by Alan Carr
The phone rang the other day and I answered it. After several seconds of silence a voice on the other end of the line spoke and said: “Please hold for important information.” Well, I did just what most of you do when you get one of those wonderful calls from a telemarketer: I hung up! Of course, I never did find out what that important information was. I am sure that there was a message for me concerning the life altering benefits of vinyl replacement windows. Or, maybe there were cold chill producing details regarding seamless guttering! Or maybe they were going to try and sell me spectacular movies that even my dog wouldn’t want to watch! Oh well, I guess I will never know will I?
It seems that everyone has something to say to us today. Everyone wants us to lend them our ears while they fill us in on what they think, want or are doing. The news media wants your ear. Politicians want your ear. Advertisers want your ear. Most of these are words, opinions and details we do not want to hear. However, there is One Person Who wants to tell you something that you really should take the time to listen to. In this passage, the Lord Jesus brings us an important message from God His Father. He tells us something we really need to listen to this morning. You can hang up is you want to, but I would advise you to hold the line this morning. The Lord has something to say to you so, Please Hold For An Important Message From God. That is the thought I want to preach on for a while today!
I. GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LOVE
A. The Source Of Love
Not human love which is biased and often impure as to its motives. Human love is selfish and is usually given out on the basis of what it can hope to receive in return! God’s love is not like this at all! His love is always pure, always holy, always seeking what is best for the object it loves. His love is given freely without the hope of desire for anything in return. God loves, because He is love! His love is never ending - Jer. 31:3. His love is always given first, 1 John 4:19. His love is precious beyond words!
B. The Scope Of Love
We are told that God “so loved the world”. The word “so” indicates the depth of His love. It describes the manner of His love for fallen men. It is a deep love that motivated Him to send His Son to die for the lost. This is uncommon love! This is God love! Notice the object of God’s great love: the world. By its very definition, this love is no ordinary love! It is a special love that seeks to give itself away on behalf of the objects loved. Of course, this should not surprise us, after all, to love is the very nature of God, 1 John 4:8, 16. Friend, regardless of the curve balls life may have delivered to you, you need to know today that God loves you! (Ill. No one is beyond the scope of His love!) (Ill. The greatest thought to grip the human mind is this: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”) (Ill. The second greatest thought is this: There is nothing you can do to make His stop loving you - Rom. 8:38-39!)
C. The Sacrifice Of Love
The true value of love lies in what love is willing to give to the objects it loves. You see, God’s love is not static or self-centered! His love doesn’t just sit quietly by while men drop off into Hell! His love prompted Him to do something for the men He loves! (Ill. Many love like the man who called his girlfriend and said, “Darling, I love you! I would cross the burning sands for you! I would fight a jungle full of lions for you! I would brave anything just to be with you because I love you! And, if it doesn’t rain tonight, I’ll be over to see you!”) God’s love is seen in the gracious gift of His Son Jesus on the cross. The death of Jesus Christ for sinners is the greatest, most visible and the absolute final word concerning God’s love for humanity, Rom. 5:8, John 15:13! (Ill. 1 John 4:9-10; Isa. 53:6; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 3:16) (Ill. Look no farther than the bloody cross of Calvary to see the extent of God’s love for you!) (Ill. The testimony of Mel Trotter!)
II. GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LIFE
A. The Worth Of Life
God was not content to see man lost in sin. He was not content to watch humanity march off into endless torment. God declared man worthy of His love! What grace! What love! Friends, we are not talking about people who are friendly to God! No! The Bible declares the lost man to be God’s enemy, Rom. 8:7! In spite of man’s sinful condition, in spite of the fact that natural man hates God and opposes all God stands for, God still saw value in human life! (Ill. The value we attach to life is seen in abortion, euthanasia and spiraling crime.) People around you may question your worth, but God declares you to be worth His Son!
