Rollen Stewart, the man in the rainbow wig, became famous for his antics of holding up John 3:16 signs at major sporting events. Later he became famous for both kidnapping and having an armed stand off with the police. His fame and popularity with John 3:16 eventually ended with him currently serving 3 life sentences in the California prison system.
Most if not all Jewish Christians (Judeo-Christians) will tell you things such as the entire Bible revolves around this one verse or the entire Bible is wrapped up in this one verse, and anyone can just become an Israelite if they just simply believe the contents of this verse. However, it's my opinion that this is not the case, but rather this verse is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted verse in the Bible, as the Bible was written to Israel about Israel, which I will not go into this in this particular post, but rather will just look at the verse itself.
Today, I want to encourage all to think objectively about the contents of this verse.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
First you should notice the word "world". According to Strong's Concordance #2889 the word "world" was translated from the Greek word "Kosmos" and is defined as being an orderly arrangement. The orderly arrangement that the Messsiah was talking about was his order of his Kingdom that once existed on earth and hopefully will exist soon on earth again. Yashua (Jesus) told Pontius Pilate in John 18:36 that his kingdom was not of this present "Kosmos" or world order.
All man made or man led Kingdoms degrade and eventually will be destroyed. Man has polluted the air, land, and oceans of the world through greed and selfishness. The 6,000 year curse of living without God is coming to and end soon. Kingdoms that are created by Israelites (Israel means to rule under God's law) that possess the fruit of the spirit of Galations 5 will become successful and thrive. The soon coming Kingdom of God will last forever.
Second, you should notice that there is a contingency. This is not a simple belief that the Messiah existed and you just accept him into your heart as most will preach, whatever that means, but rather you must do something to not perish in the second death. one really has to read the entire chapter to understand the context of this verse itself. I could realistically spend many posts just on this one chapter, but for the sake of brevity, I will only mention one other verse in John 3. If you look at John 3:30 it states that he must increase, while we decrease. Only when we empty ourselves of our selfish ambitions and turn our lives over to God is when he can use us and we can start living a life for God. This can only be accomplished by the call of God that draws us John 6:44. The Bible also tells us to overcome Rev 2:26-27 this system of man's Government and to receive the divine nature from God to over come the lusts of the world 2 Peter 1:4.
There is no place in the Bible where the Messiah came to save souls and just preached for people to accept him into their lives. After all if it was just that simple, believing in the Messiah without accepting the Kingdom Message that he preached, then anyone that has heard the name of the Messiah on the entire planet should be "saved" no matter what else they believed. Obviously, common sense would tell you this is not the case.
Third, you should notice the word "should" in the verse. Most people today do not understand what the definition of the word "should" is. They some how equate the word "should" with "will" or "would". One analogy I have used before is: if we were diffusing a bomb and I told you that "you should be OK if you cut the green wire". How much faith would you have if I were to say that as compared to me saying "you will be OK if you cut the green wire"? The word "should" in this verse is to be read exactly like it's written. Yes, you should be OK if you believe in and live for the Kingdom order of the Messiah. It does not in any way state that you will be OK if you simply accept Jesus nor just only believe in the Kingdom Message that he preached. You actually have to believe and do something to promote his Kingdom here on earth. Then you will be judged accordingly. In the end there will be many that think they are Christians that will not be able to enter his kingdom Matt 7:21-23.
Admittedly I am interjecting my own interpretation (I even have problems with my interpretation also) below and believe this verse should be written something like:
For God so loved the order of his Kingdom, that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes in both God and his Kingdom and turn their entire life over to the Father should not perish, but should live forever in his coming Kingdom.
If other people have comments on this I would love to have them put them in the comment section.
Until we read the Bible understand the words and context of the Bible, we are not going to understand.
Praise the Lord!