"Whoever Believes in Him"
“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 NKJV
If you are a sports fan, you have seen someone holding a sign with “John 3:16” written on it. Usually, the person is in the endzone of a football game positioned in the middle of the goal posts so that when extra points or field goals are made, you cannot miss it.
As Christians, we know what that sign is referring to. But for an increasingly secular society, many may recognize the sign, but have know idea what the reference is to. Some may not even know it refers to a Bible verse. I know it is hard to believe, but it is true. Barna just released a 2020 study that shows only 6 percent of Americans have a biblical worldview.
So, as we reengage with people, we must assume that they have very little knowledge of the Bible and the basic truths of Christianity. We need to take the time to explain what we mean when we talk with them. We may know what we mean, but they may not.
This brings me back to our verse, John 3:16. When the sign holder puts up this sign, he or she thinks that people know the message behind the verse. When the person with no Bible knowledge sees the sign, they are not sure what it means. Of course, they can google it and find it. But, just like the Ethiopian Eunuch, they may read the verse, but may need someone to explain it to them.
A lot of people fail to share their faith because they feel like they do not know what to say. The basics of witnessing is to tell your story of how you became a believer. If you had only one verse to use in witnessing, John 3:16 is probably the best known. Anyone who has any church background at all probably memorized this verse as a child.
This verse is the gospel in a nutshell. The key to sharing this verse is putting people in the verse. They need to see that God loved them and gave His only begotten Son for them. Then in response, they need to believe in Him. They are the “whoever” in the passage.
The biggest question in the verse is this phrase “whoever believes in Him.” What does it mean to believe in Jesus? It is more than just knowing about Him or knowing facts about Him. It is placing our full faith and trust in Him for what He did for us on the cross.
It is my prayer that we will be a church that just does not just quote John 3:16, but that we will take the time to explain to people what this verse means.
I love you and it is a privilege to be your pastor.