John 3:16 – Aspect 1 – Danger

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  • December 9, 2012

Perishing

Tell the titanic story

The Titanic was a cruise ship that was impossible to sink, or so they said.  On a tragic night in 1912 the ship struck an iceberg and sank. Many died in that cold Atlantic Ocean.  The scene outside the White Star office in Liverpool beggared description.  A great crowd of relatives of those who had taken passage on that ill-fated vessel thronged the street.  On either side of the main entrance a large board had been placed.  Above one was printed, KNOWN TO BE SAVED. The other, KNOWN TO have perished.

Every now and then, a man would appear from the office bearing a large piece of cardboard on which was written the name of one of the passengers.  As he held up the name, a deathly stillness swept over the crowd; it watched to see to which of the boards he would pin the name.

You see there were only two categories the day the Titanic sank – the saved and the perishing. This is exactly what the bible tells us, there are only two types of people in the world, those perishing and those not perishing.

Read John 3:16 again

How do we know what Jesus means by the word perishing?

Luke 18:10 – In this verse the bible uses the same word for perish as it does for lost. Those who are perishing are those who are lost.

So what is meant by the term lost? Jesus said he came to save those who are lost. The story of the prodigal son can help us here. Who knows what happened?

One son demanded his inheritance from his father and went off and spent it on wild living and when he was done he wanted to come home. Luke 15:32 records his father’s response to his homecoming.

This is again the same word here. The father knew where his son had gone but he also knew that it was up to the son to return home of his own will. So when the term lost is used it means to no longer be with the father.

Why are we are perishing? Isa 59:1-2 – Sin.

Where did this perishing begin? When did we become sinners? Psalm 51:5 – at birth

Romans 3:12 – In the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve

If we know we are perishing because we are separated from God then you would think we would just stop sinning but do we?

Use the following object lesson.

Object lesson: How do we live in relation to the fact that we are perishing

Write a misspelled word on the board that the youth will recognise as being spelled incorrectly. You may even want to write a complete sentence while misspelling a single word. Begin talking about a subject and allow time for the youth to spot the misspelled word.

When someone does notice it, first pretend that you just don’t see what they’re talking about. What are you talking about, I don’t see anything wrong.

Next argue that it is the correct spelling; have someone look it up in a dictionary. No I believe it is spelt correctly, check the dictionary

After discovering that it is spelled wrong, then tell them that’s just the way you want to spell it. Let them argue their point. OK, that may be correct but this is just the way I like to spell it

Next agree that it is spelled wrong, but just cover it up with a piece of paper or your hand. Ok it’s wrong but I can fix it by covering it up.

Finally ask them what they would have you do about it. Hopefully they’ll say, “Erase it and write it correctly!” What then should do about it?

Explain that these are the same ways people treat sin in their lives:

* First – we pretend we don’t see it.
* Second – we argue that it’s right.
* Third – we decide we don’t care what the rules say; we’re going to do it our way anyway.
* Fourth – we agree it’s wrong, but just try to cover it up.

AND THIS IS WHY WE ARE PERISHING, because we refuse to accept Gods way of doing things, we refuse to accept that maybe God is right and we should do what He commands.

We sin. Do things against God and do not repent of them. Two words there “What do they mean” Sin and repent. Can anyone tell me?

What does God think about all this? Does it please him that the lost are perishing?

God’s heart on this issue is clearly revealed by the prophet Ezekiel who quoted God as follows:

‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, BUT RATHER that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back; turn back from your evil ways!” Ezekiel 33:11 see also Ezekiel 18:23

In Ezekiel 33:32 God says

I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, REPENT and live.

Finally Paul reveals Gods heart in 1 Timothy 2:4

Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (Knowledge and truth go hand in hand)

What is Gods ultimate goal? 2Peter 3:9. He is patient with us. Why?

God wants none of us to perish; this is Gods great love for us. There is no doubt about it, we are perishing but there is equally no doubt about the fact that God wants us all to come to him.

And so contrary to popular opinion of many who are misinformed concerning the character of God, His heart in both the Old and New Testaments is that not one man would perish but that all would come to repentance. And so He holds back His hand of righteous judgment as He patiently waits.

Are you perishing? Do you know anyone who is perishing, in the way we are talking about here?

What should you do about it? 

John.20:21. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

God has given us his one and only Son so that we will not perish but instead have everlasting live and an inheritance in His Kingdom. Then he instructs us to go out and do the same. God loved us so much that Christ died for us. How much to you love the ones God has sent you to.

Share the gospel in love today.

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