What about John 3:16-18; 3:36; 5:24; 5:29; 15:1-2, 6?
John 3:16 should never be separated from John 3:17. “For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian. For God does not dispatch His Son into the world that He should be judging the world, but that the world may be saved through Him” (Concordant Literal Translation – C.L.T.). “May” here does not mean “perhaps” or “maybe.” See question #5. CLICK HERE
No one, while in unbelief, is experiencing “eonian life,” a quality of life according to Christ in Jn. 17:3. This is in the present tense. Unbelief is not a hopeless condition or no one could ever be saved. We were all in unbelief. We are all born “perishing.” We are dead until God makes us alive in Christ (Ep. 2:1). “Let the dead bury their dead” (Mt. 8:22). “She who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives” (1Ti. 5:6). To “be perishing” is not a hopeless condition, but is the prerequisite to “being” saved. “The Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (perished)” (Mt. 18:11). “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1Ti. 1:15).
The issue is this: Has God limited Himself to save sinners only in this life? (See “Hope Beyond Hell” Revised 2010 p. 65). Christ is “Lord of both the dead and the living!” God “is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him” (Ro. 14:9; Lu. 20:38). “It is not His will for any to be “lost” (perish), but for all to come to repentance” (2Pe. 3:9 NEB). However, “life eonian” is not everyone’s experience in this world. “Life eonian” is a quality of life. It is “knowing” God said Christ (Jn. 17:3). And what has God said about “knowing” Himself? “For all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (He. 8:11-12). This applies to us all. God is not partial (Ro. 2:11; 10:12; 11:26, 32; Ac. 10: 34-36; Ep. 2:14; 3:6). John 3:16-17 does not say or mean that anyone will perish forever. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him!” (Jn. 3:17 NIV). God’s purpose is to save the whole world! See John 12:47.
John 3:17 has been sadly misunderstood: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17 KJV).” Is this worded correctly? Is God just “hoping” to save the world? The word “might” here may leave us wondering. But you know what? The word “might” is not used in many translations! See how the NIV reads: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Where is the “might?” Why did the NIV translators leave it out? Were they alone in doing this? No! Numerous modern translations do not have the word “might.” Consider these:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world…
“…but to save the world.” (God’s Word Translation)
“…but to be its savior.” (Good News Translation)
“…but to save the world through him.” (New Century Version)
“…but to save it—through him.” (J.B. Phillips N.T.)
“…but to save the world through him.” (New Living Translation)
“…but to save the world through him.” (Today’s New International Version)
“…He sent him to save the world.” (Worldwide English N.T.)
“…but that the world be saved by him.”(Wycliff Bible – 2001)
“…but so that the world would be saved through his Son. (The Source N.T.)
“…but to the contrary, to the end that the world would be delivered through Him.” (Jonathan Mitchell Translation)
“…He sent him to save them!” (Contemporary English Translation)
I asked my friend, Dr. Michael Jones, a Hebrew and Greek scholar, what he thought of “might” in John 3:17. Here is a man that only reads the New Testament in the Greek language. In fact, he teaches N.T. Greek. He explained to me in a very simple way: “οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα κρίνῃ τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλʼ ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος διʼ αὐτοῦ.” Using “might” in John 3:17 is not good translating. The force of the subjunctive here “ἵνα σωθῇ” is not like a maybe, or a might. That is why many translators leave “might” out, i.e., to keep the English-only reader from getting confused. The subjunctive can be a might, i.e., a possibility–a maybe–a might, and yet, it can also emphasize a statement of fact better than the indicative mood/mode. So, let me illustrate this in English: If a translator gave us a transport from a form critical method of translation theory, he might write: “Bob hit the ball over the fence so that he might have a home-run”. But a translator using a dynamic equivalent model of translation theory might write it like this: “Bob hit the ball over the fence to get a home-run.” Note that the subjunctive is there, but difficult to see in English.”
But even with the King James Version’s inclusion of “might,” it still does not require us to limit God’s will and power to save. Consider this statement: “The dam was dynamited so that the pent up waters ‘might’ rush out.” Is there any doubt that the waters will rush out when the dam is blown away? Of course not! In the same way is “might” used in the KJV. Please consider these further examples from the King James Version itself that show this:
“But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled (Mt. 26:56 KJV).” Were the scriptures fulfilled? Yes, of course!
“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach (Mk.3:14 KJV).” Did Jesus, in fact, send them forth to preach? Yes!
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus (Ep. 2:6-7 KJV).” Is there any doubt that Christ will show His exceeding grace in the ages to come? Of course not!
