Here is what is probably the 2nd most famous quotation in all literature, but by far the absolutely most important quotation in all literature:  

God / so loved / the world / that He gave / His onlybegotten Son / (the Lord Jesus Christ) / that ANY PERSON /
who trusts in Him / will never be condemned for his sins /
but have everlasting / LIFE
/ John 3:16

In a nutshell, if you KNOW Who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and trust in Him, you will be SAVED.  You will be saved FROM "Hell," the everlasting Wrath of God coming against all the sin of mankind, and saved TO Everlasting Life which is beyond anyone's comprehension for its joy, happiness, peace, glory, power, love, etc.  If you do not do so, you will suffer the Wrath of God forever; you will "die in your sins."

It has nothing whatsoever to do with how you have lived your life! Contrary to what you have been taught.
Salvation is by believing God, via His Word, the Bible: not man's religion.

Any person who will call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ WILL BE  SAVED --- Romans 10:13

That this message is the most important is obvious: it concerns your destiny, which involves infinite time (it's forever! final! it will NEVER END), and it is of infinite intensity (no eye has ever seen anything like it; no ear has ever heard anything like it; and no person has ever imagined anything that even approaches what it will be like --- 1 Corinthians 2:9).  When you are dealing with an infinite God, it should be obvious: you are dealing with infinite consequences.  And each of us is dealing with that infinite God, know it or not, or like it, or not.  That's the way it is.  

And when we appear before Him in Judgment, did you know that there is only one thing He will not tolerate?  That one thing is if we have gone through this life ignoring Him, that is, His Bible, in particular, this message above.  As the whole world is doing.  Ever notice the absolute atheism that is blared at us all over town at Christmas time?  As everywhere else: even in most "churches," lately?  In 1 John, the statement is made, "the whole world lieth in the wicked one (satan, known as "the devil")."  Every person who has ignored Him through this life is going to have that wrong destiny (commonly called "going to Hell"); and this is the most awful fact imaginable.  Our destiny is not based on "how how we've lived;" it is based on what we've come to KNOW.  And this message will make that clear, if you will listen to God, and it will give you that knowledge, which will keep you out of Hell, and into unimaginable glory and joy forever, instead..

What does this most important message really say?  Let's look at it phrase by phrase, indicated above by the / marks:

God / The One Who made the Universe (that most famous quotation in all literature), "Him with Whom we have to do," "the Judge of all the earth," the Author of the Holy Bible, addressed to us, etc.

so loved / This statement is emphatic, and is given in an adverbial mode.  The word "loved" in the Greek is in the aorist tense, which means it refers to an action at a point in time.  That is, the love is given as an explanation of His action, which follows.  It is not a description of His attitude toward the world of unbelievers, today.  Regarding these, the same chapter goes on to say: "but he that believeth not shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.!!"  And if there is an opposite of the word, "love," it is wrath. Of whom is this awful declaration speaking?  It is speaking of those who have ignored Him (the Bible) in this life, and consequently never came to believe in Him.  Those bumper stickers proclaiming the trite, "Smile! God loves you!" and their authors, like all trite speakers, are going to give an account of their every word.

the world / This is not a reference to the earth, of course, but to the world of mankind (although the earth will receive benefit from what He did --- Romans 8:19-22, prophecies in Isaiah, etc). And, see the preceding paragraph.  The love was to provide Salvation to those individuals out of the world, who will pay attention, and believe.  The Greek words for "church" include ekklesia, which means "called out ones" (meaning called out of the world, and unto Him), and kuriakos, or "of the Lord;" that's where the sound of the word "church" comes from.  It is individuals, today, who get saved, not societies.  Remember above, "the whole world lieth in the wicked one."  Are you of the world; or are you numbered among the saved?  I pray that you will give heed, to the end of this, and become one of the latter, if you haven't already.  Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat.  "Strait and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it." --- The Lord Jesus, in Matthew 7:13-14.  If you don't believe Him, of course, you don't believe IN Him, either; nor would you trust in Him.  Only His Word, the Bible, can change that, for you.  "Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God" --- Romans 10:17.

that He gave / The Lord Jesus, though He triumphed, amongst many other things, paid an awful price to save us.  For one thing, He will be a Man, forever more, bearing forever the scars that were inflicted on Him.  This will quickly lead us astray from the more important things to us,   The heart of the Gospel of our salvation is that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures foretold, and in order to die for us, He Who is God had to become a Man, on our behalf --- forever.  This is a vast subject, not to be dispensed with; but for here we have immediate concerns.

His onlybegotten Son /
This in no way justifies the teachings of the cults, that He was a "child of God:", that He had a beginning.  That contradicts the Scriptures throughout.  The words, "son," and "child" both have common and important figurative uses in the Bible.  Missing those uses, as the KJV translators did in Matthew 5:9 and in John 1:12, lead to misinterpretations of those verses both of which severely would contradict the Bible.  But again, that's not our subject for right now.  Right now, we need to find salvation forever.

