It is not unusual for true ministers of God to have their teachings deliberately misconstrued by enemies, to discredit them. This happened to our LORD Jesus, when he was accused of being a threat to the Temple and of blasphemy against the sacred place. It also happened to the Apostle Paul, when his detractors accused him of teaching that believers can sin with impunity, since Grace is free and available.
And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just. ( Romans 3:8 NASB)
They slandered Paul and Jesus this way, so why be surprised that Satan still uses this tactic?
I have been giving a teaching for a few years about John 3:14-16. I freely acknowledge that the teaching came to me through a fine Bible Expositor in the UK named David Pawson. *
In this particular teaching, the Greek tenses are used to show the nature of the act of God in sending his Son, and the nature of true Faith in Jesus and the reception of eternal life.
The tenses tell us that , …once God loved the World. They also teach us that, “whosoever goes on believing in Him, shall go on having eternal life”.
I think this is a profound and important point, because there are so many who have come under a mistaken notion of both the Love of God, and of the meaning of salvation.
So many have been taught that God’s love for the World, is ongoing and is “unconditional” and that Believing in Christ is a one time experience with eternal results. In fact the opposite is true.
God doesn’t have an ongoing and up and down relationship with this World. This World is under a sentence of Divine Judgment, and the attitude of God towards it is uncompromising. The sentence is passed, the execution of the sentence will come at any time. The World hates God, is hostile to Christ, and it’s real “god” is the Devil.
But Jesus told us in John 3 that God Loved the World ( notice even in English the tense is past, God so loved the World, the Bible never asserts that God so Loves the World). Once God did something in Love for a World which hates and rejects Him, and the results are everlasting. He sent his only begotten Son to die as a substitute for us.
I have never asserted that “God doesn’t Love us” or that “God’s love is not eternal”, or “God only Loved us Once”, or any other variation of a denial of the love of God for mankind, for Believers or for Jews or even for individual unbelievers! As The Apostle Paul said, ‘Perish the very thought of it’! Of course God loves us!
Remember that John 3:16 is talking about the World. The World is a particular Spiritual entity. God once loved the World, ( ie, Humanity as it has organized itself to the exclusion of God).
There is only one locus for the LOVE of God for this World, it is in the Cross of Jesus Christ, and no where else.
Furthermore, it should be obvious that the Love of John 3:16 is a verb, an action. God did something purposefully, for the World, once. He sent his Son to live among us and to die for us on a cross. How many times is He going to do that? Only ONCE.
The millions through time who have heard the voice of God and have been drawn out of this world, to become the church, are not the World anymore. God loves them all the time, and always will love them.
God loves the Jews, whom God loves because of the Father’s and whom God will save at the end of time, for His loving kindness is better than Life.
Of course the Love of God is ongoing, but all of it radiates out of Calvary, there is no way to know the Love of God, or experience it other than through Calvary.
This is really important because there is a sentimentalized version of the LOVE of God which is softening people and opening them up to a humanistic , false gospel, stripping people of the conviction they need to turn to God.
This is why Satan is inspiring certain people to distort and misrepresent my teaching.
* I do not say this as if I cite Pawson as an authority, to bolster my argument. In my view and practice, only the Word of God is authoritative in an absolute sense. The reason I cite him is for the purpose of clarity and openness. I learned something from Pawson, checked it out in scripture and am sure it is true to the text.