If John 3:16 were a song, it would be the best of all love songs.
When I started ministry in the church, I asked God, “Lord, what is one thing that you want your people to know?” And the answer was clear, “I want them to love me.” “Not to do more for me, not to suffer for me, but to love me.” That’s what God desires for all of us. He initiated this loving relationship; he desires and longs for that relationship with His people. Every other thing that we do should flow from that loving relationship.
The Bible contradicts salvation or eternal life with perishing. The word “perish” is the same word that is used for “the lost sheep” (Israel) in Matt. 10:6 or “the lost son” in Luke 15:24. It means a life lived without God – a purposeless and confused life. It is a life where God is not the center and motivation for living. It is life detached from God and His intentions for us.
The Bible affirms that God’s love is the sole motivation for salvation. Jesus did not come to save us from his angry Father but rather to reconcile the rebellious children to a Loving and Waiting Father. Christianity is all about this. It is about sharing the love of God. It is about using every opportunity to share God’s love with others, especially those who have not heard or known him. It is about celebrating his love for us!