The Love of God for Humanity -- By: John F. Macarthur, Jr.

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 07:1 (Spring 1996)
Article: The Love of God for Humanity
Author: John F. Macarthur, Jr.


The Love of God for Humanity1

John F. MacArthur, Jr.

President and Professor of Pastoral Ministries

John 3:16 declares Gods love for the whole world, but in recent times some have insisted that God does not love everyone. The OT and the NT repeatedly indicate that Gods love extends to everyone. The immediate context of John 3:16 supports this fact. Further, no grounds exist for questioning Gods sincerity in showing mercy to the non-elect. Though difficult for humans to understand, God can love and be the Savior of those whom He does not save. His love for the elect may be somewhat different from that for the non-elect, but His love for the latter is still genuine. God demonstrates His love for all people in four ways: through His common grace, through His compassion, through His admonitions to the lost, and through His gospel offer to them.

* * * * *

Perhaps you have noticed that someone shows up at almost every major American sporting event, in the center of the television camera’s view, holding a sign that usually reads “John 3:16.” At the World Series, the sign can normally be spotted right behind home plate. At the Super Bowl, someone holding the sign inevitably has seats between the goalposts. And in the NBA playoffs, the ubiquitous “John 3:16” banner can be seen somewhere in the front-row seats. How these people always manage to get prime seats is a mystery. But someone is always there,

often wearing a multicolored wig to call attention to himself.

A couple of years ago, one of the men who had gained some degree of fame from displaying these John 3:16 signs barricaded himself in a Los Angeles hotel and held police at bay until he was permitted to make a statement on television. It was a surrealistic image—here was someone who felt his mission in life was declaring John 3:16, and he was waving a gun and threatening police, while spouting biblical slogans. His career of attending major sporting events ended when police took him into custody without further incident.

As I watched the sordid episode unfold on television, I was embarrassed that someone whom the public identified as a Christian would so degrade the gospel message. It occurred to me that I was watching someone whose approach to “evangelism” had never really been anything more than a quest for ...

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