One of the most quoted scriptures of the Bible is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And yet when we read this bit of scripture the only thing we take from it is the reality of God’s love.
When this scripture is the focus of sermons and bible discussions, the focus is often on the love of God and the fact he died for us. And the takeaway is that if we accept Jesus Christ, we will have everlasting life.
Now, this is a discussion among Christians so we can see why this is the main focus of the scripture, and it because these are those accepting the love of God. But if we were to look at the scripture in light of what Jesus commanded us to do as Christians, we will see and understand what the love of God is.
Just before leaving us behind, Jesus spoke these words, Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. And then he adds “Let it be done.”
Our mission is to proclaim the kingdom of God so that we might bring as many as we can into the love and kingdom of God. And the reason we are to proclaim the gospel and bring as many as we can into the kingdom of God. It is because of God’s love and desire to save us all.
Now, why is that important to know? It is important to know because of the love of God and what the scripture in John 3:16 is revealing. Not everyone will enter God’s love, and God’s love is not based on our human emotions or ideas. Instead, God’s love is surrounded by the fact of him wanting to save us. In other words, God’s love is not an emotional love toward us, instead, his love is a caring love, a love desiring to keep us from destruction.
John 3:16, “For God so cared for the world, he sent his only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in him should not perish.” And among Christians believing in Jesus Christ, the message and focus are on the caring love of God and why Jesus came into the world. And when we look at the reason for Jesus coming into the world, we are to understand he came into the world because he cared for us and that we might know the caring love of Jesus Christ is to save us from the wrath of God.
So, is the love of God an emotional love, or is it a love that is trying to save us all? This is the second part of the reality we need to focus on as Christians, and non-Christians because when the scripture speaks of God’s love, let us not forget, God is sending judgment upon the world, and it is because of this judgment he sent Jesus.
It is because the world is under condemnation God is demonstrating how much he desires to save us. John told us; the desire of God is to save us from perishing. So, when we read the scripture so many of us love and take comfort in, let us not forget our role and duty which is to love the world by warning them of the coming judgment.
However, so many of us today has associated God’s love with emotional love, so much so we have come to accept so many immoral standards rejected by God. And because we are embracing these immoral standards, we are on our way to judgment. The love of God is not emotional, neither is it a love that embraces emotional sins. Instead, is it a love that is warning us of a coming judgment and God holding the ungodly accountable for their sins.
Here is what the bible has to say about how God is viewing sinners. Psalm 7:11-16 “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If the wicked turns not, God will whet his sword; he has bent his bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordained his arrows against the persecutors.
Behold, the wicked travailed with iniquity, and has conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and dogged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.”
God is angry at the wicked everyday and has wet his sword to destroy the wicked and will bring the mischief of the wicked upon his head. Is this then God’s love, or is God now an evil God? Surely if we understand the love of God, we will see this as God’s love because he is sending out a warning to all that if we fail to turn away from our mischiefs, he will destroy us.
Again, God’s love is not an emotional love but a love desiring to save us from his wrath. And as it stands, the wicked and sinners are in danger of perishing and because of that danger, we are told “God so loved the world he sent his son into the world so that whosoever will accept him will not perish but will escape the wrath of God.