Saturday, September 29, 2012

Propaganda, precious puritans...missed it by that much

Propaganda, a talented spoken word artist and Christian rapper in his latest album (which was free) released a song titled 'Precious Puritans', in it he points out some problematic points of history concerning Puritans and slavery!
However though there are some very valid POINTS being made, the first being that no men deserve pedestals, that we should not ignore flaws when we see them, that we should not whitewash history in order to protect truth etc, there is YET a spin, a direction that simply isn't going to help a lot of people. When it comes to racism and especially in AMERICA there's a WAY to point out the issues which only stirs up more controversy, which only unleashes deep rooted bitterness.
Take movies for example, Spike Lee was always good at that, he made valid points, presented some real gritty scenarios and yet for many of 'us' it left us angry, bitter, and feeling quite justified in our sinful responses and outlooks (which goes beyond 'telling it like it is' and rather finds racism EVERYWHERE and in EVERYONE which also breeds a stronger stance for separation while still complaining about such separation)...o yes I know about racism, I've felt it, i know what it's like to be in a school as the only minority, I also know well the anger, the rage that came with that from within, despite being 'only' half-black.....and for such reasons and more Christians especially should address and critique such issues in a way and in a spirit that is DRASTICALLY different from the way lost men do.

Before we dive further and before I lose you, let me first say this:
We should still read, enjoy and quote the Puritans NOT because they were the epitome of Christ followers (and issues revolving around slavery would not be the only flaws we could find among them), rather we as believers are called to judge TRUTH according to the word of God, and if TAUGHT truth lines up with scripture then we can profit from it, yes if truths on family, on preaching, on Christ, on the gospel, on holiness etc LINE UP with scripture then we have no need to dismiss them, for we understand that such TRUTH originates from God!
Since scripture is our guide, our standard, we can model what is good with discernment, now as concerns DOCTRINE and specifically FALSE DOCTRINE we find an altogether different response in scripture, we are to avoid such, to mark such, to defend against it, and as we look back in history we must be careful to differentiate between error and heresy, between bad teaching and false teaching, between apostasy and compromise.

One major problem is that this song generalizes 'PURITANS' and this is extremely careless, for the Puritans (which would start with England, not America) are a wide bunch, a large group of believers varying on a grand number of things, not some league of men who teamed together under one statement of faith. Furthermore it is commonplace to find among 'puritan-era' books/sermons calls for examination even for those WITHIN the church AND ministry, so it is clear that some were simply not saved.
This would be why such lines like 'You know they were the chaplains on slaves ships, right' don't help bring any clarity or fruitful thinking, just a reaction, did they then not offer the gospel to such men? Also we should bear in mind that there are many times even now where 'chaplains' are serving in situations that they don't necessarily agree with. 
Second, is that when it comes to slavery, there are a myriad of factors to keep in mind (not blanket excuses, but things which help us understand) like,
1. Did all have knowledge of the evils and origins of the trade? (Knowledge is important, and Wilberforce understood that as he attempted to learn and teach others of the gory details of the slave do pro-lifers concerning abortions etc).
2. The scriptures are not void of references to slavery/servanthood and that's not to say that the scriptures condone the slave trade and the scriptures CERTAINLY don't condone the abuses, violence, and hatred of the slave trade, YET.....what we don't find is the example of the early church to correct all problems of the day by political action, the gospel is the heart of Christianity, with that said considering that they like all men were 'men of their time' (which NEVER excuses evil) but it does in the case of servants/slaves present a grand dilemma theologically, and to ignore it completely is quite careless.
Propaganda asserts:
"I should be content in this stage, right? Isn’t that Paul taught? According to your precious puritans."
Which depending on the context could be monstrously harsh (which appears to be the only option he cares to suggest)....OR as we have seen in the New Testament such language being spoken to slaves, spoken to the oppressed, spoken to the persecuted and yet in those cases such 'contentment' doesn't mean there isn't sin, that there isn't a problem, that there isn't suffering, so such a statement only brings forth an emotional knee jerk reaction w/out pause, for in such cases the call for contentment is not a surrender to the whims of men but to present sovereignty of God.
The attitude and spirit of the song implies perhaps unintentionally, the worst scenario possible: that such men not only worked from how things were, but were supporting it, helping it, being premeditated promoters of it, and that ALL without exception despised such people, demonized such people, abused such people, and for those reasons and more it's clear that such are absolutely LOST MEN. Now the end of the song supposedly clarifies that the point is that God uses 'crooked sticks' and that nobody is 'inerrant' but if that was the ultimate 'lesson' then why add so many lines about not quoting them at all, about how wrong it is to quote them, UNLESS you're saying quoting anybody would be forbidden. This is a confusing contradiction, for it gives the impression that those who quote Puritans (just about all leaders, past and present...Spurgeon loved them, certainly read more about them and from them then anyone, and while Spurgeon spoke clearly and loudly against such abuses as slavery, he wasn't wrong to quote and admire a number of them) are either ignorant white-man worshippers or mean-spirited racists at heart, and any such pictures EVEN CLOSE to that analysis would be detrimental to the body of Christ.
I'm not attempting to defend them, and I certainly would not defend the more obvious and clearly forbidden atrocities done or commended and where we find sin we should call it sin plain and simple, YET I find this song in particular to be found wanting, and for those who understand the balance and are quite healthy it will not do any damage, but for those not as strong, not as balanced, not to mention struggling to walk in grace, to submit to leadership, to learn good theology, this has the potential to drive them away from fruitfulness and to disregard truth from any man UNLESS that man 'is coming from where I'm coming from'. In other words this will only work against true unity within the reformed community OR it will be a whipping tool for especially young people to use against older reformed men and especially white men. Such critiques are often bully-like rants which push white people into a corner demanding they apologize for all the atrocities committed by humans with the same skin shade, and that my brethren is unchristian.  I agree with the assessment of one of my African brothers (yes actually FROM Africa) "One of the problems with the song is this: He is seemingly coming at the issue from a black (Christian) point of view. Instead of a Christian's point of view. As a result, I find the song to be black-man/culture-centered than God-centered"

  • Unfortunately I believe the song will be praised (as i have seen) by many who won't bother to think about some of the reactions and justifications that will follow, and as such are welcoming division in a body of believers that are already undergoing such onslaughts within the reformed community (for instance the compromising elephant room 2 nonsense of welcoming heretics and then disregarding biblical discernment by throwing the 'race card' in order to shut down  critics and rally support from bitter men).

  • For further reading, and included in the blog posts are the lyrics of the song (though I'm NOT saying the blog posts clear up these issues, i recommend them not as solutions, but as some good thoughts, questions, but still some unhelpful generalizations and missing clarifications.). (read pt 2 as well)

grace and peace

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Light yoke of Christ

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Jesus Christ spoke these words while on this earth to men who were burdened by the yoke of many of the religious leaders of that day. The religious leaders put a strong yoke of legalistic, oppresive and condemning bondage upon the people of that day. They did this several different ways:
1. They elevated their additional laws over and against God's commands
Matthew 15:7-9 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
2. They had an external righteousness of restraint by which they held as weight over those who were 'sinners'
Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
3. They used the law to condemn men and leave them in their sin, they offered no hope.
John 9:34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

Jesus Christ however offered true hope, He employed the law, the commands of God to show the character and holiness of God, He used them to expose the fact that men have broken the commands of God and cannot begin to keep the law. Jesus proved that the problem of sin is an internal problem which can't be dealt with by any human effort, and that all men are equally condemned and that those who believe they are justified are truly blind. Jesus used His righteousness not to oppress men, but as an acceptable offering to God, Jesus Christ became hope for sinners by paying (being punished) for their sins. Jesus Christ offers hope to guilty and incapable of good lost men by providing atonement for their sins and grace through the Holy Spirit's work to be free from the bondage/mastery of sin, so that they may indeed live for God!
His yoke is easy because it's fueled by His love and all the effort that is done by men is from the graceful ability which God supplies. His burden is light because He has carried it all, and the load which He places upon His people is not only for their good, but the strength they have to endure it is, once again, provided by Him. The freedom found in serving Christ, in laboring for the Lord is restful, for our hearts are then soothed with the knowledge that we have peace with God, that He is our Father and that He is in control, yes it is the rest of enjoying His goodness and grace even in the midst of trials because we are assured that such is temporary and that we shall one day dwell with Him for eternity!

NOTE: Lest we be swept away by flowery sermonettes on this passage, let us also recognize the FULL context (for it is quite common for preachers to leave out an explanation of the previous verses).
Pay especially close attention to the words i have underlined,
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
So then what we have here is clearly an example of the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of men, for God retains the right to reveal truth, to give grace by revealing Himself. Men are guilty, they die and are condemned because they have sinned, not because they have rejected their 'second chance', and God according to His pleasure has mercy on whomever He 'wills' to have mercy on. So then the call to come in this context is to men who have had such revelation, who see their need, who have learned of the hope found in Christ, who desire to be freed from the bondage of sin, NOT a message to down and out oppressed people who are victims of the religious hypocrites.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Embracing the glory of MOTHERHOOD

In our culture, motherhood is looked on with much disdain, and for many it is seen more as a 'necessary evil', something that must be done, but which is ultimately by itself unfulfilling and purposeless. Hence the push for mothers to acquire 'honor', to acquire 'value', and to acquire 'purpose' through education, through income, or through any 'noticable' accomplishment especially that which soars over others.
In addition to the attacks from without, there are the attacks from within, not only believing those lies but creating your own. As you witness the monotony of the daily 'grind', as you hear the praises given to others for what they have 'accomplished', as you push yourself to deal with yet another crisis within an hour's time, as you wait day after day to see just a small amount of progress, and as you attempt to encourage yourself until that time comes where you receive encouragement from others (even those closest to you), in all of that and more, your strength is being withered and you simply want to 'throw in the towel', you're simply tired of fighting, tired of caring, and tired of being 'taken for granted'!

The TRUTH however is that your work, your position, your privilege, your purpose is GLORIOUS!! Mothers, don't you realize that you are a living testimony of ENDURANCE, that you have the unique ability to model 'do all things unto the Lord'. The fact that your duty, your labor is hidden from the eyes of man, brings flesh and blood to the text, '“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 6:1). Mothers, your example is a living sermon on how to live for the glory of God, how to live, LIFE unto the Lord in ALL THINGS, rather then your children chasing moment after moment, pleasure after pleasure, idol after idol, they are given the blessing of seeing the importance of each day, of honoring God in the little things. Mothers it is you which gives the best example of serving, of giving to those who can not give back, yes your glorious routine is a model of the life of Christ, in every bit of cooking, cleaning, wiping, clothing, washing, bathing, teaching, spanking, and nurturing, you give a picture of Christ to your children!

Even your FAILURES, your INADEQUACIES, and your STRUGGLES bring glory to God! For in true weakness, in true hopelessness you will turn to God, you will surrender to Him, you will beg Him for the strength to 'make it' through another day, and IN THAT you point your children to Christ, you point to the righteousness of Christ, you point to the patience, and goodness, and power, and wisdom, and grace of God, your God! It is that example, that pattern of turning to God that will engrave upon the hearts and minds of your children that all the honor, all the praise and all the glory belongs to the Lord. Romans 11:36 "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."
EMBRACE then dear mothers, the glory of motherhood, knowing that God is well pleased with your labors. Embrace the reality that you are storing up truths in the hearts of your children that take years to process, and often longer to see come to fruition. Mothers embrace the truth that your labor is not in vain, and that your labor unto the Lord is precious and purposeful! Mothers be assured that the Lord is swift to help you, to fill you, to use you if you will but cast those cares upon Him, if you will but look to Him for renewed strength, if you will but ask Him to refocus your eyes on Him!
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Don't embrace the lies of the culture, don't give up on the glorious role of motherhood, rather give up on self, give up on hope in the praises of men, give up on looking within for strength!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gospel a rescue, ransom, reconciliation, restoration

May it not be forgotten, that the gospel is a,

RESCUE: Christ delivers men from the just punishment of eternity in Hell, Jesus saves men from what they deserve, what they have earned, and furthermore Jesus has rescued those who didn't seek Him first

Romans 5:9 "Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God."
1 Thessalonians 5:9,10 "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10  who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him."

RANSOM: Christ offered Himself as the only acceptable payment for sin, yes we can say "Jesus died for you'" and we can also say "Jesus died BECAUSE of you, for it was your sins that required an acceptable payment and Christ is the only worthy spotless lamb who can take away our sins

Ephesians 5:2b ".....just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Romans 3:23-26 "23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus"

RECONCILIATION: Christ eliminates the enmity between us and God, and by giving us His righteousness we then are made right w/God. Jesus makes His enemies, not only His friends but makes us the children of God.

Ephesians 2:12-16 "remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility."
Romans 5:10,11 "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

RESTORATION: Christ through His death and resurrection covenants with those who believe and enables them by the Holy Spirit to no longer live for themselves but to live for Christ who gave Himself for them. Jesus has set us free indeed, not free to live as we please like those who pervert the grace of God but freedom from slavery to sin, and freedom to walk in righteousness

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."
Romans 8:9-17 "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fruitful sermons series MUST LISTEN!!!!

Here brethren is a list of SERIES that u would do well to make time to listen to, some of these names are lesser known, but in no way less fruitful, in fact I would contend that these series would do your soul more good then double the amount from popular reformed preachers.

First let's begin with BRIAN BORGMAN

Here then is a phenomenal series on GODLY EMOTIONS (much needed in our day)
A 160 pt on SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (take your pic of topics in this one...gems!!)

Next we have Dr. Curt Daniel, a brilliant and profound.....yet down to earth expositor of scripture (he is friends of notable preachers and has had many at his little church in Illinois from DA Carson, Phil Johnson, Sam Waldron, Joel Beeke to Paul Washer etc)

Attributes of God (so far 56)
Christianity vs Philosophy (15 Pt)
Biblical Typology (8 pt)
Five points of Calvinism
History and Theology of Calvinism (75 pts)

Next a friend and the pastor of my mother and sister, P. Matt Mager

this series on Psalm 51 is just wonderful!
This moving and praise-full sermon after the near death of his wife and baby girl, magnifies our sovereign God!!
Two part sermon on Marriage and Divorce etc, is meaty and needed in our day
These Biographies are among the best on the web

Lastly I can't leave without recommending the most underrated pastor/preacher of our day, Pastor Al Martin

This series on Psalm 1 is grrrreat!!
This series on Principles of Christian Living is one of the most balanced and needed series in our day

Saturday, June 30, 2012

preaching style??

Equipping the saints (Ephesians 4) and teaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20) EXTENDS beyond the Sunday morning preaching style! We can only really and honestly defend topical vs 'verse by verse' preaching if we realize that the duty of the church can't be fulfilled in one hr during the week.

First, let's admit that it's quite possible and happens quite often that someone preaches through a given book and STILL avoids certain subjects (btw the Calvary Chapel grp which, like the SBC quite theologically diverse from church to church, well they all teach verse by verse, and yeah many still aren't teaching truth) yes some will take a large passage then pick which area they will emphasize and consequently leave out other things. Second, if a preacher takes a slower more careful approach, then exactly HOW LONG, how many yrs, how many decades before one congregation is given a solid and balanced theological diet?

Let's then look at two characters from church history that are often referenced to in regards to preaching, JOHN CALVIN the verse by verse expository prince and CHARLES SPURGEON the quintessential topical prince of preachers. Some will mock and point out the struggle of Spurgeon to come up with a text to preach.....hmm BEFORE you do that, how many Spurgeon sermons have you come across and thought, 'that was lame!' yeah didn't think so, and how many times did he preach, teach, write letters/articles etc during the week? And yet most complain of how difficult it is to prepare 2 sermons week (i'll take Spurgeons fruitful 'turmoil' anyday.....ah but when the word and the presence of God are a delight, it's hard to be unfruitful and unbalanced).

Some will point to Calvin as a good example of a verse by verse expositor who feed his people, yes I agree he is a good example, it is praiseworthy how timeless his teachings are and how diligent he preached through the word.....the question however is, do you really want to follow his example? How many times did he preach to his church verse by verse every week (10 times every 2 weeks + other things), now THAT will get your congregation familiar with the word of God!!

So what's the point? What am I advocating, which one do I choose? I don't honestly have a preference, for both COULD be good, both COULD be bad, and a mix COULD also be good or bad, that depends on the preacher......but MORE importantly it depends on how intentional the church is in stressing the need to study the word, equipping the saints with the tools to study the word, modeling a delight and need to study the word, yes even holding especially the men (husbands/fathers) accountable to teach their families the word of God! Extensive and Intensive bible study is crucial to the health of the church body, and yet too often, this is ignored while taking pride in a certain preaching style when the congregation is not grasping the truths given from the pulpit and though they commend what they heard, they fail to recognize a distortion of that truth when a false or erroneous teacher addresses the same subject. Yes the leadership of a church bears a major role in this duty, but each individual must also realize that they are not without blame, for they too must desire and seek the truth, diligently studying and applying the word of God in their lives!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My sermons

New sermon on the SUPERNATURAL power of the gospel!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A strange favorite verse of multitudes

A strange verse of multitudes indeed is John 3:16, and why pre tell would I say that such a widespread love for this verse is 'strange'? Well my dear reader it has much to do with our times and perhaps the human heart in general, for man has and has always had a relativistic understanding. By relativism I mean what was said by Plato "The way things appear to me, in that way they exist for me; and the way things appears to you, in that way they exist for you" and such is a good summary of the wisdom of a fool! It is quite the norm to see someone throw out a quote from history and to derive whatever meaning they feel suits their our opinion despite the fact that the original author hadn't the slightest ounce of harmony with such a view.

To have one's words relatively interpreted may indeed be quite annoying, but O how dangerous and even sinful is it to do so with the words of GOD! This my dear reader brings us to our text and favorite memory verse: John 3:16
*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*
(yeah I brought out the KJV on this one)
In this beautiful scripture contains the great love by which God has provided eternal life for us. Unfortunately this scripture is rarely explained and even rarer is how often it's explained correctly.
Sure we could get into the exact meaning of 'world', but that isn't my purpose, although I do believe the strongest support is found in understanding the emphasis on the 'whosoever' in the overall book of John, for in this gospel (and even in this chapter '3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”) we find numerous examples of Sovereign election and the gift to believe given not by the "will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:13).
And now back to our regularly scheduled program: It is quite normal to find John 3:16 used as a springboard to present God as a snugly teddy bear who wants to help you and make you feel better while at the same time giving you a free ticket to heaven! Yes even though this verse contains a reference to eternal damnation, few EVER see it as such and even fewer consider that they themselves are being confronted with a reality that they are indeed sinners who are headed towards damnation UNLESS they believe in God!
Yes it's quite remarkable how many times in this chapter Jesus mentions Hell directly or indirectly ("unless you be born again, you shall NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"= You will go to Hell if God doesn't supernaturally transform you into a new creature!). See what i mean? that squeamishness people (perhaps you) experience when they hear such words and it's intended meaning?
One major rule of biblical interpretation is CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT, and RELATIVISM is lord of ripping words/phrases out of context, and the people of God MUST not allow themselves to fall prey to this! Biblical illiteracy is indeed at an all time low, and few EVER study the word of God let alone read it enough to become familiar with it, and when this happens people will either look for some pastor to take the role of an apostate POPE and blindly follow him as an infallible vicar of Christ OR they will revert to discovering truth by relying on their subjective understanding (typically mixed with some truths that they do understand) and such is extremely dangerous!
Yes John 3:16 is a strange passage for some many to love who are quite uncomfortable with the doctrine of Hell and of Justice, even a beloved verse of those who don't walk with God! It is this reason why we should not be satisfied with merely quoting this verse, nor hearing someones appreciation for it, rather we should always be wondering 'but WHAT do they THINK this means?'.
Furthermore in CONTEXT, we find Jesus going further to point out the condition of mankind although many stop short of reaching such an explanation. Some will go as far as reading verse 17 "
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."
Can u hear it now? All the 'AMEN!!!'s and "PRAISE THE LORD"s, yes the 'that's right, Jesus didn't come to beat us down, and to make us feel horrible, He knows our heart, He came to spread LOVE (peace sign), He came to help, He came to save us from...whatever we want' Ugh! However this scripture is NOT saying "Jesus didn't expose sin" or 'Jesus didn't tell anyone directly that they were sinners and would go to Hell' because Jesus did exactly that and did it often! What this means is that Jesus didn't bring a final judgment upon each man while He was on this earth, for if He did no man would be alive now, in otherwords Jesus didn't come to give men what they presently deserved, for all would have been sent immediately to Hell! How do we know that this is a better understanding, a more precise interpretation? CONTEXT! CONTEXT! CONTEXT! John 3:18 (next verse)
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."
Consider then the charge against all men BEFORE they 'choose' which way they shall go, they are ALREADY condemned! The Lord isn't withholding His verdict, it's already been made and the scriptures are clear that the wrath of God abides (hangs over) everyone who doesn't believe! Furthermore we see in the next verse that the verdict upon each individual has to do specifically with their relation to God and His words, His laws: John 3:19
"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil."
It all comes down to sin, it is the fact that we are sinners and we love our sin, this is what condemns all men, this is the unmistakable common bond of all mankind, we are rebels against God. God then in His justice, in His unalterable holiness will not allow such treason to go unpunished, therefore all sin will be fully paid! This is what makes the love of God to those who believe so amazingly grand, that God orchestrated a way for His enemies to be reconciled to Him, to be saved from HIM, not saved from a place called Hell and it's fury but to be said from the wrath/fury of God who sends men to His Hell. Yes this Jesus, His beloved Son did the unthinkable, he took on human flesh, obeyed the Father perfectly, and gave His life as a ransom for many, Jesus DRANK THE HELL men deserve, so that those who believe, those who turn to God, those who submit to the Lord Most High will be saved and given eternal life (life in and with Christ)!!!!!!
We could even go further and point out that to 'believe' entails much more then simply speaking some words, or agreeing with truth, for what we find in this chapter and confirmed by numerous passages throughout scripture is that a supernatural change must and will take place. A change so dramatic that the title 'born-again' fits perfectly, a change from 'loving darkness' to 'loving light' in otherwords if we truly believe we will LOVE Jesus and HATE our sin, we will come into the 'Light' and walk in the light!

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