“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Perhaps one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, this verse from the Gospel of John tells us why God sent Jesus as a baby to minister to the world and offer each of us eternity in heaven, faith leaders say.
This “weighty” verse of Scripture is the “real reason” we celebrate Advent, said a former pastor.
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Advent is a “time of heart preparation” before the birth of Christ, which is celebrated on Christmas Day, said Jim Thompson, a retired pastor and current global director of missions from Port St. Lucie, Florida.
“The word ‘Advent’ was borrowed from the original Latin word meaning ‘coming’ or ‘coming’ of Jesus, God’s only and unique Son,” said Thompson, who works with International Cooperating Ministries, which has its headquarters in Hampton, Virginia , Has.
“It is amazing to find that these words were spoken by Jesus himself to tell us the primary reason he came to earth,” he continued.
“His love and offer of forgiveness and eternal life are extended to you. Remember, God saves sinners.”
He added: “It starts with the love of God. These words are a revelation of the nature of God.”
He also said: “God loves every person in the world. He loves everyone because he loves everyone.”
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If you’re a parent, you know there is no “higher or deeper love” than the love you have for your child, Thompson continued.
God’s love for us is the same, Thompson observed.
“God owed us nothing,” he continued. Yet both God and His Son Jesus did not want to leave us “in our sin and separation.”
It was because of God’s “great love” that Jesus came to earth for us “and died for us,” he also said.
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The “whoever” in John 3:16 means “’everyone’ in the world who by faith comes to Jesus and believes in Him for forgiveness and salvation,” Thompson added.
“Jesus tells us about God’s offer of eternal life.”
“No matter what you did. No matter how long you ran from God.”
He also said, “His love and offer of forgiveness and eternal life are extended to you. Remember, God saves sinners.”
He continued: “Finally, Jesus tells us about God’s offer of eternal life. God does not want anyone to perish in their sins. He desires everyone to come to repentance. Faith in Jesus and repentance from sin opens the door that Jesus came – and died – to provide “eternal and everlasting life.”
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Thompson then offered a prayer for anyone to pray when the season of Advent ends.
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“Dear Jesus, thank you for loving the world so much that you came for us. I believe you died on the cross for my sins. I am sorry for everything. Please forgive me and come into my life. In your name I pray . Amen.”