The Heart of God – Part 3
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world though him.” (John 3:17 NIV)
We’re privileged to be Christians; however, with that privilege comes the responsibility of reaching others for Christ, because the heart of God is that none would perish, but that they would find him and believe in his power to save them. But they won’t believe unless they hear, and they won’t hear unless someone tells them. And look at what is at stake for people in the world: They’re all going to live eternally, with or without God. That’s your sister; that’s your brother; that’s your mother; that’s your father; that’s your coworker; that’s your boss; that’s your classmate; that’s your child; that’s your grandchild. Everybody you know or will ever run into is going to live either with God or away from God. Since God is light, it will mean absence of light for all eternity; since God is love, it’s absence of love. In fact, if you read in the Scriptures about what it is to be away from God, which Jesus spoke more about than he did about heaven— if you read about hell in the Bible—you wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy, much less for eternity! Yet we become complacent. We’ve heard it so many times that Jesus’ command has lost its impact for some of us.
So what is this good news? First, the Bible says God is love. That begins the good news. And here’s the rest of the gospel in a nutshell. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God loves people so much that he gave his Son to die for them so that if they would believe in him they wouldn’t perish and be lost for eternity but they would have eternal life, which means spending life with God forever. But why would God have to send his Son? The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That’s why God had to send his Son —because every one of us, starting with me, has sinned; and sin is so grievous to God that the Bible says, “The soul that sins shall surely die”; not just die physically, but be separated from God for all eternity. People need to repent of their sins, accept Jesus’ atonement for their sins and be born again. They need to get a new heart and get a new mind. The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” And their lives are changed; and they can now be used by God to tell others the good news.
Why don’t we ask the Lord today for a renewed desire to do what he called us to do? The early Church asked God for boldness to share the good news (Acts 4:29), and we can do the same. That’s how we share in the heart of God.
Read John 3:16-21.