Shall Not Perish
The most well known Bible verse is John 3:16. It communicates God’s love to unbelievers, but it’s so much deeper than we tend to see. It certainly conveys His love, but it also wraps up the gift of salvation and eternal life in the word perish. When we go on into verse 17, we also see God’s character. He does not want to condemn the world. He wants to save it!
Perish is a rich word in English, and also the original Greek. People tend to just think of it to mean death. And, it does. But, in English, it also means to destroy, to suffer complete ruin, and to rot. The Greek word used here is apollumi and means to fully destroy, die, lose, and to mar. So, not only will those who put their faith in God have eternal life, but we will not ever be fully destroyed, nor will we lose, nor suffer ruin. No matter what this life throws at us, when we are in Christ, we have everlasting life which begins at salvation, not at death.
Looking at this passage even deeper, there are a few points to consider. First, we don’t initiate salvation; God does! He gave His Son so that we shall not perish, but have everlasting life. When we believe in His work on the cross, our eyes are opened to the Kingdom of God and He adopts us into His royal family. Still, it is not our belief which saves us. It’s only through His blood and His grace that we can even attain faith. Faith is a gift; God’s sacrifice is what gets us there!
The sacrifice of His Son is motivated by love. Love for us, love for His creation. He lavishes His love on us. That’s really comforting when you consider it. God’s only motivation can be love, because God is love. It’s not a feeling He has. It’s what He is. And, through all our darkness and through our lives in sin, He still loves us. Before repentance and surrender is when He shows the depth of His love, because while we were still in that miserable state, He sacrificed His Son so that we would not perish in our sins! Rather than let us be utterly destroyed, He saved us.
And finally, this gift of salvation is not for only certain people. It’s for everyone! It’s for whosoever. There is no nation, no tribe, no tongue who is exempt from God’s offer of salvation. With the current issues in our world, this is good news. There is no hierarchy of human worth to God! We have all been bought for a price; the price of God’s only Son.
Study this passage, even though you’ve read and heard it a hundred times. Study it, and know the value of the people in this world to God. He so loves us and desires to save everyone from perishing!
We love y’all and we’re praying for you. We’re saving you a seat at Community Family Church!
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