Whatever Happened to John 3:16?

Quite literally, every day we learn of another example of man’s inhumanity to man. News organizations, both traditional and Internet-based, daily report on the atrocities and unspeakable evil which permeates, affects, touches, or in some way influences the lives of nearly every person on planet Earth. We are being constantly made aware of new and terrible diseases, or the resurgence or mutations of age-old maladies which are increasingly affecting numbers of peoples all over the world. And, weather events and natural disasters continue to increase in severity and frequency.

However, those of us who consider ourselves to be a part of the True Church, the Body of Christ, point to prophetic Scripture and declare that the Bible says these things are to be so as we approach the end of days. We of course do so by sharing these things from our pulpits, or in our weekly Bible studies, or through books we write, or (more and more frequently) through blogs posted on our own websites and those of others.

News organizations detail the latest atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and the rest of the Middle East; Boko Haram in Africa, Russian separatists in Ukraine, the Iranian proxies (Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon), Al Qaeda in Yemen and Libya, the PLO in Israel, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Muslim extremists in Europe, and rising anti-Semitism worldwide. We hear about Chinese belligerence in the Far East, the nuclear aspirations of Iran, North Korea, and India, and increasingly, the failure of the United States to articulate any real understanding of, or implementation of, foreign policy.

In the US domestic news, we also read and see evidence of the growing influence of Islam, the continued proliferation of secular humanism in our institutions of learning, the insidious and intolerant assaults on Christianity and traditional family values by progressives (formerly known as liberals), and the militant minority LGBT community.

Lately, as I follow these news sources and then read the blog articles and comments of those in the Christian community, I have begun to see what I consider to be a disturbing trend. Many, though certainly not all, of these comments, articles, and posts focus on the condemnation of the individuals, groups, or countries committing these egregious acts without commenting on, or attributing, the ultimate reason for these evils to the very fact that we are living in a world which is ruled by the prince of the power of the air, and the rulers of darkness of this world, which is of course, Satan and his demons.

In fact, many in the Christian community have become so intentional in their desire to “expose” the hatred and evil inherent among those who are doing Satan’s bidding in these days, that they have forgotten not only the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and Great Commission (Mark 16:15), but in fact, the words of John 3:16. Even while acknowledging that we are living in the Last Days, that the Rapture of the church is imminent, and that a time of great Tribulation is approaching mankind, which will culminate in Christ’s physical return to the earth in power and great glory, we are failing to do the work which we were first called to do; proclaim the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“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)

Remember this verse? It is one of the best-known verses in the Bible. In fact, for most of us it is the very first verse we ever committed to memory. John 3:16 clearly and simply declares the Good News of the Gospel.

Let’s break this verse down a bit, “For God so loved the world” tells us that the creator of the universe loves His creation. However, the “world” here is not descriptive of the cosmos, or even the earth itself, but of all mankind. So the Scripture is saying that God loves all men, even those who scorn or reject His love. When I read “God so loved the world,” I can individualize that to say that He loves me. Yet, the same can be said by every other individual on the earth. This then means that the whole love of God is available to every single soul who has ever lived. Understanding that, the blessed truth here is this; no matter how far one distances himself from God, no matter how little one thinks of God, or no matter that one never even shows any love for God, it makes absolutely no difference to the very fact that God loves them.

Let’s continue, “that He gave His only begotten Son” is describing the fact that Jesus Christ became the sacrifice required by a Holy God to pay the sin debt of the entire world (read mankind). We must understand here that it was not Jesus’s death that turned God’s wrath and anger away from man, but rather it was God’s love for man which appointed Jesus Christ’s death. This then demonstrates that God loved men before He sent Christ to pay their sin debt. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2)

This brings us to the last part of the verse, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Now then, “whoever” means whoever. There is nothing complicated here, there is no mystery here, any and every man who believes that Jesus Christ paid his sin debt can have eternal life.

Believing in Christ means that we acknowledge that He alone could be the perfect sacrifice which a Holy God required. It is acknowledging Him as our Savior, and surrendering to Him authority in our lives as our Lord. It is the act of acknowledging His will as our own as we become His disciples.

God hates sin, and God certainly does not like the wicked state of the world in which we live. But God loves men, and Peter tells us that He is not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

So, the purpose of my article is this:

We who are disciples of Jesus Christ, who make up the Body of the True Church, which is the Bride of Christ, need to examine our attitudes as they relate to men and sin. When we stand in our pulpits, or sit before our computers we need to remember that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and that but for the grace of God, we ourselves could still be in need of redemption. We need to humble ourselves as did the Apostle Paul when he wrote; “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Jesus Christ came to save sinners, mankind; no matter what their nationality, no matter what their race, no matter what their religion, no matter what their sexual orientation, no matter what political office they may hold, no matter whether they are rich or poor, no matter what the circumstances of their life are, Jesus Christ paid their sin debt and we have the responsibility to share that Good News with them. No matter what the cost may be.

Reread the Book of Acts, up until his conversion on the road to Damascus in chapter 9, the church considered Paul (Saul of Tarsus) a terrorist. Yet, look at what Christ did with his life. Take a hard look at your life and examine what you might have become had it not been for Christ’s intervention and your salvation. Think about what Christ could do with the life of a world leader or even a would-be terrorist who found redemption in Him today.

Please understand this, I am not asking that we cease our efforts as “watchmen on the wall” or that we quit proclaiming the imminence of Christ’s return for His Church. I am not even suggesting we quit commenting on current events and their relationship to the end times.

What I am asking is that we refocus on that which is the most important task we have been given, to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Share it in every message you preach, every study you lead, and every article you write. Is it not truly what we have all been called to do? Is it not really the reason we have become watchmen?

Yes, Jesus is coming soon, and we need to share the Good News so that many more will be ready for His coming.

Obama’s National Police

In 2008, Pres. Obama delivered a campaign speech in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he said, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” These words set off a firestorm of criticism. Some accused Pres. Obama of saying America needs a national police force. Others called the idea that Pres. Obama wants a national police force a “lunatic theory.”

In 2009, the National Emergency Centers Act (HR 645) was introduced in Congress to authorize Homeland Security to build detention camps to hold Americans during emergencies and for “appropriate needs.” Good reasons were offered, but legalizing the detention of American citizens for unspecified “appropriate needs” troubled many people.

In 2010, the Dept. of Homeland Security awarded a $385 million contract to KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, to build temporary detention centers on an “as needed” basis to be used in national emergency situations. One report said the plan called for every state to have from 3 to 15 detention centers.

That same year, Pres. Obama travelled to Mumbai, India where he said, “There is going to be a tug-of-war within the U.S. between those who see globalization (world government) as a threat and those who accept that we live in an open integrated (merged) world.” Put another way, Pres. Obama said he expects problems between those Americans who oppose a world government and those Americans who support a world government.

In 2011, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 and it was signed into law by Pres. Obama on Jan. 2, 2012. According to what I read, Sections 1031, 1032 and 1036 allows the U.S. military to jail American citizens indefinitely (for the rest of their lives if they want to, and in other countries, if they want to) without charges or a trial.

In 2012, there was a court challenge and a federal judge ruled that jailing American citizens without a trial is unconstitutional. The judge temporarily blocked it, but Pres. Obama fought the ruling through several courts and he finally won the case.

People started asking, “Why does Pres. Obama think he needs a national police force? Why does he think this national police force needs to be just as powerful, just as strong and just as well-funded as the U.S. military? Why does Pres. Obama think he needs so many detention centers? We already have police and jails all over the U.S.” Pres. Obama must have a reason for wanting a national police force and detention centers.

In 2013, there was a shortage of bullets. The DHS admitted that it had purchased more than 148 million rounds in 2010, more than 108 million rounds in 2011 and more than 103 million rounds in 2012. These purchases of more than 350 million rounds of ammunition (many of which are outlawed on a battlefield) caused concern that Pres. Obama is up to something. Regardless of the reason, gun sales broke all records.

In 2014, it was reported that several U.S. police departments have started receiving surplus military equipment including armored vehicles, machine guns, planes and helicopters. Some questioned why local police departments need military equipment, including machine guns, but supporters called the militarization of America’s police “an efficient use of resources.”

This brings me to Pres. Obama’s reaction to the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Pres. Obama is bound to know the facts in these cases. He is bound to know that the problem is not untrained police or racism. He is bound to know that the problem relates back to sexual immorality, illegitimate children, unwed mothers, absentee fathers, illegal drugs, crime-ridden neighborhoods and things like that.

Perhaps it is just another lunatic theory, but I am wondering why is Pres. Obama ignoring the facts? Why is he blaming the police? Are we seeing an attempt to nationalize a police force armed with machine guns and military vehicles?

I don’t know, but if I was expecting a tug of war in America over a world government, I would want to control the police. If I was building detention camps to hold American citizens, I would want a police force that will arrest and detain American citizens. I would want to monitor our citizen’s e-mails, text messages, Internet searches, Facebook postings, phone calls, etc. Nationalizing the police would give me a strong well-funded force in every American town and city.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com