Gospel: Great Gospel Texts – John 3:17

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).

Imagine a world in which there were no death and no dying. Can we fathom no scientists and doctors scrambling for cures to dreaded illnesses because there were none? Is it asking too much of our minds to contemplate a world where guilt, hatred, enmity, war, and rebellion were not even words in our dictionary? There were only one man and one woman who ever knew such a world, Adam and Eve. But sin entered, and with the entrance of sin death has stalked the life of every human since Adams fall.

Guilt plagued hearts. They had rebelled against the One who had made them. Hatred and enmity ruled the life of a boy whose parents had actually walked with God! Why? Sin entered! Death entered! The tragic results have sent our world through time with one tremendous verdict hanging like an epitaph over our souls – guilty! Because of that guilty sentence, we are condemned!

These are facts not opinions. Accepted by everyone or not, it is written in Gods word that we are condemned already by our own sin. Thank God that He has not left the “rest of the story” to our imaginations. Into such a world of darkness, God sent His only Son, not to condemn the world; it was already condemned. He came that the world through Him might be saved.

No wonder that as the sinless One moved amongst sinners, consciences were smitten, guilt was revealed, and the religious “professionals” of that day were exposed in all their hypocrisy. Even Peter, the big fisherman who followed the Lord Jesus, fell at his feet and cried, “Lord, depart from me for I am a sinful man.” Was it to condemn the world that He came? Was it to leave guilty souls reeling in dark anguish forever? Thank God, no. It was to save! He alone of all the men who ever stood on this planet had full power, authority, and right to condemn us, but He chose to save. Think of it! Heaven! Glory! Brightness! Harmony! Angelic Hosts! What a tremendous stoop to Calvary! Shame! Scorn! Mockery! Fists! Thorns! Nails! A cross! Agony! Darkness! Gods Son there!

What words He spoke. “Father, forgive them.” “It is finished!” He died, He rose, and He lives forever. Romans 5: 8 says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Such a love that only God could show led His Son to the cross for us. The hymn writer has ably put it: “And God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.”

This world is dying and souls are moving headlong toward eternity. John 3:17 tells us that God sent His Son into this world that we might be saved. What folly to continue madly on, condemned, into eternity when you, at this moment, could be saved. God desires it, loved ones pray for it, angels wait to welcome you. Will you be saved? Or, will you be condemned forever? It is your choice.