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John 3:16-21

Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Are you saved or condemned? How would you know?

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In The Beginning

Everything begins with God — GOD so loved the world. This is the who and what of our salvation. God, in Himself, loved us…not because He found anything in us lovable but because He Himself is love
— God is love. This does not mean love is God! But, rather, the true definition of what love is, is found in the nature of God Himself.
1 John 4:16 NASB95
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
In the character and nature of God is love and from this place came the motivation to save those who had rebelled against Him. And in this act God demonstrates His tremendous capacity to love…it shows us something of who it is.
Romans 5:8 NASB95
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God’s love isn’t like our love. So often the motivation for our own love is selfish in nature. We love because someone appeals to us, has done something for us, has endeared themselves to us. But God loves the unloveable…the totally and completely unloveable. He loves the one who could never make himself or herself anything but wicked, perverse and unlovable. There is no sinner bad enough to ever escape the love of God.
God’s love isn’t like our love. So often the motivation for our own love is selfish in nature. We love because someone appeals to us, has done something for us, has endeared themselves to us. But God loves the unloveable…the totally and completely unloveable. He loves the one who could never make himself or herself anything but wicked, perverse and unlovable.
World — God’s love is not restricted by race or location. God loves all of us. Christianity is not a white man, black man or brown man’s religion. It is not a rich man or poor man’s religion…Christianity is for everyone.
"Norma Jean turned into a very pretty young girl and people began to notice. Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too--not just a body--or a pretty face--but a person. "Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name-- Marilyn Monroe and the publicity people told her, 'We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.' And this was her reaction, 'A symbol? Aren't symbols things people hit together?' They said, 'Honey, it doesn't matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.' "She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?'
"Norma Jean turned into a very pretty young girl and people began to notice. Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too--not just a body--or a pretty face--but a person.
"Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name-- Marilyn Monroe and the publicity people told her, 'We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.' And this was her reaction, 'A symbol? Aren't symbols things people hit together?' They said, 'Honey, it doesn't matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.'
"Norma Jean turned into a very pretty young girl and people began to notice. Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too--not just a body--or a pretty face--but a person. "Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name-- Marilyn Monroe and the publicity people told her, 'We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.' And this was her reaction, 'A symbol? Aren't symbols things people hit together?' They said, 'Honey, it doesn't matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.' "She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?'
"She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?' Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles.
"Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did.
"She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified.
Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles. "Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did. "She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified. "She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously. "She went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be other than that.' "Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.' "And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself.
"She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously.
"She went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be other than that.'
Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles. "Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did. "She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified. "She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously. "She went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be other than that.' "Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.' "And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself.
"Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.'
"When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her. Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself. "He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I now edit for church, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care!' That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling.
"And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself.
"When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her. Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself. "He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I now edit for church, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care!' That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling.
"When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her.
"Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." 
"Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." 
Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself.
"Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." 
"He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I now edit for church, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care!' That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling.
"Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." 
Oh for just a moment to tell Marilyn of the love God had for her. To help her see that His love was for the whole world…even her…Do you realize that for yourself this morning? That God loves you…even you?
God looked at sin sick, broken humanity across the space of time and place, loved us and decided to save us.
At this point we need to take an aside to say this — Calvinist look at this passage and wish to emphasize God’s initiative…Armenians look at this passage and wish to emphasize the next phrase in verse 16, “whosoever.” The reality is simply this…there is a great mystery to salvation…a great paradox.
Whosoever believes — All who place faith in Christ. There is no qualifiers here about who has the opportunity to do so. But one thing we know is that faith in the One lifted up is necessary for eternal life.
Belief — Jesus is referring the faith mentioned at the end of verse 15. It is an intellectual assent to truth and the entrusting of one’s life to that truth. Those who believe Jesus was lifted up to pay for their salvation, turn from sin and give their life to Him will be saved and never perish.
Perish — This is eternal death. Eternal separation from God. Spiritual death…to never know God. It is the destruction of life…for your life to never be what God created it to be.
Hell is disintegration -- the eternal loss of being a real person. In hell the mathematician who lived for his science can't add two and two. The concert pianist who worshiped himself through his art can't play a simple scale. The man who lived for sex goes on in eternal lust, with no body to exploit. The woman who made a god out of fashion has a thousand dresses but no mirror! Hell is eternal desire -- eternally unfulfilled.
Hell is disintegration -- the eternal loss of being a real person. In hell the mathematician who lived for his science can't add two and two. The concert pianist who worshiped himself through his art can't play a simple scale. The man who lived for sex goes on in eternal lust, with no body to exploit. The woman who made a god out of fashion has a thousand dresses but no mirror! Hell is eternal desire -- eternally unfulfilled.
Eternal Life — To know God. Live forever with Him and experience a quality of life that defies description
John 17:3 NASB95
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Let’s think about this for a moment…Eternal means both it will never, ever end and an extreme quality we could never imagine. It means to know God. We will know Him in such a way that our mind cannot comprehend at this moment. We will have an intimacy with Him which defies comprehension.
John 10:10 NASB95
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Let’s think about this for a moment…Eternal means both it will never, ever end and an extreme quality we could never imagine .
The greatest pain in hell will not be any physical pain, although that will be awful in itself, but the knowledge of what has been missed…the missed opportunity to know God.
Abundant is an overflow. God intends to give us an overflow of life as He defines what it is. Can we even begin to imagine?

