Just playing Calvinist's advocate here. This was posted on another board (not by me):
Are you aware that the context of a passage has a great deal to do with the meaning of the world?
John 3:16 makes two references to people, "world" and "whoseover believeth in him". The latter is a subset of the other. The former is the whole group, and the latter is "some" of that whole group.
Look at this:
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the [ALL], that he gave his only begotten Son,
that [SOME] should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Now, think about it... If God loves "all", why does He only save "some"?
Would any of these other similarly-arranged sentences make sense to you?:
"For the teacher cared for ALL THE CLASS, that he gave the red-heads candy."
"For the boss cared for ALL THE EMPLOYEES, that he gave the women a raise."
But that's exactly what you're doing with John 3:16, when you try to force a non-matching meaning onto "world", by assuming it means "every single individual".
Have you ever met someone who claimed to have travelled "all over the world"? Do you really think he was referring exhaustively to every single city and town? If someone travels to Toronto, Miami, Los Angeles, Rome, London, Perth, Mumbai, Paris, and Crete, would he be justified in saying, "I've travelled all over the world", or would you nit-pick and point out the places he hadn't visited?
It seems to me that "the world" here, simply indicates the scope of God's love, rather than the specific identity (which "whosoever believeth in him" actually addresses). It was commonly thought at the time that salvation was limited to Israel, "Salvation is of the Jews"), and Jesus/John here was simply pointing out that salvation wasn't limited to Israel, but was going to extend (scope-wise) throughout the world.
What say you defenders of the truth?