By Nathan Cockrill Pastor at Christian Life Assembly of God

"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. "

Fans hold up "John 3:16" at a football game, but what does it mean? I grew up in the church on Rock Lane I pastor now learning that verse. It's a precious look at God's great plan. It comes down to Logan County, Kentucky and everyone else. It's a place we can always come back to for a reminder. How should we treat salvation?

Let's explore the Good News in this one verse.

1. "For God so loved the world." Salvation is not exclusively for us.

Even though all sin, God loves all people. People can push our buttons and make life hard. But I have had to learn pastoring youth and adults for the last few years now, God loves people I don't like. He knows the most about people, yet loves them the most. We can't withhold God's love from others.

Maybe it seems like God does not care about you because of what you're going through, but He said He loves the whole world. That means you. You are favored. May we never whine and complain.

2. "He gave His only begotten Son." Salvation is not cheap.

For the biggest event in America, the average Super Bowl ticket is around $2,739. But for the biggest event in history, salvation is so much more costly.

God the Father gave up his only Son, giving His very best. Christ endured the beatings and pain. The cost was very high to save us from Hell so we should "not perish." Hell is real and it is forever, but God wants no one there. He paid the cost to prove it.

What about us? Salvation doesn't make us rich. It doesn't always make us feel good in life. It doesn't take away problems. But it's more valuable than anything else we could ever own. Do we treat salvation with care?

3. "Whosoever believeth in Him." Salvation is not by works. Many people believe they will go to Heaven if they are good and don't do enough bad.

The Bible says here we must believe. We can't be good enough or work hard enough.

When I wrecked my shiny black car from a deer a few years ago, the antlers almost tore through the windshield, but thankfully I was not hurt. Yet the horns ripped into the hood of my car. That car was "deer" to me, but the car was hopeless to fix. The damage was over $7,500. I had to quit and start again with a new car. We quit trying to pay our huge cost to know God; we surrender to Jesus today. Work is good, but knowing Him is the only thing that will always satisfy the soul.

4. One last part of the verse-"but have everlasting life." I'm often asked what Heaven will be like. What will we do? Will Fido the dog be there? Many details are left to faith. But I first felt Heaven when I was a small boy and came to Christ's salvation. I felt the release of fear and guilt. Best of all, I met Jesus, a living Person. I've never been to Heaven, but I know Heaven's Glorious Maker. How could Heaven not be glorious?

Do we know Jesus? If so, do we treat our salvation with care? Let's pray that we and people close to us will encounter God's Son.