Written on December 27th, 2006 - 12:45AM Last Updated: December 27th, 2006 - 12:45AM
The Son of God promises, in our main study verse, that God sent Him so that whoever believes in Him would not "perish" but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
This word perish ("lost" in many other verses) is in the middle voice, as it is in many other instances when talking about people perishing. It and "have [eternal life]" are subjunctives, meaning they are conditional (i.e., it may happen, it may not).
The ones believing in Him may not destroy, ruin or lose themselves, but rather may have ageless life. For we know from His other promises that whoever ruins or loses his soul for the sake of Jesus will find it forever. And we know that Christ came not to destroy men's souls but to save them—for this is why He was sent (Matthew 18:11)! But that will be studied elsewhere.
Notice that Christ's promise to those believing in Him has a conditional statement—they "may" not destroy themselves but may have eternal life instead. Those who do not believe are not capable of leaving that condition of self-destruction, as revealed by Paul:
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
To the ones "destroying themselves" the word of the Cross is truly foolishness. Why specifically "the Cross?" Because it embodies what Jesus did—He died for our sins, that we might die with Him. They cannot accept that Christ has come to give them life through His and their death on the Cross. Why is this so? Paul reveals it to the Thessalonians.
Rejection of the Truth & Self-Destruction
and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn't receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)
The Lawless One, the anti-Christ, will come and do great signs and wonders, with all deception of wickedness for "those being lost." Why are they being lost? "They didn't deceive the love of the truth that they might be saved." Rather, they glory in unrighteousness, and don't believe the truth, so that God then sends them a working of error, so that they believe the lie.
11Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; 12that they all might be judged who didn't believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
As Paul says, it is deception of wickedness—they think they have what is good but they don't realize where it leads, much as Eve in the Garden of Eden when confronted by the deception of the Serpent:
There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
How does all of this go together? Underlying people's self-destruction is their heart's state—they hate the truth but love and take pleasure in unrighteousness.
As mentioned elsewhere on this site, truth and righteousness are closely related in scripture, just as are untruth and unrighteousness. What is right is what is real. Those who reject what is real, true and right are those who reject Yahweh, the Author of Truth and Reality. The lifestyle that flows from such a rejection is self-destruction and God accomodates them by giving them more of what they follow after—the lie and its fruit, death.
But thanks be to our God and Father, Yahweh, Who has sent His Son so we might escape this and rather obtain Life! The Lord JesusChrist is our rescue from that vain lifestyle that prizes unreality, unrighteousness, a rejection of the truth as revealed by the Creator.
14As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:14-16)
Truly, this Word of the Cross is our exit from self-destruction—it remains foolishness to those who continue in their own self-ruin, but it is the glory of God for us who are believing, as Christ promised. For whoever believes in Him may not cause himself to perish but rather may have eternal life! HalleluYah!
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
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15that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15-16)