Q. Isn’t God’s love unconditional? How can you say that we have to repent or change our lifestyle to be accepted by God? I believe everyone will get to Heaven one way or the other.
A. You make a serious error. God’s love is unfathomable, but it is not unconditional. Consider the Lord Jesus’ statements:
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” Jn 14:21.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” Jn 15:5-6.
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? … then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” Matt 7:21-23.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” Jn 3:36.
“ Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” Lk 13:3.
God’s Love, Salvation and Heaven are all conditional upon believing in and accepting Jesus as your Saviour and allowing Him to possess your life as your Lord. For this to happen, you have to repent, turn away from your sin and sinfulness and seek God’s forgiveness.
As for Heaven, it has only one Way leading to it, and only one Door, Jesus Christ; He said so Himself – see Jn 14:6 and 10:7.
The truth about God’s Love is that He loves every one of us irrespective of our history or present moral and spiritual mess. Because of this, He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin and now offers to save us out of our convicted and condemned plight. But His Salvation cannot operate in us with our sinfulness intact; God’s justice and righteousness could not permit that. We have to be cleansed, forgiven and accepted to come before Him. And that depends entirely upon receiving Jesus as Lord and Saviour – two roles, both essential. We can only come on His terms, not ours; we cannot bargain with God!