“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son …” Christians recite this regularly, quoting it almost as naturally as some people say, “Good morning.” But does God- love the whole world?
First of all, in fairness to this little boy’s note, “with man it may be impossible but with God all things are possible.”
We should not dismiss God’s ability to do something simply because we know we lack that ability. Nor should we negate its implications for us simply because we are not God.
When the Bible says God loves the whole world – there are no exceptions. People who are not like us, people who do not respect us, people who are not Christians, people whose values run contrary to ours – these are all people that we might want to exclude from this statement. But it is precisely those people that God loves – just as He loves us.
If there is ever a question to that statement, we simply need to go to a statement made by Jesus. “Love your enemies, bless those who persecute you.”
Part of our fallen nature is to believe that people have a special right to be loved. Let me say that differently, “of course God should love some of us, because we love Him.” The implication of that statement is that we are more deserving of God’s love than others. They have to get in line, and if God ever has to choose one over the other, best of the luck to the rest of you.
You only need to read Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 to know the error in that belief. The older brother was offended by his father’s love of the prodigal. The father said, “There’s enough love for both of you. My love for him does not diminish my love for you.”
The second half of John 3:16 puts this more plainly, “That whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” And then there’s 3:17, “For God did not send his Son to condemn the world but through Him it might be saved.”
God’s love is based on the truth that none of us are good, none of us deserve His love; but that it is His nature and His desire to love each and every one of us. What God does not love, what He hates, is the thought that we might be separated from Him by our insistence on our sin. Bill Hybels once said, “Walking around, you never lock eyes on someone from whom Christ hasn’t died.”
God loves the whole world – no exceptions.