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Pondering John 3:16

By Dennis Love

McDowell CountyDennis Love McDowell County


As we ponder the birth of Jesus during the month of December, we would all be greatly benefited by pondering John 3:16.  Herschel Hobbs called this verse, “The Gospel in Superlatives.”  Martin Luther said it was, “The Bible in Miniature.”  A.T. Robertson referred to it as, “The Little Gospel.”  Others have called it, “The Mount Everest of Holy Scripture.”  The one I like the best is, “The Gospel in a Nutshell.”

F.W. Boreham called it everybody’s text.  Here is a verse so profound, all the scholars of all ages could never plumb its depths.  Yet, this is a verse so simple, a small child can understand its meaning.  Perhaps more people have come to faith in Christ by this verse than any other.

Ponder this—-“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  This verse addresses a number of “isms” in our world that could be put to rest if we would simply ponder them.

“For God” addresses ATHEISM, which says there is no God.

“So Loved” addresses FATALISM, which says God is an impersonal force.

“The World” addresses NATIONALISM, which says God loves only one people group.

“That He Gave” addresses MATERIALISM, which says it is more blessed to receive than to give.

“His Only Begotten Son” addresses MUHAMMADISM, which says God did not have a Son.

“That Whosoever Believes” addresses CALVINISM, which says Christ died only for the elect.

“In Him” addresses PLURALISM, which says all religions are equally the same.

“Should Not Perish” addresses ANNIHILATIONISM, which says there is no hell.

“But Have Everlasting Life” addresses ARMINIANISM, which says God gives only conditional life.

I am in the camp of one “ism” and it is called BIBLICISM, which is wrapped up in this one verse if we would simply ponder it.

This is a verse that you cannot exhaust.  The great evangelist D.L. Moody met a young preacher in England named Henry Moorhead.  Moody told young Moorhead that if he ever came to America that he wanted him to preach at his church in Chicago.  One day Moody received a telegram from Moorhead saying, “I have landed in New York, and I will be coming to preach for you.”  Moody was scheduled to be out of town and responded to the telegram telling the young preacher that he was welcome to come and preach one night at his church.  When Moody returned, he was surprised to learn that Moorhead had preached several nights with large crowds and many coming to faith in Christ.  Moody’s wife said to him, “He’s a better preacher than you.  He preaches that God loves people.”  And he was told that Moorhead had preached every night from John 3:16.  Now, here’s where this story gets really interesting.  Moorhead started preaching at the age of 16.  He died an untimely death at 33.  His text for every sermon was John 3:16.  The messages were different, but the text was the same.  Surely, no preacher in a lifetime could ever exhaust this text.   Take some time during this month and ponder it for yourself!


Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County.  Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years.  He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years.  They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.  He can be reached via email at:

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