Updated: Jul 24
Did you know, there is nothing you do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make God love you less!
You may have memorized this verse, but read it again as though it were the first time...
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
He planned to send His Son to die for our sins before He laid the foundation of the world (Titus 1:2; Rev. 13:8b). So, He knew our failures long, long ago and still loved us enough to give up His Son on a cross for us so we would not perish (Ro. 5:8).
So, He loves everyone, but even though He loves everyone, only those who believe will not perish.
Jesus said, “Everyone who believes.”
Believing must be more than an academic, intellectual, or even religious belief in the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.
James points out that “The demons also believe and they shudder” (Jas. 2:19).
No demon will be allowed into heaven. Every last one of them and Satan himself will be cast into the lake of fire (Mt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
The belief that keeps us from perishing is a type of belief that means trust and commitment.
Yesterday, I was training someone’s dog and their great-grandson, Drew, was walking with us. I love kids, so I enjoyed having time with him.
At one point near a pond, I talked about alligators in the pond. Then a moment later, I looked behind him and said, “Watch out! Here comes an alligator!”
He smiled knowingly and said, “There’s no alligator! I know you are kidding!”
I hugged him and said, “You are right. I love to kid!”
Now if my young friend had genuinely BELIEVED that there was an alligator behind him, he would have reacted a little different!
When we believe, trust, and commit to the One True God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our reaction will be a “little different” to Him and His word. Don’t you agree?
So, if you read something from the Bible that Jesus said to do, and you ignore it, could you say you believe Jesus, the Son of God, is Who He says He is?
If we say we “believe” in Him, but our life doesn’t change, our belief is only a superficial, abstract, non-committal, kind of belief and not the type of belief that keeps us from perishing!
The only kind of belief that keeps us from perishing is the kind of belief that causes us to act. Unless our belief leads us to turn to Jesus in surrender and trust Him for forgiveness, we don't believe.
I hope this strengthens your faith if you have already surrendered to Jesus.
But If this reveals to you that your belief is not based on real faith, I hope you will believe God when He says He does not want "anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pt. 3:9).
So, yes, without a doubt, Jesus loves us and died so those who believe would not perish.
Do you believe Him?
I’d love to talk with you, so let me know if you have any questions. Your questions and our discussions will be kept confidential.
Because Jesus cares about you, so do we!