There is a dangerous presumption spreading through the Church in America like a plague. Its premise is simple: I can say I love Jesus while I refuse to hate sin and ignore his commands. You know . . . those pesky, inconvenient commands to deny myself, die to myself, and follow his example and commands (see Luke 9:23). In other words, the idea that I can say I love Jesus and live as I please.
This idea is in direct contradiction to Scripture. Read these three verses from John’s gospel:
If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. (John 14:21)
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . .” (John 14:23)
Commands are not suggestions, tips, or hints. Militarily speaking, they are orders. The late D. James Kennedy stressed the point of these passages by making them negative:
“If you do not love me, you will not obey what I command.”
“Whoever has my commands and disobeys them, he is the one who does not love me.”
“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone does not love me, he will not obey my teaching.”
Kennedy obviously took his lead from Jesus who said in John 14:24, “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” The point is clear: Despite what a person says, the real evidence of his or her love for Jesus is obedience. Any idea to the contrary is a lie.