Perhaps the most popular verse in the Bible is John 3:16.
But perhaps the most misunderstood verse is also this one, one reason being BECAUSE it is the most well known.
The reason I say this is that, since so many people remember and even "live by it," this verse actually changes so few lives, when it is the one verse given to create the greatest impact.
The verse is most often used and thought of as a "catch verse," much like a catch phrase or motto which we use almost as a cliché, to impact people but not to teach them.
When would a man give his son as a sacrifice, as God did? Only when he loves so much the purpose of that sacrifice. When he loves so much the one to whom he will sacrifice, like Abraham when he was called to sacrifice his son.
Do you remember that? Abraham was asked by God to give his son as a sacrifice to God, to show that he loved God more than anything.
Do you love God more than anything? Abraham did. And God loves us more than anything, even when He knew that the last way to save us was to allow Jesus to die for us. Because God needed blood to cover man's sins, He chose a sacrifice that was perfect, to die for us - thus covering our sins.
"… whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." This clause means what it says. The word for believeth in Greek means to have faith, credit, and by implication to entrust. Entrust means to put trust in.
Verse 18 says that if we believe we will not be judged, but if we believe we will be judged. Judged on our sins; and since the Bible says that the wages of sins are death, we will die.
If we have even ONE sin, we are guilty. Do you have even one?
If you are guilty, you will be condemned to die. Sorry, it's not me that says such a thing - but the Bible.
The ONLY way to get around this judgement, as verse 18 says, is to believe. To put our heart in Jesus, and then He will save us because of our Faith in Him.
Actually, it is not the works, or the things we do. The doing of things makes us better, only on the level of earthly ranking…
But to God, we still are sinners. But since He loves us, and had to find a way to give us access to heaven, He gave us Jesus, "that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. "
Put your faith in Jesus now… commit to loving Him first, making Him your best friend, trusting in His will, good or bad... give Him your Heart.