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How much does God love the world?

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Sermon shared by Simon Fullylove

November 2006
Summary: A look at John 3:16 the way Nicodemus heard it.
Denomination: Pentecostal
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Introduction

Kingdom = God’s Rule, God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven, God’s Shalom, it is God’s dreams being realised for the world, Jesus says this kingdom rule is available now through me, so change and believe it, be part of it.

As we saw last time Jesus told Nicodemus he needed to be born again - this call was issued not to a “sinner” but a bible believing, moral, godly, tithing, praying, fasting man. He needed to start all over again. Nicodemus saw God’s kingdom in terms of we’re in and the rest are out, Jesus said it was at hand and available, close to all. Pharisees saw it in terms of the ungodly getting smashed. Jesus saw it in terms of “God so loved (v.16ff) the world” not just Israel, sinful mankind not just the pure, the Romans, the prostitutes, and the tax collectors. Start again Nicodemus you re way off. You have no idea how much God loves this world that you want to see destroyed. My kingdom is not about destroying the Gentiles; it is about welcoming them in. I haven’t come to condemn the world but to save it. Some of us need to start over in our understanding in God’s purpose in the Gospel of His Kingdom. God’s goal is not condemnation, it is salvation. I listen to some Christians and the way they talk about non-Christians, about the world and it is as if they can’t wait for God to come and sort it out, destroy it, send people to hell, smash the ungodly. Listen to the words of Jonathan Edwards in his famous sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”, such was the effect that strong men held on to the pews in case they slid into hell at that very moment: The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship... Start again, be born again in your thinking, have a born again understanding of John 3:16 and the Gospel. Martin Luther called this the bible in miniature.

1. Eternal Life & the Kingdom

When we read John 3:16 we take it to mean that if a person believes the right things then they are going to heaven and those that are not are going to hell. Look again is that what Jesus is really saying? Jesus never mentions heaven or hell, nor is faith ever defined as just believing the right things. For a start “eternal life” is more than going to heaven, it is about the kingdom of God. Jesus in the Synoptics talks about God’s Kingdom, in John he talks bout
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