There is no doubt about what Christ came to accomplish on earth. And you know what? He succeeded!
“I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work You have given Me to do (Jn 17:3 NAS).”
John 3:18: “He who is [in the present tense] believing in Him [which I believe implies walking in relationship with Christ and in obedience to Him] is not being judged; yet he who is not believing [at present] has been judged already, for he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.”
We have all been judged as sinners, having been born as descendants of Adam and walking in the ways of sin. We have thus not “yet” believed in the name of Christ and entered the process of becoming transformed into His image.
John 3:36: “He who is believing in the Son has life eonian, yet he who is stubborn as to the Son shall not be seeing life, but the indignation of God is remaining on him” (CLT). No one, while in unbelief is seeing life, but the indignation of God is remaining on him. This indignation does not mean that God does not love that person, but the converse. It is an expression of His love working in that life to affect change. For if this passage presented a hopeless scenario, then none of us could ever be saved. We were all at one time in unbelief. And “God hath concluded them [us] all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all” (Ro. 11:32 KJV). And remember, faith is God’s work in us (See “Hope Beyond Hell” Revised 2010, p. 88). We have nothing to boast of. Hebrew and Greek scholar, Dr. Michael Jones, says that the “gift” referred to in Ep. 2:8 clearly and unmistakably refers back to both salvation and faith in the Greek. (14) Faith is God’s gift! It is not of works lest anyone should boast. We are His workmanship says Paul in Ep. 2:10, the very same context!
John 5:24, 29: “He who is hearing My word and believing Him Who sends Me, has life eonian and is not coming into judging, but has proceeded out of death into life…those who do good shall go out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad things, into a resurrection of judging” (CLT). This is understood in a similar way as Jn. 3:36. The words “judging” in both cases are the same Greek word – krisis (Strong’s #2920). Krisis is the common word for judgment. For example: “Judge righteous judgment (Jn. 7:24).” “Mercy triumphs over judgment (Ja. 2:13).” “True and righteous are His judgments (Re. 19:2),” etc..
John 15:1, 2, 6: “My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. …If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (See “Hope Beyond Hell” Revised 2010 – “Refining Fire” p. 209). This may mean that Christ “removes” from his company of co-workers those who are not worthy to rule and reign with Him. This would be a great loss of privilege and honor. What happens after we are removed, as I see it, is a process of God’s purification in His refining “spiritual” fire. This is a good thing because our God is a loving Father who lovingly corrects His children (as we see in Hebrews 12:5-11).
One blogger wrote: “No one has yet nailed John 15 (especially verse 2) like Bruce Wilkenson did in his book “Secrets of the Vine” on pages 32-36. Vineyard owners/workers understand this much better than the rest of us. A branch down in the dirt is not “cut off” or “taken away” as most translations have it. Sadly, even the Young’s misses this. The proof is overwhelming using a Strong’s. Airo, pronounced ah’ee-ro, is translated as “lifted up” or “taken up” over 90% of the time in the rest of the bible. This makes perfect sense when you understand that God’s heart is like the vineyard owner toward the branch not producing down in the dirt. He “takes up” or “lifts up” the branch, cleans it off, and ties it up on a stake to retrain it to grow correctly so it can produce fruit.” – Jeremy
I have not yet verified the details of the above quote. However, regarding “airo” (Strong’s #142), the recently published, “The Concise Greek – English Lexicon of the New Testament by F.W.Danker, seems to agree with Jeremy. It states: —1. “to cause to move upward’, raise up, lift: take up a pallet Mt 9:6; a cross 16:24; 27:32; pick up a stone J 8:59; 11:41. The 1st aor.act. impv. apov 19:15, in view of the attendant cry otavpwoov, is prob. to be understood as hoist (him), namely on a cross. Lift/draw up skiff Ac 27:17; abs.w. obj. understood weigh anchor vs. 13. In extended sense: of vocal sounds, npav owvnv (the lepers) raised their voice Lk 17:13. In imagery keep in suspense J 10:24. —2. ‘move by lifting/taking from one position to another‘, take away, remove, carry off Mt 21:21; 24:39; Lk 6:29; J 2:16; 19:31, 38; expel 1 Cor 5:2. Cp 6:15. An imagery of sin taken away by Christ J 1:29: 1 J 3:5. In some of the Johannine passages there is probability of wordplay, with aipw functioning in combinations of upwardness, removal, or elimination. This seems to be the case esp. J11:48; 15:2.
14 Jones, Dr. Michael. Phone conversation. December 2009.
From Hope Beyond Hell Revised 2010 pages 221-223 (appended here — 12/19/2011)