Now Is The Time of Grace

Condemn — God did not send Jesus into the world in order to judge or condemn the world. Many translation use the word “condemn” instead of “judge” because this is a reference to negative judgement…it is simply the pronouncement of what is. “Jesus did not enter a neutral world in order to save some and condemn others…He entered into a lost world in order to save some.”
The world stands judged already as lost, wicked, sinful and dead. However the time for pronouncement of its wickedness has not yet come. Now is the time of salvation and grace whereby we are given the opportunity to have faith in Jesus for salvation from that final pronouncement and consequence yet to come.
One thing we must always be mindful of when sharing the Gospel is the necessity of helping the person you are sharing with to see he or she is lost and separated from God…condemned already. We cannot truly understand the purpose and mission of Jesus on the cross if we do not first understand our current circumstances apart from Him.
Those in verse 14…those bitten by the snake in the wilderness understood their need for salvation from the snake’s venom when they looked up at the bronze snake…likewise we must help sinners see they are sinners, sick and dead so they might see their need and turn their eyes upon Jesus and His cross.
Jesus did not come to pronounce condemnation and judgement, that is for a later time. He came to seek and to save those who are lost.
Not Judged — We who have placed our faith in Christ for our salvation are just that…saved. We are free from condemnation and judgement. God looks upon us and sees the redeemed…someone clothed in the righteousness of Christ. We are His own.
Romans 8:1–2 NASB95
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
No one and nothing has the right to condemn a believer in Christ. Not anyone around you, not you, not even the devil himself. A repentant sinner is free of all condemnation and judgement…period and end of statement.
Pioneers were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it. As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!"What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ! "On Him Almighty vengeance fell, Which would have sunk a world to hell. He bore it for a chosen race, And thus becomes our Hiding Place." The fires of God's judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.
t was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.
As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!"
What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ!
"On Him Almighty vengeance fell, Which would have sunk a world to hell. He bore it for a chosen race, And thus becomes our Hiding Place."
The fires of God's judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.
And as the saved we need not fear what is to come. We are not now nor shall we ever be condemned. And we need not fear the consequences of sin we suffer under in this present reality. Even death...
Judgement is coming and Jesus has the authority to do so…but not in His first coming. Now is grace and salvation
John 5:24–29 NASB95
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
Judgement is coming and Jesus has the authority to do so…but not in His first coming. Now is grace and salvation
Judged Already — But those who reject Christ, stand in judgement now and will one day have that judgement pronounced over them as they suffer the consequences of their rejection.
How horrible it is to sit judged. How horrible it is to be spiritually dead. They are around us everyday…the walking dead…those who do not know Christ…destined for hell and eternal separation from God.
And this scripture is clear…it is of their own doing. They have rejected Christ…they have chosen pride, sin and rebellion just as much as our original and common ancestors did, Adam and Eve.
Several years ago a book was published entitled Looking Out for Number One. On the dedication page the author wrote, "Dedicated to the hope that somewhere in our universe there exists a civilization where the inhabitants possess sole dominion over their own lives." There is such a place. It's called Hell.