(the Lord Jesus Christ) / Any person who will call on His Name WILL BE SAVED --- Romans 10:13.  But the next verse warns, "how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?"  Don't try to get trite, with God!  He is talking about calling on the Name from the heart --- not just the lips.  And if you are not a true believer, you cannot do that.  So the message is clear: if you are not a Believer, become one!  How can a person do that?  Does he just decide to?  The answer is clear, further down: keep on!

that any person / That's you!  And me!  It could have been Judas!  Or Hitler!  Or Saul!  Or Darwin!  Or Stalin!  Or Kruschev!  Or Nero!  Or Herod! Or Menasseh! In fact, it turns out that it was some of these!  The real point to see here is that it isn't based at all on how evil, or how "good" a person is.  It's based, rather, on what the person KNOWS, as we will see in a moment. And this is SO SO important.  If you are trying to earn your way to Heaven by your righteousness, you are blaspheming Christ (Who died for our sins, according to the Scriptures), and in fact, the Holy Spirit (Who is the Author of the Bible), rejecting what He(Christ) did for you; and you are headed for Hell, instead.

who trusts in Him / Most people trust in man for everything.  Their god is Washington, or their company, or the democrat or republican party, or their insurance company, or the educational institutions, the news media, or the hospital ---.  "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man," God has said.  Trusting in man is the philosophy of "democracy," as its definition implies.  Did you know that in and before 537 BC, the Bible predicted the major world powers to come, 3 of them by name, up to the present time, and predicted the exact date and day of the week that the Lord Jesus would enter Jerusalem as her Messiah?  And be crucified 4 days later, on Friday, the 14th day of Nisan, as Exodus 12:6 and Leviticus 23 required?  THAT is the Word you can TRUST in; and you'd better!  It is "the Word of Christ."  Only God could ever make such promises. (Prophecies aren't some magical occurrences, as we seem to think; they are simply God telling us what He's going to do, and keeping His promises, just the same as if we had any men of integrity in our lying government and newspapers, or in business, they would tell us what they intend to do, and keep their promises). TRUST IN HIM!!!

will never be condemned for his sins / When I would announce this over the CB to the truckers on Ch 19, I would hear often, "that's not what it says!"  Well, they're right: the Bible was written in Koine Greek, which no one speaks any more.  And it's not even what the KJV translation says.  But it is EXACTLY what it means, by comparison with many other Scriptures, and by the understanding given by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9) to us who believe in Him.  Condemnation for sin is THE reason for the "perishing" the KJV translates.  (And "perish" isn't what the Greek says, either).  But again, that's another subject.  Believe me, for now; I'll back it up with studies later.  (John 5:24 may help for now.)  If you really are a Believer, there is nothing you have ever done or will do that you will ever have to face condemnation for (Romans 8:1).  You have been justified; you are legally perfect, before God.  And being so is the only way any person is going to enter into the Kingdom of God.  Oh, there will still be a Judgment, but it will be a different one, at a different time, and with far different criteria and results, than the one you were previously facing.

but have everlasting /Another one that the lying government has been promoting for decades, through its constitutionally illegal meddling in our schools, is that the universe and earth have been all but "everlasting."  We are told that dinosaurs roamed not since 60 - 80 million years ago, and that man has been around a couple of million years and myriads of other such nonsense, when God, Who made it all clearly tells us that He made everything therein in 6 days.  As if any rock could ever survive the internal and external destructive processes always at work therein for even as much as 1 million years.  Or that dinosaurs were walking around 60 - 80 million years ago without anything to breathe, since powerful evidences indicate the atmosphere cannot be more than about 10,000 years old.  Again, that's another subject: please see "Creation Assumptions" coming soon.  But the holocaust the powers have planned for us may be coming sooner.  The only valid reference to such time spans is in the Bible, although it doesn't call them millions and billions of years.  It speaks of eternity, which many "christian" scholars seek to deny in the commentaries. They speak of words like the Greek aionos, etc, as meaning simply ages.  But I've encountered several of these, and asked them what "never" means, in many Scriptures, eg, "They shall never perish."  Somehow, the argument fizzled away and we were soon talking about something else!  I love Isaiah 9:7, speaking of Christ, the Everlasting Father: "and of the INCREASE of His government and power there shall be no end!!!."  I can see no way possible to understand this than that this "Heaven" is going to start out far more wonderful than anyone has ever seen or could imagine, and for day after day after day after day forever and forever and forever, it's going to keep getting more and more and more and more wonderful, forever.

LIFE / I had a number of people retort, "who wants to live forever, in a world like this!"  Well, if you've gotten anything out of the preceding statement, you know how to reply to this one as well as I.

John 3:16 --- Probably the 2nd most famous quotation in all of literature.  It is contained in the most important Book in all literature, as well:  John 20:30-31 identifies the purpose of this Book, and it directly answers your question above:  "how can a man believe?  Can he just decide to . . .?"  Here is the answer, from John 20:30-31:  There are many many other things, other miraculous signs Jesus did, which are not written in this Book.  But the things that are written in this Book were selected for a definite purpose: that you might come to believe, and that believing, you might be saved and come to Eternal Life.  So, if you would like to believe, and be saved, I think that here you have a promise from God, that if you diligently seek for it in the Gospel of John, God will see to it that you have it.  What are you waiting for?  Find a Believer who loves that wonderful Book, and study with his help through it.


Christ Died to Save You