“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” (John 3:16). That God so loved the world that He gave His Son does not mean He so loved the elect. Nor does it mean God so loved all men without exception. There are those who try to make it say that. But that’s not what it says. That God loved the world here means that He loved an object full of badness. The ‘world’ (kosmos) in John refers to a wicked, rebellious, God-hating order of things, full of moral darkness. Respected Biblical scholar Don Carson is right in saying:
In John 3:16 God’s love in sending the Lord Jesus is to be admired not because it is extended to so big a thing as the world, but to so bad a thing; not to so many people, as to such wicked people” (The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, 17).