I get it. Nearly everyone in church can quote John 3:16,and that’s a great verse to memorize.The world surely does need to hear that God loved them so much that He sent his only Son to die as payment for their sins.There is no greater news than this IMO.

But what happened to John 3:17?

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Read that verse again.It plainly states that God did not send Jesus His Son into this world to condemn the world,but rather to save the world through Him.

There it is friends…Jesus did NOT come to condemn but to SAVE.

From where I sit on the front row, I see something else and it is ugly.I see an abundance of God’s people doing exactly what Jesus did not come to do, and that is to condemn.

Let me share this observation with you:I see prodigal sons(and daughters)everywhere among us,yet I see very little effort being made to win them back with the love of Christ.I hear biting,stinging words of rebuke and hypocrisy directed at those who have wandered away.

I hear words like “well,they made the choice to leave”,or “it’s not my job to go after them”. Or much worse than any of these is that nothing is said at all. It’s as if they never existed.Is this what Jesus meant for His church to become?

I am pretty certain that most of us in the church know of an individual or family that has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth.People who at one time were active in the church and yet now no one knows anything about them.People who have been hurt by words of condemnation,people starving for one word from someone to let them know they are loved and valued,yet hear nothing.

I know what this feels like,which is why it’s so personal with me.I know what it’s like to be abandoned on the side of the road by a denomination that said they loved but in reality did not.I also know what it’s like to be abandoned by those in church that have been deceived into thinking they know what the love of Christ is,but in practice fall far short.

Words of condemnation do not come from the Lord,but rather those who profess to be His children.How pitiful and hypocritical the church must appear to the rest of the world!

While the church rages on in it’s condemnation of homosexuals,adulterers,liars,and thieves,Jesus stands before the world with an open door policy saying “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

No condemnation….no stinging rebuke….no words of hate or judgement.

Just “come unto me….”

I wonder….whatever did happen to John 3:17?

Be blessed,

Ron

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