The “Shall Nots” of John’s Gospel
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“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.” (John 3:16)
There are many wonderful promises to the believer listed in the gospel of John. Many of these promises are things which “shall” happen, but let us consider seven of these which teach of things which “shall not” happen to the believer whose trust is in Christ.
Teaching of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Christ said, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (4:14).
Similarly, “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (6:35).
Furthermore, He taught: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (8:12). Our deepest needs are met in Him.
Having once believed, we are placed into His family and He promises, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (10:28). In Him, we are utterly secure. Why? “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (5:24).
Consequently, we have no fear of death. “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (11:25-26).
As the familiar verse in our text tells us, if we only believe “that he gave his only begotten Son,” we shall “not perish, but have everlasting life.” JDM