Good News for Hopeless Sinners (That Includes You and Me!)

“For God did not send his Son into the world that he might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

This might be the most important verse in the New Testament.

That’s quite a claim to make about the verse that comes after the most well-known verse in the Bible: John 3:16. In some ways, verse 17 suffers from understandable neglect, coming as it does on the heels of what Martin Luther called “the heart of the Bible” and “the gospel in miniature.” Nothing I say about my text can take away from the glory of John 3:16. These verses go together and cannot be separated.

We can state the problem another way. A recent survey revealed that Jeremiah 29:11 was the most searched-for verse in the Bible in 2018. That’s well and good and completely understandable, but who knows (or even thinks about) Jeremiah 29:10? Most of us know only one verse from Jeremiah 29.

So it is with John 3:17.
But I still think it might be the most important verse in the New Testament.

It’s the reason we’re going to heaven, or making it more personal, if you’re going to heaven, John 3:17 is the reason. Outside of this verse, we have no hope whatsoever. No one goes to heaven if John 3:17 is not true.

With that bold beginning, let’s look at what this verse says about the purpose of Christ’s coming. It contains good news, better news, and the best news of all.

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Originally published December 30, 2018.