How often we have all read or heard others tell another, Jesus loves you. While it is a definite truth that God loves even the unsaved (John 3:16; Mark 10:21; etc.), which is anti Calvinism, one can never find the Jesus loves you form of evangelism in the book of Acts. Consider the evangelism in the Bible. The book of Acts has no less than 2 dozen salvation sermons or references to the plan of salvation in one way or another. Hence, the way they did it should be the way we do it. Conversely, the way they didn’t do it, should be avoided by us today. With that in mind, you never read where any of the Lord disciples ever told anyone, Jesus loves you – not even once!
Jesus Loves You is Deceptive
I [Dan Corner] have spend thousands of hours witnessing to others in different circumstances over the decades. I have noticed on various occasions that different types of unsaved people brought up the fact that God loves them and therefore they would not go to hell based on that! They were clinging to their sins, but thinking they were safe from going to hell merely because Jesus loves them. That speaks volumes as to the deception that phrase can create in a person’s mind. After all, isn’t it true that in the natural if someone loves us, that same person would never send us to a place of torment in fire. What unsaved people need to know is, God’s love is totally unlike ours plus he also loves justice (Psalm 11:6,7). He will send a person he loves to hell because that person is not pure in heart (Mt. 5:8).
CAUTION With Jesus Loves You
If you have been randomly telling people Jesus loves you, carefully explain his unique love or don’t tell people that. Why not simply stick to the Scriptures and tell unsaved people the Biblical message for salvation—repentance towards God and faith in Christ Jesus (Acts 20:21)? Tell them to prove their repentance by their deeds (Acts 26:20) and don’t forget to give the salvation facts, as stated in 1Cor. 6:9-11:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (NASB)
Since the real gospel contains a conditional security for the believer (1 Cor. 15:2; etc.), don’t forget to tell the potential new converts that they must endure to the end to enter God’s kingdom (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; etc.), that is, to get final salvation and reap eternal life. So, just like friendship evangelism, the Jesus loves you approach is flawed and should be avoided.