Perish or Eternal Life?

Perish or Eternal Life?

The best known verse in the Bible is probably John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NLT)

This verse is loved so much because it presents the Gospel in simple, clear language.

Yet, we rattle it off so easily we often fail to catch its deep meaning and beauty.

God so loved:” Love is who God is. It’s His defining characteristic. This isn’t just emotional love that is on or off depending on how He feels. This is a deep love described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT)

“God so loved the world:” He doesn’t have favorites, but loves every person in this world unconditionally. He loves those on the far right who still believe the election was stolen as much as He loves those on the far left who think we should simply force everyone to get a vaccine. He loves those who are trying to survive at our boarders hoping to get in as much as he loves you and me. “The World” means everyone – and everyone means everyone, no exceptions!

“God so loved the world that He gave:” When you love someone you naturally want to give them gifts. This is a characteristic of true love – love gives.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son:” This is perhaps the most amazing part of this verse. God gave the most precious thing He had, the life of His Son. If you’re a parent, you have an idea of what this means. This is how valuable you are to God. Your life is worth the life of God’s Son. This is also how valuable that person who cut you off in traffic is to God – his life is also worth the life of God’s Son. This is why God always wants us to treat everyone with love and respect.

And the purpose of all this?

To convince you to put your belief and trust in Him so you will not perish, but have everlasting life. That’s life you’re still living one billion years from now. In fact, that’s only the first of an infinite number of a billion year segments.

Perish or Eternal Life?

That seems like it should be an easy choice to make!