You’ve read John 3:16. Why not finish the chapter?

Really, it will only take a few minutes.

John 3:16 is a great verse, of course (aren’t they all?), but sadly too many people read it in a universalistic sense:  “Hey, if God loves the world, and world sometimes means everybody in it, then it must mean He loves me and would never punish me.  That’s all I need to hear!”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

But even reading that verse carefully shows the obvious inference: Those who don’t believe in Jesus will not have eternal life.  It is symptomatic of spiritually dead people that they read the verse and miss that.

If people would just read the next couple verses it would be more clear:

John 3:17–18 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Better yet, read to the end of the chapter and think about this truth, which restates much of verse 16.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

What?!  The wrath of God is already on those who don’t believe?!  Now why don’t the false teachers ever mention that?  Oh, right, because they’re false teachers.

As my most excellent Sunday School teacher likes to say, you won’t see that verse on many coffee mugs or t-shirts.  Maybe people should start holding up John 3:36 signs at football games . . . or at least preaching it in church.

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