“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17.
Most everyone likely knows the famous words from John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” But few people go on to quote the next verse after that.
How many of you have chosen not to witness, either out of fear of rejection—that they’ll reject you, what you’re saying, think you’re a fanatic, or think you’re judging them? Or, what if some of you choose not to witness because you’re fine being a Christian, but witnessing is “forcing your beliefs onto them” or “not being tolerant enough?”
Am I getting warmer?
That’s the mentality these days. The average person who is understanding and kind are okay with us being Christians and Believers in Christ, but don’t think we should witness or share our beliefs with others. The more extremists don’t want us to believe this way at all—calling us judgmental haters and intolerant for believing as we do. Granted, there are some Christians out there that are judgmental, hateful, rude, and intolerant, who give the rest of us a “bad reputation” so to speak. But most of us—the average Christian—just isn’t like that.
What if we quoted John 3:17 more? Not just that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved—which is one major key to witnessing, the other of which is repenting of your sin, which we also LOVE to conveniently leave out—but that Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world?
What if we led with that?
“But trying to get someone else to believe like you is forcing your beliefs onto them!”
Hold on a second. Is it?
Is it “forcing” if we’re enlightening someone to the truth? Tell me something… if someone believed that the sky was blue, or that 2+2 = 6 instead of 4, wouldn’t you try to tell them the truth? Yes, you would listen to them and respect them—love them, and be kind with them, but you would do your best to help them understand the truth.
We, as Christians, know the truth—God is real, He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin, because sin separates us from God. Only through believing in Jesus and repenting of our sins can we be saved from damnation that we rightfully deserve. That’s the basics of the Gospel. It’s the Truth.
If someone were standing in the middle of the road and a truck was speeding and going to hit them, but it came at them from behind… what would you do?
I would shout to warn them, but what if they didn’t believe you?
“I don’t think the truck exists!” they shout back.
Maybe some of us would be too scared of getting hit by the truck too, but I’d like to think most of us would dive at the person and tackle them. Yeah, they make look at you weird and freak out, but when they see that truck passing by, it’s more likely they’d hug you and be grateful to you.
Imagine you’re a doctor and you genuinely care about other people. Imagine you have a patient and you know they’re going to die of a disease. Yes, you could offer them a cure, but most people aren’t going to take a cure for something if they don’t first believe that they have a disease. First, you have to tell them about the disease—what it is and explain it to them—gently and with love and care, so that they understand that they’re dying. Then, you tell them the wonderful, miraculous news—that you have a cure, so that they’re saved. Then, they would gladly take the cure, once they believed you! Once they knew that they were dying, they’d say, “Yes! Give me this cure! I need it!”
You see, people first have to understand that they’re dying—the world is sick with a disease called sin. Jesus is the cure. We know about it and we ourselves have it. It’s selfish to keep that cure to ourselves and let the world suffer—because we’re afraid they’ll think we’re weird or call us haters for warning them of this dangerous disease. Yes, a person dying of a terrible disease isn’t going to be happy to know they have it. They may go into denial and refuse to believe the doctor. But a person who genuinely cares and loves others would do whatever they could to convince them of their disease and the cure that can save them.
In this world so afraid of intolerance, hatred, and judgmental condemnation, John 3:17 is probably one of the most important verses in the Bible that we can quote.
Because if people believe that we as Christians are judgmental haters coming to condemn them, then its highly likely they believe the same of Jesus, too.
But, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17.