If God’s love is unconditional, what does the “if” in John 15:10 mean?

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The apostle John wrote in his gospel, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10).

God’s love is unconditional, hence He sent His only begotten Son to die for the world (John 3:16). However, it is apparent that most people will choose not to accept God’s unconditional love. The Bible tells us that the world shall wonder after the beast (Revelation 13:3) and Jesus Himself said that the path to sin is wide while that which leads to eternal life is narrow and few go into it (Matthew 7:13, 14).

Thus, while God’s love is indeed unconditional, His offer of salvation is conditional upon accepting the truth and repenting of sin (John 1:12). Satan views all the kingdoms of the world as his own (Matthew 4:9). If people do not follow God’s warnings and instructions, the Lord cannot protect them from Satan. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that the devil is like a vicious lion looking for people to devour. God can protect us from this predator if we are obedient to Him, but if we are not, Satan claims the disobedient as his own.

Those who repent of their sins and want a personal relationship with the Lord will receive it. But those who shun God’s love and are unrepentant, although God loves them unconditionally, They cannot have eternal life. This is elaborated more in the following link: https://bibleask.org/does-god-love-christians-more-than-the-rest-of-the-world/

The principles above are seen in this verse as well: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). Those who walk according to the Spirit (receiving Christ as their personal Savior and demonstrating His grace in their lives) are the ones who are not under condemnation, unlike those who are still walking according to the flesh and in sin.

God gave us freedom of will to choose to accept or reject Him. He offered the free gift of salvation but it is up to us to take it or refuse it. In that sense, His salvation is conditional upon our choice.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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