Choices

Judgement — There are those who love sin and the result is a life of evil…God hates sin…and judges evil for what it is. He is just and will not allow sin to go unpunished.
Sin is pleasurable for a season. Temptation would not exist if it were not so. There is a pleasure in sin for a time. And most of mankind, throughout history, will choose to pursue this temporary pleasure rather than repent and enjoy a relationship with Christ.
It is not that God has chosen some for heaven and others for hell…it is that all of mankind chosen sin and some will never want to leave their sin; they will tragically end up in hell when their choice and subsequent sentence is pronounced against them on the day of judgement.
Several years ago a book was published entitled Looking Out for Number One. On the dedication page the author wrote, "Dedicated to the hope that somewhere in our universe there exists a civilization where the inhabitants possess sole dominion over their own lives." There is such a place. It's called Hell.
Several years ago a book was published entitled Looking Out for Number One. On the dedication page the author wrote, "Dedicated to the hope that somewhere in our universe there exists a civilization where the inhabitants possess sole dominion over their own lives." There is such a place. It's called Hell.
But there's another side. G.K. Chesterton once remarked, "Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human personality." Hell, a compliment? Yes, because God is saying to us, "You are significant. I take you seriously. Choose to reject me -- choose hell if you will. I will let you go." 
Hate the Light — They don’t just love their sin but they hate Christ…hate the Light…hate the revelation of God found in Him…hate the truth. The lost world is not having a party in their sinful indulgence while maintaining a neutrality to the things of God and Jesus Christ…they are having a party in their indulgence while vehemently opposing and hating Christ!
Their hatred is in part produced by a fear…fear that the party will end…that they will be held to account…that they will no longer be their own gods, determining right and wrong in their own eyes.
The tragedy is that those dead in their sin have no idea what they are missing. No idea the joy of relationship with Christ. The joy of laying down their life, repenting of sin and living in Jesus.
Heaven is a future hope that will be unspeakable in its joy. But the joy relationship with Christ is something wonderful here and now…and these folks do not know or seem to care to know what it is they are missing.
He who practices truth — Those of us who know Jesus come to the Light so that our life can glorify Him…so our life can be seen as participating in His life…So people can look at us and see Him working through us…So people can see Jesus in us and themselves come to know Him
We are who we are because of Christ at work within us and we want people to see that so they might also come to Him!

Conclusion

But there's another side. G.K. Chesterton once remarked, "Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human personality." Hell, a compliment? Yes, because God is saying to us, "You are significant. I take you seriously. Choose to reject me -- choose hell if you will. I will let you go." 
sdsv
"Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name-- Marilyn Monroe and the publicity people told her, 'We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.' And this was her reaction, 'A symbol? Aren't symbols things people hit together?' They said, 'Honey, it doesn't matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.'
Jesus loves you and doesn’t want you to go to hell. He has brought you here this morning with a purpose in mind. To offer you an opportunity to receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior. If you will repent, believe and give your life to Christ He will save you today.
"She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?' Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles. "Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did. "She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified. "She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously.
"She went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be other than that.'"Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.' "And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself. "When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her.
Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself."He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I now edit for church, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care!' That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling. "Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." 
Our motivation to share the Gospel is that the Lamb of God might be glorified…Show them they are sinners by using the law of God…take them to the Cross and let them see Christ doesn’t judge them for their sin yet but they are condemned already if they will not repent. Lead them to Christ
At the heart of it all, each one of us, want to be known and want to be loved. Some, never believe such a thing possible and they pursue anything and ever
"She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?' Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles.
"Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did.
"She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified.
"She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously.
"She went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be other than that.'
"Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.'
"And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself.
"When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her.
Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself.
"He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I now edit for church, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care!' That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling.
"Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." 
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