16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Wingmen, there are 25 words that have the power to transform your life. These 25 words are the difference between eternal life and eternal death, between heaven and hell, between a life with purpose and direction and a life that just exists. You could write these words on a napkin or on a 3 x 5 card.
If I had only 15 seconds to address the world, I would use these 25 words.
If I only had a few minutes with someone who was dying who didn’t know that they know that they know when they died they were going to heaven I would use these 25 words.
It’s been called the gospel in miniature. It’s one of the best known and best loved verses in all the Bible. Many of you know it already. Sometimes you will see this Scripture at a professional sporting event like an NFL ballgame, with someone holding the reference up on a sign.
Without doubt the greatest news ever is found in this verse.
In it you have…
- The Greatest Statement Ever Made
- The Greatest Gift Ever Given
- The Greatest Invitation Ever Offered
- Act on this verse and you will experience…
- Real Hope
- Real Peace
- Real Change
- Real Joy
- An Exciting Future
- Missing a Real Hell and
- Giving you a Real Heaven!
This is one of the first verses we learn as a child and one that most people recognize. What are those 25 words?
“For God So Loved the World, That He Gave His Only Begotten Son, That Whoever Believes in Him Shall Not Perish, but Have Eternal Life”
The Greatest Statement Ever Made is—For God So Loved the World.
The Greatest Gift Ever Given is—That He Gave His Only Begotten Son.
The Greatest Invitation Ever Offered is—That Whoever Believes in Him Should Not Perish, But Have Eternal Life.
God never leaves anyone out of this invitation to have eternal life. God personally invites you to come to Him, just as you are. There are people who will say, “When I get my life straightened out I will get saved (give my life to Jesus), but I need to stop doing some things first and start doing some things first and then get saved.”
The problem is that you don’t have the power to straighten up or out on your own. God invites you to come to Him just as you are. It’s only when you receive Him that you have the power to live for Him and say “No” to Satan and his temptations. Satan lies to you and says you have to be good first and then come to Christ.
Consider for a moment those 25 Words. I wish I had time to look at each one of them because each has significant meaning.
Notice a few of these words:
I. “For God So Loved the World”
The word “For” tells us that God wants what is absolutely best for you.
The God Who has all power, is everywhere present at all times, and knows everything past, present, and future. “So” means extraordinary.
The word “Loved” means an unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish, welcoming commitment to you. God loves YOU! He loves black people, white people, red people, yellow people, and if there are any purple or green people, He loves them, too.
But He loves us too much to leave us like we are. No matter who you are or what you have done, God loves you!
“The World” means every person who has ever lived or will ever live.
II. “That He Gave His Only Begotten Son”
God acted, God did something about our sin. God came Himself, personally in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the Flesh.
The word “Gave” means an historical act and is speaking of the Cross. Jesus was God’s gift to the world. Jesus tells us that nothing like this has ever happened before. God is saying, “I am giving you the most cherished gift I have—My Son, Jesus Christ.”
III. “That Whoever Believes in Him”
“Whoever” means no one is left out! No one! Now the word “Believe” sounds like all you have to do is believe in God or believe that Jesus lived. It’s much more than that. Let me explain.
“Believe” means to commit your life to, to receive, to embrace, to put your faith in, your confidence in Jesus Christ. So that means there is a definite time you do that, and place you do that. It could be here tonight in just a few moments.
You believe that Jesus is the One and Only way to Heaven, to Eternal Life. You believe on Him by turning to Him and asking Him to forgive your sin, and by faith receive Him into your life as your Savior and Lord.
Notice eternal life is only found “In Him.” No one else will do but Jesus. This gift is wrapped, and it is wrapped not in wrapping paper, but in a Person—the Person of Jesus Christ.
IV. “Should Not Perish”
“Perish” means eternal separation from God, which is also known as hell. Hell is the place where God forever divorces you. Beyond your last breath on earth, there is forever somewhere—Heaven or Hell. Here is the Gift—Jesus was born, lived a perfect life, went to the cross, took your sin upon Him and died in your place, shed His blood, was buried, and rose from the dead. He did all of this so you wouldn’t have to go to hell.
But, you have to receive this gift. He won’t force you. No one can make this decision for you.
V. “But Have Eternal Life”
“Have” means it’s a present possession. You could have it right now. Eternal life begins the moment you receive Jesus into your life. Eternal Life means Heaven when you die, and a life worth living, a life of purpose right here and right now.
Here is what I know that I know that I know, no matter how bad things get here; no matter how low I feel sometimes; no matter how difficult things are; no matter how much pain I am in; no matter how people let me down; I HAVE ETERNAL LIFE!!! I AM GOING TO HEAVEN WHEN I DIE!!! No one or nothing can ever take that away from me.
This life is like a breath; it’s like five minutes and then eternity. On my worst day I can still say, “I AM NOT GOING TO HELL!!!”
Some might ask, “What if you’re wrong about this?” Well, I haven’t lost anything. In fact, I have gained the most peaceful and joyful, purposeful life one can lead on this planet.
But let me ask you. What if you are wrong? You have lost not only in this life, but forever…Don’t take that risk! Wingmen, make sure the people you love the most are going to heaven!