Thre are multitudes in our country who know this verse. They know it is in the Bible even when they do not know the Bible. John 3:16 has been popularized by celebrities and the media as a means to say “God loves the world” including everybody in the world.
But, it’s that so? Let’s examine the context of John 3:16 for a moment.
“Joh 3:15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
When we pay attention to the context, we find a few interesting and important facts:
God loves those who believe because the believer is saved but the unbeliever is condemned already.
The love of God is connected to the light. Those who walk in darkness do evil deeds and hate the light because it reveals their evil deeds.
The love of God is connected to the truth. Those who love the truth also walk in the light and they have eternal life.
So, can we honestly preach that God loves everybody?