Unbeliever beside a wall with a word charity

Do Unbelievers Love People? by David Lee Chu Sarchet

Love is such a popular word in our culture. Everyone throws around the “L Word” so frequently that it has almost lost its meaning. People say they “love” their spouse and they “love” their cat and they “love” their car. However, when you ask these same people what exactly is love and very few people will be able to give you a cogent answer.

Some people think that love is a feeling. These people talk as if one can be “in love” one day and then the next day they may “fall out of love”.

Other people define love as some kind ubiquitous force of nature. These people talk about love as if it is something that just overwhelms an individual and, at that moment, they may act irrationally. Romantic comedies are notorious for portraying this version of love.

However, What Exactly Is Love?

Well, God’s word gives us a completely different picture of what love actually is. In a later blog, I will talk about how the Bible defines love. But for the sake of this blog, I will focus on whether or not Unbelievers are even capable of the kind of love that God defines is love. In order to do this I will use the Heidelberg Catechism as my guide.

In Lord’s Day 2 it says, 

Q. Can you keep all these things (referring to the law) perfectly?  A. In no wise, for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbor

Now, my question for you to consider is this: If this is true for a regenerate believer who has been born again of the Spirit, how much more true is this of the unregenerate who does not have the Spirit of God? 

However, I know that you probably want to see what Holy Scripture has to say on this subject. Very well, then.

Let’s turn to 2 Timothy 3:1-5 which says, 

“But understand this, that in the last days, there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, nor loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 

If this isn’t enough for you, let’s read Romans 1:28-32 which says, 

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practiced them.” 

In just these two texts we see that the Apostle Paul is describing all of humanity, but especially the unregenerate. As we can see the unregenerate are not capable of actual real love as defined by God.

What is this love?

As I share with you the scripture that most famously talks about what real and genuine love is. Later I will expound on this text though. The text I am referring to is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and it says, 

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 

As we can clearly see that the unregenerate are characterized as being the exact opposite of what God’s word defines love to be.

In other words, unbelievers do not love anyone nor are they capable of loving anyone. As a matter of fact, unbelievers hate everyone, including their own family and friends.

Why do unbelievers have such a strong hatred for human beings?

It is because they know that human beings are made in the Imago Dei and they hate God Himself.

I fully understand that this is a hard pill to swallow because it’s difficult to think about how one’s own unbelieving family and friends hate them, but it is what is clearly taught in Holy Scripture.

Does this mean that unbelievers are incapable of doing nice things for people?

Absolutely not! Unbelievers do nice things for people all the time. However, even when they do nice things for someone, the charitable act is always tainted by a heart full of wickedness and hate for the person. For example, an unbeliever can help an old woman cross the street and that seemingly innocent act is good, but at the same time the unbeliever is secretly hating that old woman. If it was not for the Holy Spirit restraining the evil hearts of man, that unbeliever would just as quickly murder her in cold blood. 

You may ask me, how should we then respond to our unbelieving friends and family who hate us?

Fortunately, both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul answer this question for us. In Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus says, 

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust” 

And Paul takes this thought further in Romans 12:14-21 when he says, 

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to what is honorable in the sight of all… Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ says the Lord’. To the contrary, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, for by doing so you will heap burning coals onto his head’. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

You may ask me now, “If unbelievers hate everyone, does this include my psychiatrist and psychologist”?  

Well, according to God’s word, yes it does if they are not saved. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from trusting them to treat you well though. I say that you can trust your mental health professionals to still provide you with good service for mainly two reasons.

  • The first reason is because the Holy Spirit is currently restraining the evil in their hearts so that they cannot unleash all their hatred all at once. Since they have the Natural Law written on their hearts and minds, they are still capable of knowing what is morally right and wrong and how to live according to what is right.
  • The second reason you can still trust them is because as selfish individuals they care immensely about their pocketbook and their own reputation. This means that they will do their best to offer you good service in hopes that you in turn will give them a good review and that will keep people coming to see them and thus continue earning them a paycheck.

I know this sounds bleak but until the Lord Jesus Christ decides to regenerate their hearts that is where they are at, but this is why we should be all the more eager to share the Gospel with our mental health professionals! 

Thanks for reading this blog and I hope that this has been a blessing to you. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. May the grace of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ richly bless you all! 

-David Lee Chu Sarchet 
Christian Mental Health Advocate 

Click Here To Read More By David Lee Chu Sarchet

Check Out The Christ-Centered Mental Health Ministry website: https://www.christcenteredmentalhealth.org/

Audible Gift Memberships

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: