RC Sproul Straight Talk


RC Sproul Said:

(John 3:16) "Surely is the most famous verse in the New Testament.  It begins by saying something about the love of God and the object of God's affection. "God so loved the world..." now let me finish this for you according to contemporary understandings of Jn. 3:16. God so loved the world that He gave Christ, and saves everybody in the world.

People draw from this text a doctrine of universal salvation, that God loves the world so much that He saves everybody. Well obviously that's not what the text says.

...consider this scenario; Suppose that there actually is a God in heaven, and suppose this God in heaven created the whole world and everybody in it, and suppose among the birds and the fish and the animals, He gave the most exalted position in all of creation to this one to whom He gives his image, called human beings. And he says to them, "you will be holy even as I am holy". And suppose 15 minutes after he makes them they revolt against him, after he says "if you do this you will die", and they do that. And He says "I'll tell you what, I'm gonna provide a way to escape that judgement". And he speaks to Abraham out of paganism and brings him to himself, and says "I'm gonna make you the father of a great nation", suppose he does that and then he blesses all of the descendants of Abraham and then expands to a whole nation and says "through this nation I'm going to bless the whole world." But this nation repeatedly turns against God. So then God sends prophets to these people and tells them to come back to him, as an unfaithful spouse returns to their partner. And they kill the prophets.

And then finally this God says "I'll tell you what, I love you so much that even though you are a stiff-necked people I'm going to send my eternal only begotten son into this planet and I'm going to subject him to you." And he sends his son, and the people rise up against his son, and crucify him. And yet God loves them enough in all of this that while they are in the act of killing him, God takes the sin of his people and transfers them to the death of his own son. And says "look if you put your trust in him, if you will confess your sins, and believe in him, if you turn your gaze on Jesus, and you do that, here's what: no death, no punishment, I'm gonna give you eternal life with no pain no tears no evil no darkness.

Now suppose he did that, would you have the guts to come up to God and say "God you haven't done enough for this world that hates you" ? Are you one of those who gets angry when you hear there's only one way to God? The question is, why should there be one?, not why is there only one. It's why is there one at all?

Well God loves the world enough to send the Only One, He doesn't love enough to say you can ignore the only One. We need to understand that. Because everything out there in that culture says if God only provides one way of salvation, and one savior then God doesn't really love the world. But think about the depths of the love that God has displayed by giving us Christ, whose name is not worthy to be mentioned in the same breath with that of Mohammad or Buddha or Confucius or anybody else. Because God has one Son, who from all eternity beheld the glory of the Father and yet and as the creed we read this morning said, "for us and for our salvation", came from the bosom of the Father to be lifted up on a cross that anyone that puts their trust in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Excerpts from the Sermon "The Son of Man Must be lifted up" John 3:14-21, by R.C. Sproul

source:  https://www.ligonier.org/learn/sermons/son-man-lifted-up

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