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Does God coerce Us to Love Him?

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May 10th, 2014 | Filed Under: Author, Mitch Kuhn, Q and A4 Comments | Author:


Let’s start with the definition of “coerce” from http://www.merriam-webster.com/

: to restrain or dominate by force
: to compel to an act or choice
: to achieve by force or threat

Based on this definition God certainly does coerce us to love him. He uses great force and causes us to do exactly what he wants us to do.

You’ve probably heard a pastor pose this very question that you asked, “Does God coerce us to love him”? My old pastor would say it this way, “God is not a rapist”. These kinds of questions and statements are most often raised by people who believe in the fabled doctrine of free will. These kind of men will also say that you cannot have love without free choice, and that if you are forced to love someone, then it is not really love. This is a grand example of carnal logic and human reasoning, which we are told not to use.

(Pro 3:5 KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

With this in mind let us try the spirits and search the scriptures to learn the truth of the matter.

(1Jn 4:1 KJV) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The truth is that God has coerced us to do everything in our lives. Those that support free will claim that man made a free will choice to disobey God and that we can also make a free will choice to respond to Christ’s offer for forgiveness. They will often quote this verse:

(Rev 3:20 KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

or these:

(Joh 3:15 KJV) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
(Joh 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

or this one:

(Rom 10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

If you just read those verses with the idol of free will in your heart, then it certainly sounds like we have a choice to make. However it is the sum of God’s word that is the truth and we cannot lean on any one verse to interpret itself.

(Psa 119:160 ESV) The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

(2Pe 1:20 CLV) knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture at all is becoming its own explanation.

The truth is that God has made us deaf and we cannot even hear Christ knocking on the door!

(Mat 13:10 NKJV) And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
(Mat 13:11 NKJV) He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
(Mat 13:12 NKJV) For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
(Mat 13:13 NKJV) Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
(Mat 13:14 NKJV) And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘HEARING YOU WILL HEAR AND SHALL NOT UNDERSTAND, AND SEEING YOU WILL SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE;
(Mat 13:15 NKJV) FOR THE HEARTS OF THIS PEOPLE HAVE GROWN DULL. THEIR EARS ARE HARD OF HEARING, AND THEIR EYES THEY HAVE CLOSED, LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, LEST THEY SHOULD UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND TURN, SO THAT I SHOULD HEAL THEM.’

Christ is knocking on the door in parables and we do not understand. It is made very clear in John

(Joh 12:39 KJV) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
(Joh 12:40 KJV) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

This comes from Isaiah.

(Isa 6:9 KJV) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
(Isa 6:10 KJV) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 say that if we believe we will be saved, but we also just read that we CANNOT believe.

(Joh 12:39 KJV) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
(Joh 12:40 KJV) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

We are not free to choose God as we have been led to believe by these false prophets.

Many pastors and bible teachers that espouse the doctrine of free will say that we are not robots or puppets and that God wants people with real free will to choose to love him. They are right that we are not robots or puppets; we are clay in the hands of the potter.

(Jer 18:4 NKJV) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

The vessel did not choose to be marred; it was just made that way. Paul explains this analogy further in the book of Romans.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

(Rom 9:19 NKJV) You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”
(Rom 9:20 NKJV) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
(Rom 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

We are all made for dishonor at first before we are made into a vessel of honor. God first of all makes us hate him as his enemies, before he causes us to love him.

(Col 1:21 NKJV) And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.

(Isa 63:17 KJV) O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

We all start off as spiritually dead. What do dead people do? Nothing! They rot and stink and just lay there lifeless. We are the same way spiritually when God comes to “coerce” us to love him and we are forcefully given life.

(Eph 2:1 NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
(Eph 2:2 NKJV) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
(Eph 2:3 NKJV) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
(Eph 2:4 NKJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
(Eph 2:5 NKJV) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
(Eph 2:6 NKJV) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

When someones uses the word “coerce” in English, it is typically in a negative context. We are coerced into a bad business deal, or we are coerced to do something we do not want because of a threat of physical harm or blackmail. God cannot be put into the same category as rapists and those he coerces in this world.

What is God’s motive:

(Eph 2:7 NKJV) that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Let’s say, that in the living room of your house there is a giant pile of stinking cow dung. It’s making you and your family sick, but for some strange reason you cannot bear to part with the big pile of rotting manure. In fact, you’re convinced that it is something valuable and do not even know that it is dung. So a man comes along, breaks into your house when you are not there and hauls off all of the dung and leaves you a nice pile of solid gold bars. You come home and are furious at first, but after some time your family is no longer sick and you realize that you are very rich. This is exactly what God does for us.

The Lord is even described as a thief!

(1Th 5:2 NKJV) For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

He comes to take away our dung and give us gold. Listen to what Paul says. He thought he was doing pretty good and was quite proud of the pile of dung he had built until Christ showed him the truth.

(Php 3:4 KJV) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
(Php 3:5 KJV) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
(Php 3:6 KJV) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
(Php 3:7 KJV) But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(Php 3:8 KJV) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

We certainly do not like this process of having our dung taken away at first. We have to be drug to Christ, just as fish are dragged into the boat by a net.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (G1670) him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

G1670
ἑλκύω, ἕλκω
helkuō helkō
hel-koo’-o, hel’-ko
Probably akin to G138; to drag (literally or figuratively): – draw. Compare G1667.

(Joh 21:10 NKJV) Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”
(Joh 21:11 NKJV) Simon Peter went up and dragged (G1670) the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

Just as we are caused to be marred in the potter’s hands and have no choice other than to be God’s enemy and disobey his commands, so too will he give us a new heart and CAUSE us to keep his commands.

(Eze 36:25 NKJV) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
(Eze 36:26 NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
(Eze 36:27 NKJV) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

So to answer your question again, yes, we are coerced, forced, and caused to love God, because to love God is to obey his commands.

(1Jn 5:3 NKJV) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

And his commands are a blessing, not a burden. We are given rest, peace, and the fruit of the spirit.

(Mat 11:28 NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Mat 11:29 NKJV) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

(Gal 5:22 NKJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(Gal 5:23 NKJV) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

What a blessing it is to be coerced by God to love him.

I hope this answers your question,
Mitch

We Welcome Your Comments

  • Mary

    Praise the
    Lord!!!!

  • Pete

    Thanks Mitch a great article. I always liked this verse from Romans that helped me to understand the love of God was something The Lord was doing In Me thru the Holy Spirit that of course is GIVEN to us. Rom 5:5    And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

  • MitchellKuhn

    Amen!

    Sent from my iPad

  • MitchellKuhn

    You’re welcome Pete. Great verse

    Sent from my iPad