B. The Worry Of Life
God mentions the ultimate worry of life. He uses the word “perish”. This word means “to destroy, to give over to the misery of hell.” There is a worry greater than cancer, greater than losing a child in death, greater than losing a mate. The most horrible thing that can happen to anyone is for them to live their entire life without a relationship with the Lord and the die and go to Hell! Nothing in this world or eternity beyond can compare with dying without Jesus Christ! Why? Because of what the Bible says to those who die without Him - Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. There is no thought more horrible than the thought of going to Hell, forever, with no hope of release or reprieve. Yet, that will be the fate of countless billions! (Note: Even religious people will be in Hell - Matt. 7:21-23! Is it possible that you might be in that number?)
C. The Wonder Of Life
Not everyone will experience the flames of Hell! Those who are saved will enjoy “everlasting life”. They are in a state of being in which they can never die! Because they know Jesus, they know the Prince of Life and they are alive forever more, John 11:25-26. Death may claim these bodies, but the spirits of the redeemed will live on with Jesus in Heaven, 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:23. The difference between the saved man and the lost man lies in one word: Jesus, 1 John 5:12. Do you know Him? If you do, then you know all about the life I am trying to describe, because the moment you were saved, you became a partaker of His everlasting, eternal, new, heavenly life, John 10:10; 2 Cor. 5:17! If you are saved, you know what He did for you and you know whether or not He lives within! (Ill. The Testimony of Rusty Woomer!)
III. GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LIABILITY
A. There Is A Precise Liability - Jesus says here that the difference between the saved man who enjoys everlasting life and the lost man who perishes is all wrapped up in the idea of “belief”. Here is the plan of salvation in its simplest form: Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9! Everyone in this room is trusting in something or someone this morning! Only a fool wants to go to Hell. Therefore, I believe that each person in this room has some hope of heaven, something that we believe in! You see, the saved man has trusted Jesus Christ, His finished work at the cross and His resurrection from the dead as his only hope of salvation. The lost man has not trusted Jesus, 1 John 5:12! He may trust many things, like works, religion, church membership, etc, but he is not trusting the one and only Person Who can save the soul!
B. There Is A Personal Liability
The truth of the matter is this: if you go to Hell, you will go because you did not trust Jesus Christ as your Savior! It will not be God’s fault. It will not be the church’s fault. You will not be able to blame your family or those hypocrites down at the church. If you die without Jesus, you will have no one to blame but yourself! Friend, you parents cannot make this decision for you! Your spouse cannot decide this for you! Your friends cannot do, no one in this room can do it! If you want to be saved and go to Heaven when you leave this world, this is a decision you must make personally. If you leave this world without Jesus, one day, you will stand before God and be judged for your sins, Rev. 20:11-15. You will be sent away into the lake of fire to be tormented there forever. On that day, you will have no one to blame but yourself! There will be no one to point your finger at to blame. The blame will rest squarely on your own shoulders! Here is what the Lord says about the matter: John 5:39-40; John 8:24! (Note: Dear friends, if you have never been saved, or if there is doubt in your minds today, please look to Jesus and trust Him! Ill. The Brazen Serpent - Num. 21:4-10; John 3:14-15! Those who simply looked in faith were made whole! Look and live dear friend, look and live!)
Ill. 9-year-old Helen and her salvation story. Her faith summed up in these words: “Daddy! Because He said He would!” God is on the line for you this morning. He is holding, waiting for your response to His message. What will you do today? Friend, are you really saved? Have you truly, genuinely trusted Jesus as your personal Savior? Have you been born again by the grace of God? If you haven’t Him and you know you need to, then you can do that today!
If you are saved, maybe you should get into the presence of the Lord this morning and thank Him for the time He rang your number and changed your life! I praise His name that I did not hang up the day He called me! How about you?
Copyright 2003 by Alan Carr
Immeasurable Love (John 3:16)
by Charles H. Spurgeon
For God So Loved the World
by Edward F. Markquart
For God So Loved the World
by Grover Gunn
Series: John 3:16 - The Danger: Perishing
by John Piper
Series: John 3:16 - The Design: Love
by John Piper
Series: John 3:16 - The Duty: Faith
by John Piper
Series: John 3:16 - The Destiny: Eternal Life
by John Piper
Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the 3rd Sunday after Denaha (Baptism of our Lord)
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