THE MOST FAMOUS VERSE IN THE WORLD:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
John 3:16 is probably the most famous verse in the world. Maybe you learned it when you were in Sunday school, or you’ve seen it on poster boards at hockey games. One of the reasons why John 3:16 is such an important Scripture is because it outlines the simple message of the Gospel – the Cause, Cost, Condition and Consequence of salvation…
THE CAUSE OF SALVATION – “For God so loved the world”
If God hadn’t loved us, there would be no salvation for anyone. We could never be good enough to earn our way into Heaven. The Bible says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of perfection, and that the wages (or penalty) for our sin is spiritual death – separation from God. But thank God He is gracious and merciful.
THE COST OF SALVATION – “That He gave His only begotten Son”
We sing a song about Jesus that says, “You came from Heaven to Earth, to show the way, from the Earth to the Cross, my debt to pay.” My son Caleb and I were driving in the car one day singing that song (when he was much younger), and I asked him if he knew what that meant, that Jesus paid our debt. When he said no, I explained to him that by dying on the Cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins, and took the punishment for the bad things that we have done upon Him. That’s why I love Jesus so much – because He died for me.
THE CONDITION OF SALVATION – “That whoever believes in Him”
God has provided the cause of salvation (His love) and paid the cost of salvation – His son Jesus. But the condition of salvation is that it is available only for those who will believe in Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father (gets to go to Heaven) but through me.” (John 14:6). That means the only way to get to Heaven is through Jesus – by believing in Him. If you’ve never believed in Jesus, then you’re not going to Heaven. I don’t say that to be mean, and I’m not trying to keep people out of Heaven, but the only way you can get into Heaven is by believing in Jesus. Some people think that just because they go to church that that makes them a Christian, but that’s just as silly as thinking that if you go stand in a parking lot that you’ll become a car, or if you sit in a dog house you’ll be a dog. Jesus said you MUST be born again – you must believe in Him if you want to be saved.
THE CONSEQUENCE OF SALVATION – “Will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you believe in Jesus, you won’t have to perish – to go to hell to be punished for your sins. Instead, you will receive the consequence – the reward – of eternal life. That means you will live forever in Heaven with God, in a place where there is no death, no pain, no crying – no bad things. If you have never believed in Jesus – asked Him to forgive you of your sins, and be the Lord of your life – then I want to challenge you to do that right now. If you pray a prayer and trust Jesus to forgive your sins, and commit your life to Him, then God will save you from your sins, and adopt you into His family today.
Pastor Chris Jordan