by Ernest Liu
about the author

  • Random Sniplets
  • #lovewins

    To preface this post, I will apologize in advance. The topic of this post is offensive, and there is really no way around it. Often times the truth hurts because it challenges our opinions, our character, and our heart. But since the unsaid truth can hurt more in the long run, the truth must be proclaimed.

    Love wins.

    It really does. It wins all sorts of things. But often times, we’re confused about exactly what “love” is. The Greeks were wise enough to distinguish the concept of love into four types: Storge, phileo, eros, and agape.

    Storge wins.

    It is the naturally occurring love that exists within families, such as the affection between a parent and a child. This type of love protects, and is generally a good type of love. However, it is also a type of love that can lead one to become disproportionately vengeful when their family is threatened or attacked. In some cases, storge wins unlawful vengeance.

    Phileo wins.

    It is the generosity and affection most often exhibited between close friends. This love seeks to make the object of affection happy. But there are consequences for loving the wrong person. Loving the wrong person in this fashion can drive one towards their friend’s immorality. It can cause him or her to become vulnerable and susceptible to abuse. Sometimes, phileo love wins destruction.

    Eros wins.

    It is the passionate and sexual love between two people. It empowers marriages. At its height, physical nakedness and vulnerability is a token of how they’ve offered their whole lives–with emotional, social, and spiritual transparency and intimacy. Unfortunately, eros is the love that most often leads individuals to impurity. It drives people to pedophilia, polygamy, adultery, orgies, and rape. It is probably the love that most powerfully drives people towards wickedness and debauchery. Often times, eros wins foolishness and corruption.

    This leaves us with one remaining love.

    Agape.

    This is where things get offensive. Because to truly understand this type of love, the human nature of every reader needs to be revealed. You, the very one reading these words now, are no exception, and neither am I.

    God is ultimate. He is purely righteous, supremely powerful, and perfectly loving. He is the author of the universe, creator of mankind. If all of existence is a story, then He is the main character. Not you. You and I only exist to glorify Him with our lives, and rightly so.

    But mankind rebelled and sinned against God. Whenever we cheat on a test, cheat on our taxes, cheat on our spouses, we sin. We tell God our way of life is better. Our natural, sinful desires pull us away from God, and we charge towards sin. It’s been a hell-bound race ever since Adam ate the fruit. At the root of our godless hearts, we are selfish. We sway with social tides or reprimand others in self-righteousness. We reject God and console our hearts by convincing ourselves that we are moral. But God is the one who defines morality, and to defy Him means to shatter the perfectly loving relationship we were made to have with Him.

    The consequence of our rejection is Hell, because that is the only alternative to God. It is where we choose to go when God ultimately lets us have our way. It is where we will cling to our sin for eternity. We will become like Gollum, forever cherishing the very thing that consumes and kills us.

    But God loved us so much that He wanted to restore the relationship we forsook. So He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to come down and die on a cross for us. Jesus suffered the wrath that mankind deserved in Hell. He took the punishment for us. Jesus then conquered death and rose from the grave three days later.

    All we have to do is respond. We must accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. In doing so, we no longer have to pay the penalty for our sins and our eternal relationship with God is restored. Once dead on this earth, we continue our life with God in Heaven.

    Agape wins.

    It is the unconditional, self-sacrificing love that has only been perfectly demonstrated by God. Those who follow Christ strive to reflect this type of love.

    In 2007, religious extremists in Turkey trapped three evangelical Christians in their own church. The savages filmed their three-hour torture where they disemboweled, dismembered, and stabbed these missionaries hundreds of times. The wife of one victim publicly forgave the murderous men repeating the words of Jesus Christ, “They know not what they do.” She had no storge, phileo, or eros for them, but she demonstrated agape and gave them undeserved forgiveness with nothing to gain. For the believer, agape always wins, because we ultimately count our blessings on Earth as loss compared to our relationship with God. Agape requires nothing in return, and seeks the ultimate perfection of the loved.

    You need God to save you from your bondage to sin. Denying His loving sacrifice means choosing Hell. This is the offending truth that must be proclaimed. But the offending truth also comes with redeeming love.

    Jesus Christ is the ultimate #lovewins.

    If you believe that some god exists or have any respect for established historical record, then I encourage you to find out about Jesus on your own. Read the book of John. It may be the most important thing you’ll ever read in your life. One day, His agape may win you.

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