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.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:16 is without question the most beloved, most-used verse in all of scripture to direct people to salvation through Jesus Christ.
Whom did God love?
He so loved the world. He did not wait for all the people of the world to love Him. His love was offered freely to all, not just to His chosen people. He offered His love while it was still the world, that is, the whole system of the world. Economy, education, religion–all the major world systems. He loved in spite of the corruption of all the systems of the world. Remarkable.
The idea that God loved not only His chosen people, but ALL the people of the world, was revolutionary to the Jews, who believed they alone were the object of God’s love. And He SO loved: loved immeasurably, loved without limit.
How did He show His love?
He gave His only Son as a blood sacrifice to cleanse the world of sin. How could that be? The atonement for sin had to be perfect, spotless, without blemish, without sin. That is why He was born of God.
The atonement for sin also had to be born of a human, to share the human condition, to suffer in our place for the sin that was placed on Him. The Bible says that He became sin for us ( II Cor. 5:21). He suffered, in His humanity, as we deserve to suffer.
That whosoever believeth in Him: Salvation is available to all. II Peter 3: 9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Should not perish: To perish, in this context, means to lose eternally the available relationship with God, and to spend eternity in hell, with no further chance at redemption.
But have everlasting life: Everlasting life is eternal life with God, in a place we have difficulty imagining even with the descriptions we have in God’s Word.
God did not send His Son into the world to judge, or condemn, the people of the world. God sent Jesus into the world to provide salvation , to provide a way of escaping the condemnation of hell.