The most popular verse in the Bible is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 3 verse 16… Let us all say it together from the King James Version.  That is most likely the version you first learned…”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.KJV

Not only is this the most popular verse in the Bible, it is the greatest “LOVE” verse ever written.  Let’s take a look at this verse in three different Bible translations to get a clearer understanding of its meaning:

New International Version
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

King James Bible
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

International Standard Version
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who believes in him might not be lost but have eternal life.

It does not matter which translation you prefer, it tells of  God’s great love with every interpretation.  It is within this simple verse that the complete story of the Gospel can be found. Knowing this truth, transforms this verse from the simple to the complex.

In this popular verse, we not only find the definition of God’s love, we can read the depth of how God loves us. Not just some of us, but all of us. We see the depth’s focus through the biggest little word in the Bible, “SO”…For God “SO” loved the world.  Try saying it without that tiny adverb.  It completely changes how God’s love of the world is emphasized.  Dr. David Jeremiah says it this way:

The biggest little word in the Bible may be the word “so”. Included in “so” are all the agonies of the cross, and all the riches of God’s grace, all the depths of my sins, and all the beams of his mercy. The cross is bound up in that adverb “so”. God so loved the world that he went to extraordinary lengths to express it. His love is beyond comprehension, for we cannot fathom a God who would willingly, self-sacrificially create the set of conditions we call “Calvary”.~~Dr. David Jeremiah

No one could ever love us the way God “SO” loves us. John 3:16 sums everything up in a way our human minds can perceive it. It doesn’t take anyone by surprise that this verse is the most popular well known verse of all time. We have seen it posted everywhere across the world. The very fact that this verse has it’s own Wikipedia page is validation of its popularity. Wikipedia speaks of the popular culture of John 3:16 in this way:

Popular culture

John 3:16 printed on the bottom rim of an In-N-Out Burger paper cup.

Some people (such as the Rainbow Man) display the reference in large letters at sporting events, seeking the attention of fellow fans, the staff controlling the venue’s giant video screens and, if the game is televised, the television audience.[12] The Heisman-winning American football player Tim Tebow printed this reference (among other Bible verses) on his eye black, notably during the 2009 BCS championship.[13] Exactly three years later on January 8, 2012, was the game that would become known as “The 3:16 game”, where Tebow threw for 316 yards in a playoff upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers; a game in which measurements of 3, 16 and 31.6 were also noted, “John 3 16” became the top Google search in the US. Professional wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin‘s marquee catchphrase (“Austin 3:16”) originated as a reference to John 3:16.~~Wikipedia

To meet the most popular verse of all time, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.. is to have the introduction to the greatest love verse of all time.

This Love is not like any other kind of love we can define. In fact, when this verse was written, the Greeks had to come up with a new word to describe this kind of love. That word was Agape. Agape love is the highest form of love that originates from God to man. This love is not romantic nor sexual in nature. It is a self-sacrificial kind of love for fallen man and humanity by a Holy God. This love is immeasurable and never ending. It does not harm or disappoint us. It never abandons or abuses us. It is the only kind of love that can redeem and restore us. Heal and comfort us. It is the beginning and the end of all love. This great love only originates from God and yet is available to the entire world for free. It costs mankind nothing because Jesus paid the price for us. It is a beautifully wrapped gift He offers to the world. And all mankind must do is simply receive this gift and proclaim it as their own. How are we to do this? Let’s take a closer look to what scripture says…

New International Version
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe ivn your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
New Living Translation
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
English Standard Version
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

The greatest love of all is more than a Whitney Houston song. More than a Wikipedia page. And certainly more than any human type of love possible. It is God. God IS Love. It is available to each of us and simply ours for the taking. Let’s go to scripture and see how we are to accept this free gift…

New International Version

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

New Living Translation

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

English Standard Version

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.if we just confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts Jesus Christ is Lord the Bible says then He will save us.

Save us from what you may ask? Let me remind you of the Gospel of John 3:16, the most popular verse in the world…God wants to save us from perishing so that He can give us eternal life with Him. We must believe the Truth that Jesus died to save us because God first “So” loved us….If you want to know “real love” you have to reach out to where the greatest Love of all begins…with God.