Did Jesus Reveal the “Who” in “World” in John 3:14-16?
There is a lot of debate between Arminians and Calvinists about the meaning of the word, “world” in the NT, as it relates to who Christ died for. Calvinists believe that it refers only to the elect among the various people groups in the world. Arminians, on the other hand, believe that it means what it says, that it literally refers to every individual in the world, from Adam to the very last person to be born.
This disagreement has continued for hundreds of years, but I believe we have before us a unifying passage of Scripture that settles the debate. I believe Jesus Himself reveals who He is referring to when He speaks of the world in John 3:16. Before He states the beloved promise in that verse, He takes us back to the Old Testament where He makes a comparison between an incident that took place there, to the cross He would die on: