Communicating With Our World: Part 2
“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.“
You’re maybe thinking, “Why use John 3:16? Isn’t that the most overused verse in the Bible?” Well it might be, but when considering the world’s view of Christianity, John 3:16 may be the only verse they know. Especially when considering the Western World.
Moreover, John 3:16 gives us God’s view of our world, and can help answer the question, “How should Christians be communicating with our world?” (Spoiler alert, we’re going to be using John 3:16 all week-long!)
The first piece to Communicating With Our World is to Consider Compassion, Consider Compassion. In John 3:16, we read, “For God so loved the world…” and the 2 keys words being “…so loved…”
Now this may be obvious but worth stating, that the context here is not God so loved the planet or the actual earth. The context of this word, world can be translated as mankind or humanity.
Furthermore, He looked down on humanity and had compassion on them enough, to create a plan for their salvation. A plan that would cost Him greatly, but we’ll get to that in a few minutes.
But maybe you’re thinking,
“Okay Jeremy, God so loved the world. What does that have to do with us communicating with our world?”
Well, because sometimes Christians really miss the mark on communicating God’s love.
Just do an image search on Westboro Baptist Church.
And Westboro are not the only ‘christians‘ (small ‘c’) doing this by the way. However, the majority are holding signs to petition some hot-button issue. But whats puzzling is that many of the signs have nothing to do with the issue.
Some of the signs read as follows:
- God Will Bring Judgment!
- Turn or Burn!
- God is your enemy!
- Eat the bread of life or you’ll be toast!
One sign read simply, “You deserve hell!“
Now to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, he does have a point. According to Scripture, we are sinful beings who are deserving of hell. However, someone needs to come along side this brother and help him out.
“Dude, your evangelism technique needs some serious work. Maybe start with a sign that focuses on God’s love or even better, maybe meet a need, perform an act of love before unpacking the details of hell?”
These results show us that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are doing a very poor job at communicating with our world. And we’re going to have to go to even further lengths to counteract the damage that’s been done.
For a moment, let’s look back at John 3.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 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.” (Jn. 3:17-18)
If the above passage is true, then why is so much communication with the world centred on condemnation instead of love?
Humanity is condemned.
And at some point in sharing the Gospel, this fact must be explained. But I’m not convinced that this is the place to start. Instead, we should start by communicating the depth of God’s love.
If God so loved the world, shouldn’t our primary message be centred on that love?
If God looked down at humanity and had enough compassion to provide a way for us to reach Him, then surely we can respond by communicating compassion to our world.
Can I Get Your Feedback?
Consider compassion. How should Christians be communicating love and compassion to the world on a daily basis?