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What If John 3:16 Was Not True
Open your Bibles please to John 3:16.
We’re walking on familiar ground here with this verse.
This is, without a doubt, the most familiar and beloved verse in the whole Bible.
more sermons have no doubt been preached on this one text than any single text in all the Bible.
Luther called John 3:16 “the Gospel in miniature.”
No matter what denomination or church group you may have grown up in, if you went to Sunday School or church as a child, you probably memorized John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
let's think about the setting of that verse
it was spoken to a good and religious man who, even though he was good and religious in man’s eyes, he was nevertheless lost and on his way to hell.
let's look back to verses 1-3 : “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
you see even Though Nicodemus was RELIGIOUS, he needed to be saved,
to be born again
to be born again spiritually in God’s family.
even Though he was a Pharisee who gave his money to the poor and knew the Old Testament scriptures backwards and forwards, and avoided evil activities and people, Jesus looked him straight in the eye and said in essence, “Nicodemus, all your good works and all your religious deeds and all your good intentions and all your sincerity will not do one thing to get you into God’s kingdom.”
Jesus told him the same thing He tells us: “YOU–MUST–BE–BORN–AGAIN.”
So that’s the setting of this marvelous, precious verse
But now let me ask you a hypothetical question:
WHAT IF JOHN 3:16 WAS NOT TRUE?
That’s what I’d like for us to consider this morning.
What if this precious jewel found in God’s Word was not true?
Illus. – Beatle John Lennon had a famous anti-religious song titled “Imagine.” Some of the lyrics talk about imagining there’s no heaven or hell or churches.
Well let’s take his point of view:just for a moment and ask What if John 3:16 was not true.
I. WHAT IF GOD HAD NOT LOVED THE WORLD? – The verse begins, “For God so loved the world…”
Without God’s love, there would be no hope at all in this world.
a preacher by the name Roger Campbell said that if God had not loved the world, “Our world would be a dark planet hurtling through space without hope. There would be nothing to live for and no purpose for existence. It would be a world where prayers were but useless cries to the skies. Every death would be the end of personal hope and every grave a place of despair.”
I read of a young assistant pastor getting paid peanuts, he said he used to sing at funerals in North Carolina for people who did not have a church, and would hire the funeral home to do the funeral.
he said that The one thing that stands out to him above all others is the hopelessness of lost people who have lost loved ones in death. he said that he has heard wives scream sobs of sorrow saying, “He’s gone; he’s gone!” You could hear the hopelessness of people without Christ.
Truth of the matter is that those who don’t know Christ as their Savior have no hope at all beyond the grave.
So just think for a moment if God had not loved the world and sent the living Savior. Think of a whole world in hopelessness and despair with no hope beyond this life.