I would like to speak to the issue of the love of God for the world, (John 3:16). We are told that God so loved the world, meaning in a very special way, a very special love was manifested through Christ's death. This special love is a love that saves sinners from condemnation. This special love exhibited by the Father coincides with Unconditional Election in that it is an unconditional love for many people worldwide in its scope. It is no longer limited to physical nation of Israel, the apple of His eye. The Father's love gift of Christ was not conditioned on any good works of man, including prayer. No man first prayed, "Father, send us a Savior to save us from our sins," in order to motivate God to take action. No. The Father took action before any man thought to ask. In fact, His decision to take action came before His act of creation. Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, before the world was created. In this respect God's love in sending us a Savior is unconditional. In this same respect God's special love for His Elect is unconditional. Those whom He so loves, He actually saves to the uttermost. His decision to save them predates their conscious need to be saved. This is predestination.

Unconditional Election is God's special love for certain sinners given before they loved Him -- before they asked Him for help or for salvation.

We know that Scripture teaches us God is immutable. He never changes, I, the Lord, changeth not&.the same yesterday, today and forever. A question soon arises. If the Lord never changes, then He must have so loved the world in the Old Testament times as well. How then could He 'love the world' in the days of Noah, when He destroyed every man, woman and child, with the exception of 8 humans? What kind of 'love' is that? Can you imagine Noah sticking his head out of the Ark's porthole shouting to the people as the flood waters rise, "Don't worry, fear not. God loves you. That's why He's drowning you!" It sounds absurd, does it not?

In fact, God did love Noah and his family, which is why He actually saved them. They alone comprised the world of God's love. The rest of mankind were judged and condemned. This, too, showed God's love --- His love for justice and the appropriate accompanying punishment. To Noah, the Lord revealed His love of saving grace and mercy. To the rest of the world, the Lord revealed His love of merciless judgment, commensurate with the crime.

Noah had done nothing to earn this saving grace, while the rest of mankind did everything to earn their just judgment. Noah found favor, while the others did not. The decision pertaining to whom God will love enough to actually save from judgment emanates from the mind and will of God alone. It is unconditional, independent of man's will and good works.

I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

In John 3:16, Jesus was teaching the hard truth that God actually loved goyim, the gentile dogs whom the Jews despised. This truth had been taught in the Old Testament through many examples, including Noah, though the Jews did not perceive it.

Furthermore, John 3:16 teaches the Protestant doctrine of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The special love of God results in saving grace which must precede all. Christ alone is the sacrificial gift who propitiated the Father. It is by belief or faith in Christ as the only One who merited salvation for us that we escape damnation. Thus, John 3:16 teaches another essential Protestant doctrine: justification by faith alone. Once we are justified, we cannot be lost or condemned. God does not change. Nor do His decrees. This great truth is little understood today, causing false teachings to arise in abundance.

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