TO PLEAD FOR OUR
Satan is our great enemy.
He goes about as a roaring lion.
1 Pet. 5:8,
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a
roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
2. He uses the world to entice us away from God.
2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are
in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father
is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of
the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and
the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for
We must continue to love and serve the Lord even though we
cannot see Him, while we can see the world.
We cannot love both God and the world.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the
one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and
despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Do you love the world? Are your deepest ambitions
centered in the world?
BY HAVING US TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHICH IS LARGELY UNLOVING.
Man was cast out of the Garden of Eden because of his sin.
In contrast to the paradise of the Garden of Eden, mankind
lives in a sinful and cruel world. There is much suffering,
disappointment, hatred, and cruelty.
B. We must continue to love and serve the Lord even though we
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will
maintain mine own ways before him.
12:7-10, (A child of God should be willing to suffer for the
cause of Christ.)
12:5-11, (Elaborate upon this passage).
1. Be afflicted with disease and
2. Be wrongfully slandered and
3. Poverty stricken.
4. Alone and friendless so far as our
fellowmen are concerned.
BY HAVING US TO LIVE WITH AND TO LOVE OUR FELLOW MAN.
We must love:
5:23-30, (The Apostle Paul compares the relationship that
Christ has to the church as like unto that of the relationship of
a husband and wife.)
1 John 4:20,
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a
liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how
can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
Our neighbor as ourselves.
12:29-31 (EITHER READ OR REFER TO!)
Even our enemies.
5:43-44, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, THOU SHALT
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love
your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate
you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute
12:19-21, (This passage could also be included.)
B. If we fail to do this, we cannot please God.
1. Do you really love
a. Do you gossip
b. Are you harsh and
Do you really love your wife or husband?
Are you kind?
Are you longsuffering?
Etc. – see 1 Cor. 13.
BY DEMANDING THAT WE “HATE” (THAT IS, LOVE LESS THAN GOD)
THAT WHICH IS DEAREST TO US IN THIS WORLD.
19:16-28, (Tell about the rich young ruler).
9:23-24, “And he said to them all, If any man will come
after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and
follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but
whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
Our loved ones.
14:26-33, (Either read or describe this passage).
Even one’s own life.
“…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of
E. If we fail in one of these points, then we fail the test!
BY DEMANDING THAT WE OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS.
We must obey the Lord’s commandments even when they are
55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are
your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my
thoughts than your thoughts.”
Our personal inclination – “…nevertheless, at thy
word…” (Luke 5:1-11).
Our human wisdom.
Marching around Jericho.
New Testament baptism.
The New Testament church.
SUMMARY: WE HAVE SEEN HOW GOD TESTS OUR LOVE.
APPEAL: MAY EACH OF US BE COMPLETELY HONEST IN OUR
SELF EXAMINATION AND STRIVE WITH ALL OF OUR HEART TO MAKE WHATEVER
Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my
heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any
wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
(Adapted & revised from a sermon by the late Thomas B. Warren)