Friday, December 19, 2008

JESUS...A Gift For The MESSY

We’ve all seen it at major sporting events. I’m talking about the guy who sits behind the goalposts or behind home plate holding the JOHN 3:16 sign for the world to see. And since Christmas is now just days away, we want to hold the same sign up here at Grace Church this weekend as we see that Jesus is a Christmas gift for the MESSY!

What do we learn about God from JOHN 3:16? First, we learn that God exists (“For God”). Second, we learn that God has a son (“His only begotten Son”). Jesus is not a created son, He is a begotten son. He is God. CS Lewis said, “Rabbits beget rabbits; horses beget horses; humans beget humans, not statues or portraits; and God begets God – not angels or humans.” The third fact we learn about God from JOHN 3:16 is that God loves the world (“so loved the world”). In fact, He loved the world enough that He gave His Son for the world which involved ultimate rejection and death on a cross.

But why did God give His Son to the world? According to JOHN 3:16 it is because the world is perishing. That’s where the MESSY part comes in. The perishing are under the wrath of God. John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him.” The perishing are facing a fiery torment. Revelation 14:10 says, “He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God , which is mixed in full strength in the cup of his anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb”. The perishing will be separated from the presence and glory of God. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 teaches, “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” And this is all a result of sin and we are all guilty (Romans 3:23; 6:23). WOW, what a MESS!

That was what was behind the first Christmas. The world needed rescued so God sent Jesus to rescue a perishing, messed up world. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf.” And what is the result of Christ’s rescuing us? According to JOHN 3:16, it is Eternal Life. Eternal life includes life after death. Jesus made this clear in John 11:25 when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies.” But eternal life doesn’t wait…it begins now. Jesus said in John 5:24, “He who hears my Word, and believes Him who sent me, has [not will have] eternal life.

JOHN 3:16 says that we receive eternal life through believing in Christ. Jesus said it this way in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:11-12, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” JOHN 3:16 says that it is available to “whoever” believes. It matches what Paul said in Romans 10:13 when he wrote, “For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus is a gift for the MESSY!


Oakleif said...

Not to be picky about grammar, especially after last week's "rebuke", but you've been living in Lancaster county long enough to start having your language dutchified. "The world needed rescued..."

Its one short step from there to hanging out at Nascar events instead of football, and having country stations on all the radio presets in your pick-up.


Pastor Scott said... you got me scared!!!