Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is Perfect Love a Requirement for Entering Heaven?

QUESTION: Should the experience of perfect love be taught as a requirement for entering heaven, or as a high privilege of the regenerate and as an especial equipment for a more devoted service for the Master?

ANSWER: We admire Wesley's advice to preach this great blessing by drawing, not by driving. It will do much harm to threaten true believers with hell fire, if they do not consciously receive their full heritage in Christ in this life. There are no such threatenings in the Word of God against the children of God. "If children, then we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ." Perfect love is the preparation for the heaven to which the first degree of love gives the title. Every genuine Christian is a candidate for perfect love, if he perseveringly seeks it. No one can love God a little without desiring Him to love him with all his heart, and no one can love with all his might without desiring a larger capacity for loving. Says Faber:

"And they who love God cannot love him by measure, 
For their love is but thirst to love him still better."

The perfect love described by St. John is characterized by its fearlessness, which can arise only from its moral purity. This is the quality of the perfect love which Wesley preached. This is sooner or later the heritage of every persevering believer. From this point onward he is no longer dissatisfied, but he is forever afterwards in time and in eternity unsatisfied, crying with good Ambrose of old, "Ampliora Domine, ampliora" — More, Lord, more.

"Insatiate to this spring I fly;
I drink and yet am ever dry;
Ah! Who against thy charms is proof?
Ah! Who that loves, can love enough?"

Steele's Answers pp. 64, 65.