This morning I had the inclination to read John chapter three again. When I read John 3:16:
For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
I paused and continued to repeat it over and over. I let the essence of those words set in. God gave His one and only Son. God gave His one and only Son so that people will not perish but have eternal life.
It does not matter how many times I hear these words I continue to be blown away by the reality that God’s desire is for men to be saved. Ezekiel 18:32 For I take no pleasure in anyone’s death. This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. “So repent and live!
Yet the truth is many people will not be saved. Matthew 7:14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life and few find it (emphasis added).
If God’s desire is for men to be saved but few are saved where is the disconnect?
“This, the, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. John 3:19,20
This is one of the most devastating passages I read in Scriptures. Jesus has come into the world BUT people love wickedness so much that they hate Him because He is light.
Although this truth is heavy it is a necessary foundation for ministry and particularly evangelism. All the persecution and hatred that comes along with being a servant of Christ is really explained in this passage. The good news is SOOOO good that the desired response from the hearer is repentance and faith. Unfortunately for some the goodness of God is only a reminder of the wickedness of the sin they love and they would rather shun and reject than repent and accept.
I find settling peace in the following passage:
“Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, having this inscription:
The Lord knows those who are His, and everyone who names the name of the Lord must turn away from unrighteousness. (2 Timothy 2:19)