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.”
The Bible’s most famous verse, John 3:16, is power packed with the goodness of God in four lessons. First we learn, “God so loved the world.” This means that because of God’s love, the Father will always do what is best for us. He deeply cares for all of His creation and desires to be in a close relationship with every one of us. He is not like the immoral false gods of Hinduism, the mindless and emotionless force-like god of Buddhism or the angry works-based god of Islam.
Second, we learn, “that He gave his one and only Son.” This means we were given the greatest gift of all- Jesus Himself. Jesus didn’t come to be served, but rather to serve. His gift to us was not only His sinless life on earth, but His loving sacrifice for our sins upon the cross. Now, we can be with the Father forever and never be separated from Jesus’ love (Romans 8:35-39)
Third, we learn, “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish.” This means that God doesn’t require our good works to be saved. Instead, He simply desires us to, “believe in Him.” Everyone can be saved from perishing, forever, in the lake of fire with the simple act of faith in Jesus. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul also taught, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Fourth, we learn, “but have eternal life.” This means because of the other three lessons you have a great promise today from Jesus, backed up by the Father and enacted by the Holy Spirit that you will have eternal life.
Your eternal life started the moment you were born again and even though your earthly body will die one day, your spiritual soul will live on and be united to a new heavenly body, at the resurrection, to live forever with God.
Sadly, those who do not believe in Jesus will suffer eternal death by punishment in the lake of fire. This is why the promise of eternal life is so special and should be received by everyone. Billy Sunday said, “God keeps no half-way house. It’s either heaven or hell for you and me.” The Father sent Jesus to die on the cross so that everyone could believe and have eternal life. Jesus said, in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Decide, today, to receive your eternal life and preach to others so they can receive it, too!
Do you have eternal life?
- Take a few moments to mediate on John 3:16 and consider the great love God has for you.
- Begin to praise and thank God for His precious gift of eternal life.
- Live, everyday, for Jesus; for eternal life is knowing the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.