Shepherds Conference 2024 General Session 12

March 8, 7:00 p.m. 
Speaker: John MacArthur
Topic: The Triumph of Divine Love
Passage: Romans 8:28–39


Message Summary: 

There is only one love that endures in its fullness and gives lasting satisfaction and joy. This is the incomprehensible love of the God of the universe. 

God loves His own to the max, to the full (John 13:1). It would be impossible to love them more because it would be impossible to do more than to give His Son as a sacrifice. No matter how many other loves fail, this one never does. 


2 Questions We Might Raise About God's Love:

1. Can God Reject Us?

The greatest proof of God’s promise to keep us is what He sacrificed to get us (Rom 8:32). God’s love is so strong that He gave His Son for us. Will He not do what is less than that to keep us? He gave us the most and best, and He has no capacity to hold back the least. Would God have given His Son if He did not have the power to hold onto the ones for whom His Son died and whose sins His Son bore?

There is nothing we can do and nothing anyone else can say to convince God to reject us. The accuser is before God night and day relentlessly indicting us, but God will never hear that charge (Isa 50:7–10). 

God is the one who justifies. He cannot condemn and justify at the same time. The case against believers and against their justification may be fought by Satan, but to no avail because we are covered with the righteousness of Christ. God will never condemn those whose condemnation was paid in full by His Son. 

Christ would never turn on us because He accomplished everything to secure our everlasting salvation. He died in our place. He was raised by the Father, having accomplished our eternal redemption. He was exalted to the right hand of God, triumphant in His death, and He now ever lives to intercede for us. God will not turn on us. Nothing can effect a change in God’s commitment.

Our salvation is secure because God is working all things together for good (Rom 8:28–30). God didn’t just predestine us to justification, He predestined us to glorification. God had a purpose to conform us to His Son in eternal glory, and He takes every step in the process to make sure that plan comes to pass. Nothing works against this plan, everything works for it because that is what God has predetermined. 

2. Can We Reject God? 

Nothing can cause a true believer to walk away from God. Love triumphs. But it’s not our love, as if it could triumph independently. It’s His love that holds onto us. There’s no possibility that God is going to stop loving us, and there’s no possibility that we’re going to stop loving Him. As enduring as His love for us is, that’s how enduring our love for Him is, because the love which we give to Him is that love which comes from Him shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

No trial can separate us from Christ. Even more than that, trials work for our greater good and glory. They have a strengthening work and allow us to strengthen others. They increase our hatred of sin, help us recognize our weaknesses, and drive us to God. The benefits of those trials will show up in heaven (2 Cor 4:17). The weight of our glory is connected to our affliction here.

We conquer by sustained love for the Lord because He sustains His love for us. And trials work for our greater good. Instead of weakening us, they make us stronger and increase our eternal glory. 


So the sum of it all: ”For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 8:38–39).

God will not let us go, and we will not let Him go.