John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
We who believe in Jesus Christ of course desire to be loved by him and his Father. Of course we are constantly told that God loves us according to John 3:16.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Yes, God loves everyone and does not want anyone to perish in hell. He demonstrates his love for us by sending his Son Jesus to bear our sins through his death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection. But if we choose not to believe in him, we shall indeed perish in hell. So although God’s love is “unconditional”, that love will not unconditionally keep people from hell. Yes, God loved the world, but that love will not keep people from the consequences of sin—torment in hell—if people refuse to repent of their sin. There are indeed conditions for God’s love and salvation to be manifest.
In the same way, if we as believers want to be loved by God in this life in a manifest way, there are conditions to be satisfied. We must have his commands and keep them, meaning we must obey his commands. If we want our Lord Jesus to show himself to us, we must obey his holy commands.
If we say we love the Lord yet do not obey his commands, we really don’t love him. Loving the Lord is more than simply subscribing to a set of theological statements. It is more than simply feelings. It is also knowing and keeping his commands. Only by doing that will we come to know the fullness of his love. Only by obeying his commands will the Lord reveal himself to us intimately and in a life-transforming way.
Isaiah 48:18 If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your well-being like the waves of the sea.
And it is through the indwelling Holy Spirit that we can fully obey the Lord’s commands.
Do you have his commands and keep them?