I just watched the new documentary Hellbound, and I’ll have more to say about that film later.For now, though, I just want to highlight one quote from the film. It was given voluntarily — not captured on a hidden camera or misspoken in response to some ambush “gotcha” question.
The quote comes from Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., and a popular blogger at the Gospel Coalition.
Filmmaker Kevin Miller asked DeYoung if God loves everyone. “That’s a complex question,” DeYoung said.
It’s actually a fairly simple yes-or-no question, and DeYoung’s fairly simple answer is “no.” But here’s his full response, which I’ve transcribed from the film:
Most often when scripture talks about love it is this rich, deep, jealous, covenantal love that God has with His children. And in that sense it’s not true to say that God loves everyone. Certainly not in the same way that He loves His children. And this is perhaps the best way to get at the question and why it’s striking to us. Does God always work for the joy and the happiness and the good of His children? Yes. Does He want to see all of His children come to believe in faith in Him? Yes. Will God in the end see that all of His children believe in Him, rejoice in Him, belong with Him forever? Yes. Are all people God’s children? No.
If you’re looking for a biblical text to support DeYoung’s position, I’d suggest Jonah 4:12. In my Bible, the book of Jonah ends with the 11th verse of chapter 4, in which God says to Jonah:
And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?
But I guess I just got a defective copy of the Bible — one that’s missing Jonah’s reply in which he corrects God, reminding the Almighty that Ninevites do not count because not all people are God’s children.
Or maybe my Bible is defective for including the book of Jonah at all …