Romans 9:13, Is God Love?

Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

//This is God talking. He loves who he wants to, and hates who he wants to. As he explained to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

Enter Calvinism, which implies that God does not love everyone. God does not really love all men redemptively, nor does he really desire to save them. God chooses to save some, and passes on others, who are predestined to a lost eternity.

As Paul further explains in this passage,

It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. –Romans 9:16-18

How does this jibe with the claim in 1 John that God is love? Examine this verse in particular:

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. –1 John 4:16

Attempting to harmonize scripture, we might reach the following conclusion: If you are able to love, then you have been chosen. If you are unable to love, too bad: you have apparently been predestined to hell.

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