Don't Tell an Unbeliever 'God Loves You,' Texas Pastor Asserts in a Controversial Tweet

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Monday, April 25, 2022
Don't Tell an Unbeliever 'God Loves You,' Texas Pastor Asserts in a Controversial Tweet

Don't Tell an Unbeliever 'God Loves You,' Texas Pastor Asserts in a Controversial Tweet


A Texas pastor sparked an online debate last week over a tweet where he argued that unbelievers should not be told that God loves them.

Gabe Hughes, an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, tweeted the following message last Wednesday: "You should not tell an unbeliever, "God loves you." The apostles never shared the gospel this way. The Bible says God's wrath is upon unbelievers (John 3:36, Romans 1:18).

"Help them see their sin, warn them of the judgment of God, and give them the gospel," he continued.

According to ChurchLeaders.com, Hughes' post was met by mixed responses, with some agreeing with his sentiment and others disputing it.

"Yikes. For God so loved THE WORLD," one person wrote in reference to John 3:16. "I'm so sorry if you've been shown otherwise. So very sorry. Truly."

"One of the absolute worst things we can say to an unsaved person," another user commented.

Kim Ketola, an author and the host of Cradle My Heart Radio, also chimed in on the debate, sharing how she came to Christ after someone told her, "Jesus loved me enough to die for me."

"I was broken over sin already. She quoted 1 John 1:8-9 to me and said he would have come for me if I was the only one, that's how much he values me," she told Hughes.

In response, Hughes said, "Respectfully, 'He would have come for me if I was the only one' is self-centered. That is not God's plan of redemption. If you follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit brought you to Him in spite of some of those words you were first told, not because of them. I say this in love."

As reported by Church Leaders, other people pointed out that Hughes' idea of God's love is rooted in Calvinism. According to Calvinist doctrine, God's love is only extended to the elect, those God has chosen in advance for salvation.

"I suspect Gabe holds to the reformed position that God doesn't actually love everyone, just the elect," one person wrote.

"I used to be in that [Calvinism] camp, and it makes me sad," another said.

"I don't know if I would have ever become a Christian if someone hadn't told me 16 years ago, 'You know, Calvinism isn't true. And so you can be 100% sure that God loves you,'" one user tweeted, adding that "God's 'wrath' and God's love are the same thing."

Hughes, who voices the YouTube channel WWUTT, also tweeted that an unbeliever should not be called a "child of God."

"You should not tell an unbeliever, "You're a child of God." The Bible says they are children of Satan (John 8:44), as we all once were (Eph. 2:1-3) before being adopted into God's family by faith in Jesus," the pastor wrote.

"Help them see their sin, warn them of judgment, and give them the gospel."

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Motortion


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.