Loving Sin, Not Jesus

John 3:16 NIV

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

As with all Scriptures, this verse must be read and interpreted within its context, not isolated from its context, and made to say something it does not say. For, when we pull Scriptures out of their context, and we interpret them independent of their context, we are in danger of misinterpreting them.

First of all, this love that God has for us is based in who God is, in his divine character and will for our lives and in moral preference, for he is pure, righteous, and holy. So, in this righteous, pure, and holy love, he sent his Son Jesus Christ (God the Son) to die on a cross for our sins.

In his death on that cross, Jesus shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now glorify God with our lives, so that we would die with him to sin, so that we would live to his righteousness, and so we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life for us (1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14).

God the Father gave us Jesus, God the Son, to die on a cross. In his death on that cross, he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that horrible death for us, not just to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of his righteousness (2 Co 5:21; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).

He gave us Jesus, and he gave us salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, but we must receive him, and we must receive his salvation from our bondage to sin by faith. And that faith comes from God, not from ourselves, so it will be in accord with God’s will and purpose for our lives.

Also, this faith is continuous, not just past. It is those believing (present tense) in Jesus who will not perish. And this believing in Jesus is evidenced by what we do in submission and in obedience to our Lord. For the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but who walk according to the Spirit (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

We are not guaranteed eternal life with God on the basis of some profession of faith or past belief. We must die to our sins daily and daily follow Jesus with our lives if we want eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17).

John 3:17-18 NIV

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

This is another passage of Scripture that is taken out of context and is made to say something it doesn’t say. When Jesus came the first time, he came to save us, yes, not to condemn us and to send us to hell. When he comes again he will judge us, and some people will have eternal life with God, and some people will end up in eternal punishment in the fires of hell.

But this is not to be taken that God/Jesus doesn’t judge us now or that he didn’t make judgments against people when he lived on this earth. He did! All the time he talked about sin, judgment, and hell (or eternal damnation). He strongly condemned the Pharisees and the religious rulers in the temple for their hypocrisy, and he let them know where that would land them.

And he spoke strong messages of condemnation against all who would reject him and who would not come to faith in him. But the faith he talked about was denial of self, dying with him daily to sin, and following him in obedience, and submitting to him as our ONLY LORD (owner-master).

His gospel message was not the “light and fluffy” kind that is being spread throughout the world, or at least across America today. And that is why he was hated and persecuted, and it is why he was put to death. They hated him because he did indeed make many judgments against them for their sins and for their refusal to believe in and submit to him as Lord.

John 3:19-21 NIV

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

And this is why we must read John 3:16 in context. This is God’s judgment. Light (Jesus, righteousness, truth, salvation) has come into the world, but people loved (preferred) darkness (sin, evil, lies) instead of the light (Jesus, righteousness, truth), because their DEEDS were evil. And this is where we are today, too, at least here in America.

The vast majority of professing Christians today, at least here in America, have bought into the lies that tell them that God doesn’t judge them, that they can continue living in sin, that they don’t have to obey God, that they don’t have to submit to Jesus as Lord, and they won’t be condemned.

They are being read John 3:16 and they are being told that all they have to do is “believe” in Jesus, their sins are forgiven, they will not go to hell, and heaven is now guaranteed them and can’t be taken away from them ever.

But this “belief” is man-made, not of God, for it does not teach that we must submit to God, or obey the Lord, or leave our lives of sin behind us. In fact, in many cases, it teaches that we are disobeying God by obeying him, by leaving our sins behind us and by submitting to him, for they call that works.

But this defines belief for us. Those who do not believe reject the Light because they want to hold on to their sin. Those who love (prefer) their sins to the light of the gospel, which teaches repentance, obedience, and submission, will not come into the light for they don’t want their evil deeds exposed.

Thus, they hate Jesus who make evil their practice, who continue living in sin. They hate the truth. They hate righteousness, holiness, submission, and obedience to the Lord. Thus, they are not believers in Jesus for they refuse to submit to him and to follow him with their lives.

It is only those who are practicing the truth of God’s word who come (present tense) to Jesus, and to his righteousness and holiness, that their deeds may be revealed that they are of God and not of the flesh.

So, if you are believing the liars and deceivers who are telling you that you don’t have to repent or obey or submit to the Lord but that you can have salvation from sin and eternal life with God, then please read the Scriptures in their context, for your eternity depends on you living the truth.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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