The answer is: Yes! John 3:16 opens with, “For God so loved the world…” (emphasis added). There is no caveat to that statement. God loves both the lovable and the unlovable. He loves those who know Him and those who don't know Him. He loves people from every tribe and nation—God loves the whole world.
That’s why Turning Point is committed to delivering the unchanging Word of God to an ever-changing world. We want to share the love of God through every method available to us—radio, television, print, and the Internet—to reach people with the Word of God around the globe. We want to stand on the mountaintop and shout, “God loves you: He always has and He always will.”
Every person in the world is included in God's all-encompassing love or the Bible cannot be true. Perhaps you think God couldn’t love someone who had committed a terrible crime, but “God so loved the world” and sacrificed His only Son to prove it. No one is beyond the reach of God’s love.
When you read all of John 3:16 you’ll notice the phrase “whoever believes.” God’s love is expansive and He offers it to the whole world—Jesus died for everyone. But we have to reach out and accept His love in order to receive it. We must believe in Jesus in order to receive the forgiveness of sin and receive the gift of eternity with God. His love is offered—but we must accept it in order to go to heaven.
It’s His plan of salvation for you.
God’s love is steadfast and unchanging. When we show complete contempt for His love by placing other people, places, and things in His place of importance, He will correct us.
The nation of Israel is a great example. In Hosea 11:5-7, God responds to Israel’s decision to follow after Baal:
He shall not return to the land of Egypt;
But the Assyrian shall be his king,
Because they refused to repent.
And the sword shall slash in his cities,
Devour his districts,
And consume them,
Because of their own counsels.
My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though they call to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him.
He never gives up or disowns His people. His patience is great, but He knows His love is what heals us and keeps us whole. When we defy His love and refuse to repent, we may find ourselves on the painful end of God’s wrath, just like the Israelites.
Consider the apostle Paul who not only rejected Jesus Christ but also persecuted Christians. When he came to faith in Christ, God welcomed Him with open arms. It doesn’t matter how long you have been running from God and rejecting Him. He wants you to return.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son that Jesus tells in Luke 15, the son leaves his family, squanders his inheritance, shaming himself and his entire family. When he finally realizes his mistake and returns home, his father is ecstatic:
Luke 15:20-24 "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
That’s how God loves you. He is ready to welcome you into His loving arms and shower you with His unconditional love.