The Gospel is good News!

An open Invitation to all!

The most repeated and well known passage in the entire Bible is John 3:16. I realize I am repeating this quote.

“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 KJV).

This passage is often recited for good reason: It is the summation and declaration of the whole of God’s work on behalf of humanity. We are safe to conclude that no other sentence available to humanity encapsulates so much effort on the behalf of so many and stated in such a brief number of words.

In 1940, at end of the air war over Britain during World War 2, Winston Churchill addressed the British population by radio and made what became an enduring and repeated statement: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The Prime Minister was referring to the pilots who bravely defended the British island from incessant German attack. While Churchill's sentiments are understandable, we should differ with him—the greatest number of people to benefit on behalf of the fewest, is the whole of humanity, who is offered eternal life through one man—Jesus Christ. This is expressed unequivocally in John 3:16 with the single word—“whosoever”.

You might respond and say that Churchill relegated his statement to the “field of human conflict.” We should respond by pointing out that all humanity is on a field of human conflict. Christ came into a world of human conflict: his death shows human conflict; the inevitable physical death of every person highlights human conflict; the unending wars, unending rhetorical dissension, and never ceasing societal strife is more than sufficient evidence of human conflict. The list could go on and on. And, at the highest level, a war rages across the earth and the cosmos, between God and the ruler of darkness—Lucifer. If you would like a more extended explanation of this cosmic war, I invite you to read further at Behind the Scenes.

And on this perpetual field of conflict, no greater effort for all people was made than that of Jesus Christ. And no other offer of help is made to a greater number of people than the offer of forgiveness of personal sins and eternal life by God through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:15-19).

The offer is to everyone

While John 3:16 is the most repeated biblical passage, it is only one sentence from a longer conversation between Jesus Christ and a man named Nicodemus. The two sentences prior to 3:16 are equally as important.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15 KJV).

The reference to “Christ being lifted up” simply refers to his upcoming crucifixion where he was “lifted up” from off the earth while suspended on a cross. And, on the cross, Christ paid the substitutionary penalty for the sins of all humanity. It was there that God expressed his love for all the world. It was there that the quote finds its greatest application, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The offer is made to all.

And why would God make this offer to all people? The answer is expressed in John 3:17 and stated by Jesus himself: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17 KJV). And because the work of Christ was for the sins of the whole world, an invitation is offered to everyone. That offer is tenderly expressed in the words of Christ as recorded in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 ESV italics added).

The invitation is for and to everyone—whosoever!

What is the offer?

God’s offer to all persons is an invitation to come to him through Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of personal sins, and obtaining eternal life as a gift (emphasis added throughout).

...the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation [substitute] by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:22-25 ESV).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 KJV).

And what does God desire us to do to be saved?

But what does it [Scripture] say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’; because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved (Romans 10:8-10 ESV).

And what is the promise that God has made to all who will obey the gospel and place their faith in Jesus Christ?

“And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25 ESV).

And no one is excluded.

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:12-13 ESV).

And the invitation is to you...

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17 KJV).

With this said, the matter does not cease with the invitation. There is also a warning that is thoroughly announced to all.

Let’s conclude our discussion with that warning.

To next section    Homepage