It wouldn’t take long to pluck out several Bible verses that talk a lot about showing self-sacrificial love to others. Whatever way you cut it, there is no doubt that loving others should be a crucial mark on the life of any follower of Jesus.
But is it enough to just love people? Or does God require more of us? That was the topic raised in a recent discussion between two popular conservative commentators: Allie Stuckey and Matt Walsh.
If loving others is the way to heaven, what was the meaning of Christ’s death?
“What constitutes self-sacrificial love?” Stuckey questioned. “Why did God send Jesus to die and rise again if all he really cared about was that we were sacrificial in our love? Why did he have to die?”
If it was all about simply loving other people, what is the point of the cross, which is the focal point of the entire Christian faith?
“What I can’t sit here and do is say that God could not let [anyone] into heaven — Muslim, atheist, whatever,” Walsh, who is Catholic, explained, highlighting that God’s heart for His people is that they love one another.
Picking up on the salvation question, Stuckey responded that “it is not a matter of couldn’t or could, it’s a matter of wouldn’t or would,” noting that “the Bible makes very clear the intercessor to God and the only one who can make us holy and acceptable before God is Jesus.”
She continued: “I just don’t see how self-sacrifice, which a lot of non-believers have demonstrated throughout history, is sufficient for salvation — I just don’t see the evidence for that in Scripture.”
The issue when it comes to questions of personal salvation, however, is that we are finite human beings who do not possess the infinite power and knowledge of God. Christ alone knows the hearts of each and every person, and He alone will, in the end, judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1) with perfect righteousness.
But how can we know who will be saved and who won’t? It is an enormous question that rattles around the mind without any obvious answer.
“Do you feel that you can really speak to what God would or wouldn’t do for sure?” Walsh asked Stuckey, challenging her bold assertions.
“Well, I think that the Bible speaks to that,” Stuckey responded. “Jesus died to us while we were yet sinners — he gave us his righteousness. Jesus is the essential, crucial exclusive way to the Father.”
What do you think? Is self-sacrificial love enough? Think of the Greatest Commandment, uttered by Christ himself and recorded in Matthew 22:
“Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
But can we rely on this for our salvation, even if we don’t overtly accept Christ as our personal Lord and savior? What about if you had accepted Jesus at one time, but had since drifted away from him? If you love others with self-sacrificial affection, will you still inherit the Kingdom of God? These are huge questions!
You can watch the full discussion below: