According to Church tradition, of the twelve original disciples only John died a natural death. He lived to be quite old, in his nineties, which was particularly remarkable in an age when most men had a life expectancy of 40. As he neared the end of his life he was still instructing the churches, encouraging the Christians and reminding them of the essential teachings of the gospel. In his first epistle, the theme of love sounds from beginning to end, including the famous line, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
John’s intimate knowledge of Jesus and his experience living the Christ life kept bringing him back to this point. God is love. Understanding God apart from His love was impossible. But incorporating that truth changes everything. If God is love then His actions are guided by it. His view of us is through love’s glasses. The intended ultimate destiny of each soul is grounded in this. God is love.
We rejoice with the anonymous songwriter who has penned,
Come, let us all unite to sing: God is love!
Let Heaven and earth their praises bring, God is love!
Let every soul from sin awake,
Each in his heart sweet music make,
And sing with us, for Jesus' sake: God is love!
The Salvation Army Song Book #8