“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:20-21).

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“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:20-21). Why would those who live by the truth willingly come into the light, so that it may be seen plainly what they have done? Just try… you won’t be able to stop a child of God from proclaiming the love that has been showered upon them. See, Jesus isn’t being punitive here, nor do I believe God’s intent is a good shaming. Quite the opposite, in fact! It’s impossible for us to wrap our heads around this awesome mystery of God’s grace without help from the Holy Spirit. Those who live by the truth rejoice in the whole truth!

From Read John 3:16, then Keep Reading:

John 3:16 is easily one of the most well known verses in the entire Bible, and for good reason, much like Romans 8:28, this verse, from the Gospel of John, is incredibly powerful and full of encouragement, but don’t just read John 3:16 and then stop there… keep reading. Indeed, what Jesus says here is encouraging and amazing and most definitely life changing but keep reading. What Jesus goes on to say is also encouraging and amazing and most definitely life changing.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Let the Lord finish His thought.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:16-21).

There you go, Christian.

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:20-21).

The message of God’s grace here is incomplete without contemplating Jesus’ entire thought. I have nothing against referencing John 3:16 alone. All the coffee mugs and t-shirts, bearing that inspirational message, are great. But Christian, keep reading. We must step into the light, that is, the Lord Jesus, and acknowledge our sinfulness, beyond platitudes, then trust Him, the Savior, not reject Him, and be born again through faith. Context is crucial, and cherry-picking scripture in order to sooth itching ears is a dangerous practice to say the least (2 Timothy 4:3). After all, Jesus isn’t the one waiting on the other side of the wide gate, and to lead anyone there is to lead them, as well as oneself, to destruction. Let us be wise, especially in our dealings with nonbelievers, and may our words be preserved in honesty, full of grace and humility, and be without hypocrisy (Colossians 4:5-6); there is no love to be found in a lie, and no deception to be found in Christ.

John 3 closes with Jesus reiterating His message of God’s love and the promise of eternal life. “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:35-36). One of the seven times in John’s Gospel where we are told that the Father loves the Son, and in verse 36, the Father’s love is manifested in giving the Son control over all things, which includes the destinies of man. So you see, the wheat can’t help itself from bearing witness to God’s love; whereas, the chaff can’t bring itself to leave the darkness, despite the wrath that awaits them. Therefore, by all means, read John 3:16, then keep reading.

I see Jesus’ teaching here in John unfolding in 1 Corinthians. Paul’s instruction, concerning the wandering brother in chapter 5, was an act of love, both for the brother and the church. Although the apostle’s direction would have called for a public announcement, before the assembly, Paul’s intent was never to crush the poor man, but rather, that he might be led to restoration. The announcement would have been an occasion filled with genuine sorrow and humiliation, not one of pride and boasting as was remarked in verse two, and the brother’s departure would have been followed by continual prayer for his spiritual restoration. Bad company corrupts (1 Corinthians 15:33), and as was made evident by their boasting, yeast, good or bad, works its way through the batch of dough (1 Corinthians 5:7). Excommunication should never be used as an end itself, but rather, a means toward an end. The discipline of believers is ALWAYS intended to bring about RESTORATION to fellowship with the Lord. Therefore even in a case as extreme as this one, we can rejoice in the truth, because only in the truth are we able to rejoice in God’s abundant grace and provision! No wonder the enemy desires that we be deceived otherwise; a love shortsighted, sadly.

As I shared before, I will continue to share what I have been given from above the best I can. If there are those who choose to heed my message, then hallelujah and praise be to God, but to those who choose to ignore, God will eventually lead me to move on to the next house (Matthew 10:14). The Lord was clear to His disciples then, and He is clear to us today, that the harvest is abundant, yet the harvesters are too few. Time is short.

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