An objection may be raised that says how we are to evangelize if we do not tell people that Christ died for them or God loves them? Well, maybe we should review the way we do evangelism with what the Bible says. I have not yet found a place where the apostles tell unbelievers that God loves them or Christ died for them. The call is always to repent and believe (e.g. Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). They did not come up to people and tell them: "God Loves You, Jesus died on the cross for you and has a plan for your life." Rather their call was always to repent and believe the Gospel. They did indeed speak of the Lord's atoning death, but not in such a direct way as stated above or as is most commonly done today. The call of the Gospel is that God demonstrated His infinite love for all who repent and believe (which are gifts from Him), in giving His Son to die on their behalf for their sins, so that they would receive eternal life and forgiveness. Everyone who goes to Christ as Savior will not find Himself anything less than a perfect Savior (John 6:37-40).
John's Commentary On John 3:16
1John 4:7-10 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
After writing the above about John 3:16, I came across an article written by Dr. James White wherein he made a connection between John 3:16 and 1 John 4:7-10, which seems to be John's commentary on the words of John 3:16. That there is a connection between the two may be demonstrated thus:
|1 John 4:9-10||John 3:16|
|In this the love of God was made manifest among us||For God so loved the world|
|that God sent his only Son into the world||that he gave his only Son|
|that whoever believes in him|
|should not perish|
|so that we might live through him.||but have eternal life.|
|sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins||that he gave his only Son|
John encourages his believing audience to love each other and he bases that in the fact that God is love and love is from Him. The fact that we love as the Lord Jesus has loved us (John 13:34; 15:12), demonstrates that we have been born of God because true and godly love is from God. The way that we experienced God’s love is by the fact that God sent His Son so that we might live through the Son. In John 3:16, the same idea is conveyed. God loved us and sent His Son so that we might have eternal life and not perish. God's love is first, not our love. It is His amazing and redemptive love which was given to those who do not deserve it. God loved us and sent His Son into the world to the propitiation for our sins. There is obviously a connection between 1 John 4:10 and John 3:16. In both is the idea present of the Son being sent, of God’s love and of salvation. But 1 John 4:10 helps us understand and moreover strengthens what we have tried to argue above concerning John 3:16. John is speaking of the believing community ...