Summary: In a fresh look at John 3:16 we look at what it means to be so loved by God. Pt 3 investigates what it means to be a whosoever in the heart of God.
Pt 3 - Whosoever
We began last week working through this most familiar passage in scripture as we point our hearts towards the beginning of Advent. We began talking about this God who So Loved us. Remember this morning that His is Creator love boundless, endless, perfect and unconditional. His is Father love warm, positive, protective, and compassionate. His is the Bridegrooms love personal, singular, intimate. With so much negative in the world and even in the church isn’t it wonderful for a change to spend a few moments just contemplating and drinking in the pure, positive, and personal love that God has for His people?
Today I want to share with you perhaps the most wonderful part of this passage - it’s the whosoever.
There is a universality to this passage - God so loved the world - the Kosmos - everyone. That’s fantastic to think about isn’t it? You look at this great big beautiful world and God so loved that His love crosses political, racial, socioeconomic, and cultural boundaries. His love is universal. It’s not limited to a particular race or country, it’s not the sovereign property of a particular few, it’s not limited to a particular time or epoch of history - it is from everlasting to everlasting to all of His creation.
The problem for us often is translating this universality closer to home. You see it’s not hard for me to understand that God loves the world. It’s not hard for me to understand that God loves people. It’s hard to understand that God loves ME! Why? Because I know me. I know how often I have failed Him, failed to live up to His expectations, failed to be who He created me to be, failed to please Him in my life. Friend I’m here to tell you this morning that this is exactly why the Whosoever is in here. You see God tells me He loves me because I’m a whosoever and so are you! What does it mean to be a whosoever?
1) It means I don’t have to be somebody - The reality of my existence is that if I died tomorrow the ripple of my passing would have little effect on the world outside my immediate family. Oh, I hope that some would mourn with them (and that no one would cheer) but the reality is for all but a precious few - life would go on as if nothing monumental had happened. The reality of our superior self-centered lives is that in the scope of the world we have little monumental consequence. For a span of 4 years - Jimmy Carter was the most powerful man in the world - nations held their breath while he made a decision - but who really cares what Jimmy Carter says anymore. He’s history - relegated to his presidential library and the annuls of the has beens. The truth is that the world loves to rub shoulders with the rich, famous, and powerful - but riches are fleeting, fame is for a moment, and power is an illusion - all of it will fade away in time. The truth is that this “whosoever” is the great equalizer of men. You see in God’s eyes I am as important as any man or woman who has ever lived. In God’s eyes I am as important as Moses, Abraham, or Paul. Why? Because I’m a whosoever and so are you. God’s love is not offered to a limited few - it’s offered to all who would receive it. Billy Graham is no more loved than I am. God’s love is offered to all the whosoevers of the world - from the shepherds to the kings God’s love has no favorites. Acts 10:34 The Message “Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open.”
2) It means you don’t have to be good enough - “Whosoever” is not qualified by how good or bad we are. It’s a wonderful thing to think that God’s love for us is not preconditioned on our perfection. It’s not preconditioned on how well we follow the rules. James reminds us beautifully of who we really are when he writes “For we all stumble in many ways.” Thank God that His love endures the stumbles of our human frailty. Paul says “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul expresses it clearly when He says “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” The truth is that we are all at the mercy of God’s grace - There is not a single person here today that doesn’t stumble badly - there is not a single person here that doesn’t have to cast themselves on the mercy of God each day - it’s not an excuse for our bad behavior but it is the remedy for our stumbling. I’m a whosoever - I was never good enough, in fact I’m still not - but that’s ok I’m still a whosoever - and God loves me.