John 3:16 states: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What’s the meaning behind this verse?
Just because God loves us doesn’t mean He will protect us from sin or the consequences of our sinning. God’s love towards us doesn’t give us a license to go out and do whatever we want simply because He loves us.
I don’t know how many times I hear people say that God loves them as if His love overlooks all they do that’s not pleasing in His sight. Such people seem to think that God’s love covers a mulitude of sins that He simply wipes clean because He loves them.
Understand that it’s not God’s love that actually wipes our sins away. God can love people all He wants with unending love but if we don’t accept that love and believe in Him then His love has no redemption on our lives. Such people will perish!
God’s love provides the means of salvation but we have to accept it. How do we do that? We do that by loving God back and believing in His Son for what He accomplished on the Cross. God provides the way of salvation by His love towards us but we have to accept that salvation by our love towards Him. It’s one thing to have the provision of salvation but it’s quite another thing to accept it!
The stipulation in John 3:16 concerns the words, “whosoever believeth in Him”. Belief in Christ requires a love towards Christ that brings forgiveness, salvation and everlasting life. God’s love towards us doesn’t bring forgiveness, salvation or everlasting life unless we accept it with our love towards Him. God provides these things because He loves us but we have to accept these things because we love Him back.
God loves the whole world and it’s not His will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). Unfortunately many will perish because they do not demonstrate a love for God by accepting Christ and eternal life. God still loves those people who reject His Son but His love cannot save them if they don’t accept Christ and love Him back.
Christ said in His own words, “If you love me then keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Giving love back to God requires belief and belief requires obedience. We can’t just randomly go out and do whatever we want because God loves us. His love towards us requires a love on our part to receive salvation and live for Him.
God’s love expects a lifestyle that accepts Christ and adheres to the standards and principles of His Word. It’s not about what we think is right or wrong but what God requires of us. It’s not just about God loving us but whether or not we love Him back enough to believe in Him and serve Him.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that all is ok simply because God loves you. Your salvation depends upon you and how much you love the Lord back. God’s love provides the way of salvation but we provide the love to accept it.
How much are we willing to love the Lord? Our salvation is determined by our love for God and not just God’s love for us.