At my church today,the preacher has been teaching in depth about the riches ofJohn 3:16. He was at a funeral recently and he talked about a pastor who has been preaching for over 50 years and he quoted John 3:16 to him, as if Jesus himself actually quoted it to him saying, “God-the greatest person,so loved–the greatest degree, the world–the greatest group, that he gave his only begotten Son- the greatest sacrifice, that whosoever believe in Him–the greatest invitation, would never die-the greatest promise, but have eternal life–the greatest gift. Our Pastor got this revelation from the LORD through another pastor who was talking to him at a funeral, which is where our series at church Revisit 3:16 came from.
Most Christians hear this scripture and it may touch their heart, but lay it on the shelf after they pray for a little fire insurance–the eternal kind.
Most preachers don’t even want to preach this message because it is too basic, and most people in the pews have “itchin ears” unfortuantely to see what they can get from God –name it and claim it, as if he were some giant Santa clause in the sky, offering up to every child at their beckon wish. Unfortunately this is much of the church body has become because of the likes of preachers like Joel Olstein, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, etc. Unfortunately, Jesus has just become another product that most just want to market.
However, today I honor my pastor for always preaching the truth and the unpopular message of the gospel. It’s what causes me to want to be great in the Kingdom, unlike the Bedouin on the cross, who just barely made a last second jump shot before hekicked the can. I don’t just want to “fake it till I make it” to Heaven. I want to experience him even more than I thought I did before. I strive to pursue excellence in Christ even though I fail at times. I am relentless at putting a stranglehold on the little sins that cause me to stumble.
If we are running the race like true believers, we’ll stop trotting around as if we are running for a worthless bag of peanuts, but strongly pace for an Olympic record of precious gems and stones, crowns and even sit with Christ on his throne, overcoming the darkness and sin of this world. The greatest thing is to, as Paul put it, Phillipians 3:14“I press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” What is this high calling you ask? It is knowing him personally, loving him with all our heart, soul and strength and having a genuine true relationship with the Saviour of the world.