For God So Loved the World
When I think of God’s Greatest gift to us, the first Bible passage I ever had to learned comes to mind John 3:16-17.
For God so Loved the World that he GAVE his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.
The first thing we need to get from these verses is that we cannot save ourselves. Despite common belief that there are many ways to God,as it says in Acts 4:12, there is no other way to salvation but through the name (authority) of Jesus Christ.
God knew that we could not save ourselves so he gave us his son because he loved us. He didn’t send his son to condemn us because we were condemned already. (John 3:18, Romans 3:23, 6:23). God sent his son because he was our only hope. God sent his son because he knew we couldn’t save ourselves. Without the redemption offered by our Lord Jesus Christ, it is as though we were in a fast moving car that has no brakes. If we can enjoy the ride while we’re moving, but in the end, the destination is disaster.
We can believe otherwise, but in the end, if we don’t accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, in the result is still disaster.
You might say, well, this all sound great,you’re preaching at the choir, I’m already a Christian, but I have family and friends who have not accepted this. How do I convince them of this truth?
The key is in doing what Jesus did when he was here on the earth. He loved as his father did. He freely submitted to the will of his father. We need to do the same.
We’re not going to bring our homosexual friends to Christ by telling them that they are going to hell for their lifestyle. We are not going to convince doctors in abortion clinics to stop committing abortions by displaying graphic photos in front of their businesses. We are not even saving babies doing this either. We are not going to lead our children to the truth by condemning them of their clothes, tattoos or piercings. Pointing out sin does not draw anyone to Christ. Pointing out sin will only drive them away.
So what do you do? The first thing we all must do is to ask God to teach us to love others as he first loved us. During this next year, rather than reading the entire Bible, focus instead on reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John over and over again for the entire year. As you read, meditate on how Jesus reacted with everyone. Write down in a journal your impressions of those interactions. Then in light of what you have read, begin to pray for your family and friends. Ask God to show you how to show his love for them through you. Then when you are around your family and friends, take a deep breath and again ask God to show you what to do. Love is the key to drawing others to Christ!
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