One of the expressions of God’s love involves His love for the world as expressed in John 3:16. However, as is often the case when the Holy Scriptures are brought up, the remainder of the passage is ignored. In order to get the full and correct meaning of any statement made by a Biblical writer we must place it in its proper context and include all Scriptures relevant to the subject. This means searching throughout the entire Bible. As starters in this instance, one needs to first read the next five verses to see what God wants readers to see. Remember Isaiah 28:9,10,13– “precept, line, here, there, etc.” The type of Bible study God requires is time consuming and heart (mind) absorbing. Total dedication is required in order to find His Truth. This separates sheep from goats. Sheep will study using His plan, goats will listen to their ministers tell them what they want to hear.
A cursory reading of John 3:16 leaves one with the idea that God pours out His love on mankind carte blanc, meaning that He envelopes every human being in a blanket of love whether one believes in Him, wants His love, etc. or not. This is simply not the case, as this series will show. God’s love is like a trough of water located in a certain place. Among country people we have a saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The water is available at all times where the pump is located. The horse can be taken to it. But if he is not thirsty, he will not drink. Like the water, God’s love is available to all men. God is love. The Bible is God (His love) in written form. Man must be thirsty in order to partake of His Word. Partaking of it (learning, believing and obeying it) creates righteousness in us. Our righteousness proves our love for Him. Jesus promised that if a man hunger and thirst for righteousness he would be filled (Mat. 5:6). Truly thirsty men will crave righteousness, search for it, find it and voluntarily consume it. Righteousness is the opposite of sin, which is disobedience to His Word/Law (1 Jn. 3:4). Righteousness is therefore obedience to God’s His Holy Word. Jesus said to His disciples (and the whole of mankind) that if they loved Him they would keep (obey) His commandments/Words (Jn. 13:21,23). God seekers must choose whether to receive or reject God’s love that is always available but never forced. One must voluntarily consume that love by obeying His Word. Man must believe, want, thirst for, find and voluntarily embrace God’s love. The vast majority of mankind never find it. Many believe they have found it, but spend their religious lives rejecting God’s Word and embracing in a counterfeit love which Satan has convinced them is actually God’s love. Ignorance of His Word inables Satan to deceive the church world. The Lord has some shocking things to say about this situation, things that most will not believe though I show it to them in the Book they call God’s Word.
God’s love is universal, but not mandatory. Jesus loved Judas Iscariot who sat next to Him at the Last Supper. John also sat next to Jesus. John “the disciple that Jesus loved” lay on His breast while Judas was mentally preparing to betray Him. John embraced His love/Words while Judas rejected both. There was a time when both men believed and obeyed Him. During that time He treated both the same, gave them the same ministry and promised them the same rewards for their continued obedience to the Father. In this instance, John and Judas are symbolic of “the world” that the Lord loves. Did Jesus love them both the same at the time of His death? Does He love those who reject and disobey Him the same as He loves those who love and obey Him? In John 11 we find that Jesus has received word that His friend Lazarus, whom He loved (Jn. 11:5) has died. Later, upon approaching his tomb, Jesus wept. There is no indication that He shed a tear over the death of Judas.
A much-loved Bible story concern the “good shepherd” who, having lost one of his sheep, searched for it until he found it. But notice that the sheep was HIS–IT ALREADY BELONGED TO HIM. Nothing is said about Him searching for someone else’s sheep. Let us allow God to put wisdom in our inward parts (Job 38:36). Then let us obey it. Let us find God’s love and embrace it by obeying His Words of love–his Holy Bible. L.J.