Friday, February 18, 2011

Working Out John 3:16 and the Doctrine of Predestination

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (ESV)."

Growing up, all I remember hearing about this verse is that God loves everyone. But then you have the doctrine of predestination. Where exactly does John 3:16 say that God loves everyone in light of predestination? God foreordained everything. He planned who would be His and who would not. He planned on someone losing their hair before age 50 or someone having lots of hair at age 50. He planned every minute detail of every life. He predestined that some would be believers and that some would not. 

Does predestining some to be non-believers mean that God loves any one person any less than another? Not really. He cares about everyone and about everything. But the problem with assuming that John 3:16 means that God loves everyone is that God would have to predestine everyone to be believers. And according to what God says about Himself in Scripture, this just would be not true. God foreordained and predestined some to believe and others to not believe. 

John 3:16 would actually mean that those who do believe in Him will have eternal life. It's the second half of the verse in which you can see where there is a hint at the fact that God predestined some to believe and others to not believe. Because it doesn't say that God loves EVERYone. What I would like to ask is where do the more evangelical people of a certain denomination got the idea that God loves everyone. 

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