How often have we heard that this is the most important part of the Bible? Christians hang on it very strongly, and rightly so. As in my post about scripture mistakes, I want to go over this deeper. People need to dig into what it says, and then live by it. There is no arrogance in it, yet people become arrogant when they read it. Sad, isn’t it?
What John 3:16 Does Not Say
“For God so loved His chosen people, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I see this most often. In the four below, I give specific examples of “chosen people”. Basically, we try to make “chosen people” read “people like me”. It’s something for us to outgrow in our walk with Jesus!
“For God so loved good people, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I can’t say how often I have been told “God will NEVER let that person in, do you know what they DID?” Sigh. It has nothing to do with what they DID, does it? While we may agree on a generic level, so many Christians pick out someone else and say that person cannot go to heaven. It’s a common, human mistake.
God also loves the people I have trouble respecting!
“For God so loved the members of your (my) church, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Oh boy, I have run across this too many times to not remember it. There are quite a few churches like that in my own area where they look down on members of other churches! Really? Yes, really.
“For God so loved <insert your denomination here>, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Unfortunately, some people identify with their denomination instead of with their Lord. A few years ago I was visiting a city for work and went to church that Sunday. At the luncheon afterward, I was asked my denomination. Ouch. Yes, I politely told them I was a Christian. They laughed once they realized where their focus was!
“For God so loved Christians, that He gave His only Son, that whoever joins a Christian church should not perish but have eternal life.”
It is easy to believe that this is what John “should have” written because it’s “more accurate”. However, it’s not true. It’s closer than the other, but still not what John wrote, nor what that verse says! After all, don’t we believe that only Christians are going to heaven?
I’m not sure that you “have to” be a “registered” Christian in a church for God to love you! As I was once told, we are going to be very surprised at who we find in heaven when we get there!
No, I am not being sacrilegious, I am being thoughtful! Moses, Abraham, Joshua, and others from the Old Testament are there in heaven. God doesn’t hold today’s standards against people that had no chance at all to meet those standards in the past! Notice how the “Lazarus” of this scripture was not a Christian, as Jesus is telling the story as it happened in the past! (Luke 16: 19-31).
The Real One
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – ESV Bible, 2016
Notice how it says:
- “the world”. Many versions use “the whole world”, to emphasize that God loves EVERYBODY that lived, lives, and will live. EVERYBODY! No matter what culture, what country, what nationality (if any!), or when they lived. He loves the Aztecs, the Pharaohs, the Samurai, all in Africa and everywhere and whenever else!
- He “gave” His unique Son. I forget that God is the giver of the gift and that the free gift is Jesus.
- Remember that even the demons know who Jesus is, and they are not saved, they are afraid of Him! (Luke 4:34)
A more personal version for you!
You can read a very personal version of John 3:16-21 after entering your name in it!
Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!
To see and use Personalized Scriptures, visit http://napsvbible.blog and enjoy!