I was sharing the Gospel with an acquaintance and another (I suppose) Christian kept cutting me off in mid conversation to tell me how important  it is to love, but to be honest their words and actions just got in the way and made it awkward.  I found myself having to re-circle their comments and try to draw them (their words) in to what I was saying.  I achieved my goal and later as I thought about the conversation I realized they were disputing and contending with the word not because what I was staying was wrong, but because they wanted to be seen as important and knowledgeable. Now do not misunderstand me here I like the word love.  Did you know the word “love” is used 280 times in the New Testament?  And did you know the Greeks use eight words (some say 12 words) for what we use one word to mean.  For example the word “philia” to have attachment for with a friend,  “eros” where we get the word erotica (not a good word for love), “stogy”  an attachment as a mother has for a son, or “agape” which means dedicated.  In John we read, “For God so loved (dedicated) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16) Jesus dedicated Himself towards the world, He did not love it.  There is a big difference between loving someone (you cannot really love a thing) and dedicating yourself towards them. Karen my wonderful wife gave me four wonderful kids, stuck with  me as we have romped around the world, and has faithfully served me for almost 37 years. If I only loved her “eros” or “philia” because of her strength and beauty and when it fades as grass (we all like grass will wither and fade) then I too would fade away, but how could I do this? She has dedicated “agape” herself towards me, oh no my friend it is much more than love.  Love is never  enough.   It takes more than love or even loving someone for someone to go to heaven.  We can love someone with all that is within us and they still will go to hell unless they understand what sin has wrought in their lives, confess, and repent.  Would it not be nice if all we had to do was love someone?  Oh no, God has laid out a plan (His big idea) for us to follow (understand what sin has wrought in their lives, confess, and repent) and we cannot change that plan no matter how we try or want too.  When we try to change it we are moving outside the fame work of God’s plan for salvation, moving in direct rebellion (even in love) to what God has said and done.  Christians that dispute the word and try to do things their way do so because of their immature thinking and strong doctrinal beliefs. They cannot cut through all of their religion and presumption and just let the Holy Spirit minister to the person.  I am waiting on the right time to let my Christian (she says she is) friend know, but for now I know she cannot handle my words of correction so instead of losing her I will be long suffering and try to include her in things without losing sight of what God is doing. You know our love is a reflection of our emotions and feelings not an expression of one’s need for salvation. To say you love someone yet do not tell them the truth of their need to understand what sin has wrought in their lives, confess, and repent is all about your need to be exalted and stroked and not the person’s need for salvation.  We must love them enough to put up with and endure the scorn, ridicule, and even the loss of their friendship. Paul told the Church at Ephesus, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”  (Ephesians 4:14-15)  One can only imagine what was going here there. He did not tell them to just love them, “but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things.”  Love without truth is useless and destructive, it is selfish, and carnal wanting its way without confronting the sin that is at hand.  Sin must be dealt with by us.  God has done His part He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place for our sin, but before we can receive our salvation we must “confess” or agree with what God is saying about us is true and that is “for we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)  And make no mistake my friend if you agree with “speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things”  you will hated by acquaintances, neighbors, friends, and most of all family.  I have seen this in my immediate family still to this day we have been excluded in family outings and not made a part of family plans because of our stance on the standards of God’s word and the Gospel. Oh my family would say just love them (do not judge me) and everything will take care of its self, wrong.  My dear and precious mother (who I believe to be in heaven now) whom I love and cherish so much had this area wrong.  We cannot turn our head away from sin (even for the sake of family unity) and say to just love and pray for them that will never lead them to salvation, but gives them excuse and cover to continue in their ungodly ways and lifestyle.  As I look back and now can see the condition of the lives (I was told to just love and pray for) involved I can see the word of God is true.  Their lives today are even more messed up and sin has strengthened its heinous grip in new ways.  No my friend loving them is not enough.  Love is not enough.  If we come to Christ we all must come the same way:  understand what sin has wrought in our lives, confess, and repent now this is God’s love.