John 3:16

John 3:16

I am deeply concerned for our nation, America is in trouble. The worst part is that people aren’t interested in the real answers. Secular America has turned it’s back on God and a Godless system doesn’t work. As the results of poor choices begin to mount up, it seems that people are focusing on the symptoms instead of the problem.

In our nation today people are asking a lot of questions. “What do you think about gay marriage?” “Who did you vote for?” “What should we do about the border problem?” “What should we do about the economy?” “What do you think about healthcare?” None of these questions leads to life. Not only does our world today not know the answers, they don’t even know the questions.

Nicodemus was a man like this in the Bible. He had an encounter with Jesus and it was as if he didn’t know what to say.

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” John 3:1-2

He didn’t commit to the fact that Jesus was God, he didn’t ask Jesus who He was. He just made a weak statement and waited for a response.

Jesus answered and said to him, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

A few verses later He said:

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. ‘ John 3:7

Nicodemus didn’t ask how to see the kingdom of God, but he should have. He didn’t ask how to be saved or what does God require, but he should have. He didn’t ask how a sinner can get to Heaven, but he should have. Jesus had mercy on Nicodemus and answered the question he should have asked.

Our world is so lost today they have no idea what the question is. But that shouldn’t stop us from answering it! People are hurting and they are looking to government, the economy, their jobs… Not only do they not know the answers, they don’t know the question.

They may not be asking, but we can still give them the answer! It’s time for the church to answer the question that no one is asking. “You must be born again” “Jesus died for your sins and He is the way to God” “You can be forgiven and happy and free”.

We have not been called to argue or debate the Gospel, but to preach the Gospel. We are not here to win intellectual debates, but we can present the truth. Every human spirit has the capacity to recognize truth when it is presented. We must not wait for them to ask the right questions, we have a mandate to give them the right answers.

It seems that people are divided and angry. Ready to be offended and on edge. Some groups are so busy defending their right to live as they choose, they’ve forgotten to ask themselves if they are really happy. I don’t want to argue over social issues or waste time with religious debates. The question is: “Are you happy?” “Are you free?” “Do you have peace?” “Do you want peace?”

All these angry groups that are opposed to Godly principles and laugh at Christian values are made up of people, individuals with real needs, they are precious in the sight of God.

I refuse to be pulled into these social debates aimed at dividing people. God is for every one. He is not mad at sinners. He has the answer they need. It’s easy to get so focused on the fact that God hates sin that we can forget that God loves sinners. It is much better to love these people than fear them.

Jesus said something else in John chapter 3 that has exploded in my spirit in recent months. It’s a weapon for today’s war. It is unstoppable and there is really no defense against it. It goes to the heart of the problem and answers the real question that everyone should be asking. It is 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. John 3:16

It is pure love on display in a world that has forgotten what love is. It is our message. God loves you, He gave His son for you, you don’t have to perish, you can have life. It’s hard to defend against that. Not many people have a problem with love, gifts and life. It is also our mission. For God so loved the world, and so do I. He didn’t come to condemn the world, and neither have I. He wants the world to be saved and so do I.

Are you tired of being angry at the people responsible for direction of our country. Try love. It’s the greatest weapon in the world. Love never fails. It would be better to die loving people than live hating them.

In John chapter 4 Jesus had another encounter. This time with a woman. Like Nicodemus, this woman had no idea who she was talking to or what to ask. After a long day of traveling, Jesus sat down by a well in the city of Samaria.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “ Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. John 4:7-9

All Jesus did was ask for a drink and she immediately reminded him of the discrimination that existed between the Jews and Samaritans. In general, the Jews felt they were superior to the Samaritans because they weren’t 100% Jewish. They considered them to be half-breeds. What she was saying to Jesus was, “you stay on your side and let me stay on my side. We’re all supposed to be mad at each other. That’s the way it is and that’s the way we like it.”

Jesus didn’t even dignify that racism with a response! He totally ingnored it. God loves Samaritans! It is sad to see racism raise it’s ugly head in our nation today. Satan is trying to rip our nation apart with division. We must refuse to resent any group of people based on race or nationality.

I refuse to be angry at Mexicans who are coming across our border. I refuse to be mad at the Chinese who are mass producing inexpensive goods. Or any other group political or ethnic with whom I don’t necessarily agree. God has called us to reach all people. We can’t reach them if we are angry and hateful toward them.

Jesus ignored her question:

Jesus answered and said to her, “ If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

Notice the mercy, the kindness, the compassion. Jesus loves sinners. Our world needs that from us today. Finally she gets on the right track.

The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” John 4:11-12

Now she’s getting somewhere. Who are you Jesus? That’s a good question.

Jesus then offers her living water, eternal life and she finally accepts:

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” John 4:15

Love won another convert!

He then let her know that He knew of her immorality all along and He still offered her the gift of life. People without God need life! God can deal with the sinful acts after He changes the sinful heart. Jesus did not approach her in anger and condemn her for her sinful ways. He offered her love and life and hope and she accepted.

This is the day for the church to lead the way. The world is desperate for answers. Let us endeavor to truly represent God to a dying world and answer the question even if they don’t ask.

For God so loved the world! And so do I.

Greg is a frequent speaker at Charis Bible College (part of Andrew Wommack Ministries) and enjoys teaching and ministering in Bible Schools and Leadership Conferences around the world. His ministry has helped thousands of people understand how faith works and grows through a style that combines great insight with great humor. Greg is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center. He and his wife Carol have made Tulsa their home base since 1990. To schedule a meeting or for more information call (918) 749-7744.

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