John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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INTRODUCTION

Today I shall speak to you about the priceless gift of God. I believe we are all aware that a gift is something that cannot be earned. A gift is normally given to out at the giver’s discretion. A gift is never an obligation, neither is it given to satisfy a demand. To understand more about the priceless gift of God we shall take a closer look at the Motive for the gift , the gift itself and the recipient .

THE MOTIVE

a. “ For God so loved ”

Here we are told the motive for which God gave his priceless gift. It is simply put as “ God so loved. ”

i. Unconditional love

It was His unconditional love that caused the creator of the heavens and the earth to gift the most precious gift to the world. His love does not rest in words or emotion, it has action. It was through his love that he had created the heavens and earth. It was due to his love that created human beings in His image. His love was also seen when He provided food and a pleasant environment for humans being and all the other living thin gs which God had made . God ’ s love is not due to our actions. We are love by God unconditionally.

ii. Infinite love

God’s love is infinite. This means it has no end. The spring of God’s love never runs dry. Its doors are never closed. The love of God is open ed all times, for everyone to experience. The Psalmist says, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ” ( Psalm 136:1 ) In Jeremiah 31:3, God said, “ … I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. ” There is no end of God ’ s love. Paul wrote, “ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Rom 8:38- 39)

b. “ the world ”

The Greek word is “ κόσμος ” or “ cosmos ” We now learn of the subject of God ’ s love and that is the world. There are two meanings attached to the Greek word for “ the world. ”

i. The Planet Earth

It implies that God loved the whole of planet earth. He loved all the mountains, the rivers, the seas and the whole of nature.

ii. The Inhabitants of the Planet Earth

It also implies God loved all the inhabitants of planet earth, particularly human beings. The human beings, the land animals, sea creature and the birds of the air are part of the world.

God’s motive for giving His priceless gift was His love for the world. We move on to look at the gift itself .

THE GIFT

he gave his only begotten Son

The magnitude or the extent of God’s love for the world is perfectly express in the quality and value of the gift that He gave to the world .

a. His Son God gave His Son.

He gave His only begotten Son. I doubt that there could be a sane person among us who will be bold enough to give up his son, even if he were one of many children, to be killed in order to make peace with his enemies. We would protect our children and even give our lives for them if it were possible. That is how much we value them. The Son of God, Jesus Christ is more valuable than our children.

i. He is before all things (Col 1:15 – 17)

Everything that was made was made through the Son of God, not only that but also , everything was made for Him . Jesus Christ is the firstborn of all creation. Without Him nothing ever came to existence.

ii. He is the express image of the God (Heb 1:3)

Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and He is the express image of his person. To say that He is the express image of God means that Jesus Christ is exactly like the Father. As the Father is eternal so is the Son. Jesus said, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)

iii. He is the beloved Son of God (Mat 3:17, 17:5, Mar 1:11, Luke 9:35)

God testified about Jesus, saying “This is my beloved Son.” Jesus also affirmed that He was loved by the Father. In John 15:9, Jesus says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you …

iv. His Only Begotten Son (Psalm 2:7)

Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. This means there was no other Son of God like Him. All the other sons of God (Gen 6 and Job 1:6) were created but He was the only begotten Son of God. God gave up not only His Son, but His only begotten Son.

b. Eternal Life

God did not only give us His Son but He also gave us eternal life. John say s in his letter, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ” (1 John 5:1 1) . John says that God Himself is testifying that He has given us eternal life and that life can only be found in Jesus Christ. Paul says to the Roman Church, “ … the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Roman 6:23)

Jesus Christ was and is very valuable to His Father but He did not withhold him. Instead He gave Him up to the world.

THE RECIPIENT

That whosoever believeth in him

a. Whosoever (Anyone)

Jesus Christ who is the gift of God to the world is given so that anyone may benefit through Him. There is no nation, no language, no family or any individual, that is excluded. All are counted, into this awesome grace of God. The Jews and the Gentiles from every part of the world are all welcome.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews says , “…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10). Jesus Christ was given once to the world, and He was given for all.

b. Believes on Him

The benefits of God’s Gift are limited to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. A person may be religious and they may pray every day BUT if they don’t believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God they do not have eternal life. Though the Gift of God is given for all, it can only do well to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

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At about 17:50, today, the 11th of December 2012, I went to my garden just to look at how it is doing. While I was observing that beauty and the growth of the vegetables that I have planted there, I realized that they were growing according to my will and to my satisfaction. My joy was disturbed by the sight of tares that I have not planted, they grow among my vegetables and they were corrupting their beauty and cleanliness. I started plucking them out. While I was busy, plucking the tares out, I noticed one of my plants that was diseased. The sight of it was disgusting. Without any further hesitation I plucked it up by root and threw it away from my goodly vegetables, it broke my heart to throw it away but I had to do it for the sake of the healthy plants.

