Vol. 6, No. 8
~ Page 17 ~
Have you ever watched a sporting event, especially football, and seen this painted on a large poster board? As the kicker prepares to propel the ball through the vertical yellow uprights, some fan (or three) is holding such a sign. The professional football season is nigh, and I'm sure there will be no lack of this "reminder from the end zone" in the days to come.
Why this sign is held up for millions of television-viewing fans to see? I am going to assume it makes reference to one of the most dearly beloved and persuasive passages in all the Holy Scriptures: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). In my estimation, that is a great passage concerning salvation. But have you noticed nobody ever posts one for earlier verses in the same chapter, such as "John 3:3-5!" If one concerns salvation, does not the other? If not, why? Also, since about 98% of football games are played between 1:00 and 8:00 on Sunday afternoon, I can't help but wonder if these sign-bearers exchanged worship for personal entertainment on Sunday to deliver their message?
Let me draw your focus now to another "3:16": "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" This is a tremendous "3:16" passage concerning the usefulness and divine origin of the Word of God. I suppose, were it not for this "3:16" the other "3:16" would mean very little. After all, if the Bible is not inspired (literally, "God-breathed"), John 3:16 is not worth the paper upon which it is printed!
Anybody, sitting on his couch during the game, who would be so "inclined," should turn to 2 Timothy 3:16 and find several other important things:
All Scripture is inspired of God -- The origin of the Bible is the Sovereign of the Universe.
Profitable -- The Word of God is the source of spiritual strength and success.
Doctrine -- It is always accurate, teaching us how to be accepted with God.
Reproof -- It is the sufficient standard to safeguard the soul from harm.
Correction -- It is the sufficient standard of discipline and direction.
Instruction in righteousness -- It is the sufficient standard of holy and godly living.
Reading further, verse seventeen concludes what is likely the most magnificent, single sentence concerning the origin and nature of the Scriptures known to man! If only this "3:16" was considered with as much respect as the other!
Remember this "3:16" the next time you see the pigskin headed toward that much-coveted advertising location in your favorite end zone!