Pastors have to field many questions, some are very off the wall, but most people have similar types of questions. We all want to know “why” at times (for which there is not always a clear answer), we all want assurance as well, but once I heard a question answered that really got under my skin (this is not an easy thing to do).
Someone asked the question online “can I tell my child that God loves them?”
This is a quite honest and heartfelt question, and one that I think is easy enough to answer, but I was shocked and astounded when the reply was “well, yes and no…”
The “hang-up” for the one answering the question is because he holds to a theological construct whereby Jesus only loves and cares for the church and has left the rest of the world out in the cold. This is false and a direct contradiction to the New Testament.
My answer to that question is “absolutely, we know God loves everyone, not only that, Jesus died for the whole world, and that includes your child!”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
There is probably no more popular verse that John 3:16, but it is an amazing verse none-the-less.
“For God so Loved the world’ not that “he loved the world, so he did this…” but “This is how He showed His love for the world…” the “so” (οὕτως) is about “how” He loves the world.
“he gave his one and only Son” that’s the depth of His love, He gave His “only” Son. Not that God doesn’t have any other children, through Christ, we all have the ability to become children of God, but the “only” (μονογενής) is speaking of Jesus’ “uniqueness.” God doesn’t have any other children like Jesus. He is the only one who is just like God, He is the unique Son of God.
“that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” why did He do this? So that whoever, All (πᾶς) who believe in Him wouldn’t perish but be able to live forever!
“…This is how much God loved the world, He sacrificed His unique Son because He wanted to provide a way for ALL of us to be able to believe and receive eternal life as His gift to us…”
What an amazing verse!