What is agape love? Agape was a generic word for love that was hijacked by Christians. It became a word that was used to describe God's "unconditional" love.
We often use it when we tell each other to love like Jesus, but what does it mean to love unconditionally? You see, many Christians use agape the same way the world uses tolerate. What I mean by this is if Christians are to love like God then we must accept everyone and everything about them. Question, I thought we are suppose to influence the world and not the other way around?
Agape is not the same as the world's definition of tolerate. God's agape love is this... All people, no matter what they have done, can receive salvation. It is not limited to the "good" or "qualified."
That is God's agape love, but we have to also remember that God hates sin. He loves us so much that he is unwilling to allow sin to reign in our lives. The greatest act of his love was allowing his son to take our place on the cross. He hated sin so much, and loved us so much, that he gave us a way to be reconciled to him. So obviously he does not just accept us and our sin unconditionally.
We as Christians need to understand the difference. We love the sinner and hate the sin. When it comes to the non-Christian the most important thing is to show them the love of Christ and point them to Jesus as Lord and Savoir who will convict of sin. When it comes to the Christian it is important that we confront sin and seek their repentance. We cannot tolerate sin in the church.
Jesus showed us how this is to be done in Matthew 18:15-20 (Mind you early texts do not contain the words "against you." It simply says "If your brother sins...") After sin has been confronted and there is no repentance then we go back to square one with the person and see and treat them as unbelievers.
This is Christlike love. Christlike love is doing the best and right thing for others, and it is different from agape. How does agape play a part in the life of a Christian? No Christian has the right to condemn an unbeliever. What I mean by this is we don't get to pick and choose who we share the Gospel message with. Salvation is not our call. We are called to share the love of Jesus with all.
If you use agape to say tolerate then you need to stop. God does not tolerate. Sin will be dealt with one way or another. I love my Christian brothers and sisters. I will continue to expose and confront sin. If you love me you will do the same for me.