Love is love is love – except for when it’s not! What many people call love is not in fact love. Especially in our culture today, people are wholly confused as to what love is. Even in Christianity, people sideline love of God for a easier and more comfortable way of living. You hear people throw out phrases like:

“Jesus said just love. That’s all we need to do. nothing else is necessary.

“I’m spiritual, not religious. We do not need doctrines or commandments or church traditions. Jesus said just love.”

“Live and let live; love and let love. Then do what you will.”

No doubt there is a lot of confusion today. The Church has been very unsuccessful at communicating her message and the saving truth over the last 40 years. On the other hand, people prefer convenience and self to following God many times.

Any time someone does not wish to follow rules God has given, or some moral teaching, or has a problem with the churchc in some way, or if the church teaches something which contradicts what they “personally believes,” then you will usually hear one of those phrases.

However, being spiritual and not religious is not from God. Never did Jesus nor the Bible teach anything of the sort.

I usually ask people:

“Where did Jesus command us “just to love,” or say that “love is all you need?” I’m pretty sure that was the Beatles you are thinking of.

“Where does the bible teach that love trumps following God’s commandments?”

Jesus taught the opposite.

It goes without saying that love is extremely important and necessary to get to heaven. However, many people are confused about what love really is, and more so, use it as an excuse to live an immoral life.

Jesus unmistakably taught that the most important love of all is to love God above all things. Loving God has to be first and foremost in our lives, and everything is secondary. Jesus said loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength is the very first commandment. Anything which contradicts that or gets in the way of that, even in the name of love, becomes a false God and is not good.

People will claim serve people and give money to the poor, but do not pray or go to church. In other words, they serve human beings and God is left behind. Forgotten about. Serving others matters little compared to service of God which should be first in our lives.

Other people accuse you of being “too religious” if you same something of their life choices or their sins. In other words, they only love God as much as it fits their lifestyle or is convenient to the way they are living. But this is not true love. It’s selfishness (or confusion) in the name of love.

That is why phrases like, “I follow God, but I don’t follow this or that…” Or, “I love God but I personally believe it’s OK for same sex couples to get married, or to sleep together before marriage if you truly love someone.”

In these scenarios, we are making ourselves God and ignore God’s commands or what He thinks. Once we make ourselves God, which is what Adam and Eve tried to do, we cease to love God. Love is a feeling and not a reality.

The two commandments that Jesus gave us were to love God and love your neighbor – in that order. What does this mean, and what does this look like? In the Bible, Jesus says that to love God and get to heaven, we must follow the Commandments (Mt. 19:16). 1 Jn. 2:3-4 says that those people who claim to love God but don’t follow or care about his Commandments are “Liars.”

Harsh words for sure. But they remind us that love and Christianity are more than good feelings and subjective realities. Love isn’t just a feeling. Quite the opposite. True love of God is having a relationship with God each and every day and following His Commandments.

It’s like claiming that you love your girlfriend or boyfriend and then cheating on them at the same time. This is not compatible with love. In addition, if we love Jesus, we must “Pick up our crosses and follow Him,” which means we have to endure our share of suffering, and getting to heaven is difficult. Christ Jesus confirms this when He says that the road to heaven is narrow and seldom traveled whereas the road to hell is wide and smooth and widely traveled.

Jesus said that we must worship God in Spirit and truth. People forget that we must have the truth of God and follow it. If you have love without truth, what good is it? If you have truth without love, how does that please God. We need both. We need to love God and others but also follow God, have a relationship with Him, and obey His commandments. Therefore, we can’t “just love” and forget about all the doctrines and commandments.

Otherwise, one cannot walk the road to heave, but rather, they are walking the wide and smooth road down. the truth of God and what he teaches, but we also need the love of God to follow what he teaches without being all sad about it. It is how we can love and not be despondent or down and grumpy. We won’t be aggravated, irritable or belligerent. Those who truly love God find his commandments pleasing and joyful.

The thought that Christianity is just love is a myth. Love is not the only thing we need. The Bible says we need faith, we need hope, we need, love, we need obedience, we need surrender, we need to follow God’s commandments,  and His will. Only then can we get to Heaven and can we consider ourselves truly Christian.