When I was done with the tares I realized that I love my garden and I love all the plants that I put there which do my will, while I hate every diseased plant and tares which are rebellious and corrupt. Then it hit me, my garden was no different from the world and the church. The bible has no place where it says, “God loves sinners but hate sin.” On the contrary, it does mention that “God hates all the workers of iniquity” and that “He is angry with the wicked every day.”

Let us look at these verses;

“The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” (Psalm 5:5-6)

“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.” (Psalm 7:11-12)

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.” (Psalm 11:5-6)

Now, the bible shows us how God feels about the wicked. It says that He is angry with the wicked every day. God is Holy, He hates sin and sinners. To say that God hate sinners is not well received in the modern day churches. The reason for this is that the teachings of the bible are ignored by the general Christian community. The bible is not like all the cowardly pastors who don’t want to offend anyone with the truth. It tells thing as they are meant to be told and it is to be taken seriously or else people will pay the price that comes with either ignorance or disobedience, which is destruction.

The verses I have shown above, tell us that God will not rain favour and blessings upon the wicked but He will let snare, fire, brimstone and horrible tempest to fall upon them. These words must be taken seriously. We must consider these words and comprehend the message they are communicating to us. God will destroy the wicked, just like He did away with the wicked in the days of Noah and wasted the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, so will He do it yet again. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ will not prevent the end of the wicked because only those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. The rest of the people who do not believe on the Son of God will perish.

Those who disagree with the statement that God hate sinners often pull their defence from John 3:16. Let us look at John 3:16,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

As we can see, this verse does not say that God loved the sinners but it says that God loved the world. The Greek word that is used in the verse for world is κόσμος (kosmos) which does not in any way refer to sinner(s) but instead it refers to a heavenly body (star or planet) and the inhabitants thereof. The word for sinners is ἁμαρτωλός (amartolos) and it is not found in John 3:16.

Remember the story of my garden, when I said that I love my garden it did not mean that I love everything that is in it. I don’t love the tares and those little animals that eat my vegetables. The fact that the tares get watered doesn’t mean that I want them in my garden. They only benefit for the sake of my vegetables. There is a day appointed where I will get rid of the tares and gather my harvest into the kitchen. God hate sinners and all the workers of iniquity. The wicked are alive today and they get to be successful, that doesn’t mean that God loves them, they are only around because of the righteous. Abraham asked God if He would destroy the wicked if there were a number of righteous people in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah and God said that He will not destroy them for the sake of the those righteous people.

And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” (Gen 18:23-32)

As we can see that God would spare the whole wicked community for the sake of the few righteous people who are found among them. Unfortunately for the world of Noah, God told Noah to prepare an ark. He brought the flood and destroyed the world while saving the Noah, his family and the rest of the animals that were in the ark. The same went for Sodom and Gomorrah where God drew Lot and his family out and did away with his enemies. Also in Jericho, God delivered Rahab and her family and condemned the rest to death. God loved the world in the days of Noah and so to save it, he got rid of the wicked with the flood and the righteous were safe in the ark. God still promises yet again that He would destroy the wicked and that he will do away with the destroyers of the earth.

“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18

The Lord will get rid of false believers

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn…” “…He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.(Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43)

The text above shows that God allows the tares to grow to gather with the good seed. He then explains that the good seed are the children of the kingdom while the tares are the children of the wicked one (the devil). He commands that the tares and the good seed must be allowed to grow together for the sake of the good seed. He said that it might happen that when they should deal with the tares, they would also uproot the wheat (good seed). The day is coming where the tares will be burnt with fire and the wheat be gathered into the barn. Rest assured my dear reader that God hates sinners and He will get rid of them unless they repent and believe in the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who turn to Him will be given the righteousness of the Son of God but those who refuse Him will be destroyed, irrespective of who they are.