For those of us who grew up in the 80s, when we hear John 3:16, we picture the guy with the rainbow wig who somehow wound up on the camera at the Super Bowl, NBA Championships and World Series. If you’ve grown up since, you might think of Tim Tebow’s eye black during the national championship game.
Or, it may just deep enough in your sub-conscious that you can relate to the Simpson’s episode. Regardless of your affiliation with John 3:16, let me say this – it is incredibly good news.
We live in what I would describe as a increasingly post Christian world. According to a 10-year Barna study, 42% of the folks in Austin ascribe to being post Christian, meaning they typically don’t read the Bible, believe it to be accurate or believe in its message. As a result, they are not involved in the Church, either.
Only 27% of our city believes in The Bible, reads it on more than a weekly basis, and is engaged in Church on some level. Most of us respond to this news with sadness, depression or a desire to fight, to win back a mainstream position for our faith.
As a former sales guy, this data clarifies our current situation and audience. We have been entrusted a position of being ambassadors to the greatest Kingdom by The Most High King. And what we represent is incredibly Good News! Not just for us, but for the very ones who oppose it, too.
I see us (Christians) trying to wrestle back our lifestyle, our status quo, not so much as a means of reaching others with the winsome love of Jesus Christ, but more like we’re fighting at all cost to win an argument. We’re right, and they’re…lost.
That's not the point of Jesus' message in John 3:16.
So, whether you’re a Christian, post Christian or have no concern about the subject, I invite you to consider the simple message of John 3:16. It is Good News.
For God so loved: if you’ve never read this verse, please consider the very simple, but incredibly profound motivation of the Gospel, the reason for our existence is because God loves.
The world. We are the point and object of His love. He loves us. Us = the world. All people, from every skin color, gender, affiliation, political party, culture, movement or background. God loves the world.
That He gave His only Son: To begin to absorb the magnitude of this act, we have to come to grips with the idea of giving up what is most dear to us for the sake of someone who not only doesn’t deserve the gift, but might even oppose us. Simply put, God gave His Son up for you and me.
So that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life: He’s not holding a clipboard, keeping track of all our mistakes and waiting to let us have it. No, He loves us. In fact, He sent Jesus to reconcile us with Him today and forever.
If this news is new, I invite you to explore it. If you’ve heard it before and believe it, will you take this new year to re-read His Word (1 chapter a day, for 90 days, will take you through Jesus’ life and words; Matthew – John)?
Rather than reacting to what we think we know, or the platitudes of others, it is good to consider the actual words and acts of Jesus.
It is for you and me. And it is Good News.For God so loved the world that he gave—the message of the gospel could be summed up into those nine words. The only way we can truly understand the message of the gospel is if we realize how incredibly loved we are by God.