That Is Good News! God loved, loves and will continue to love

Published 6:45 pm Sunday, April 28, 2019

Courtesy photo
Pastor Brad McKenzie, second from left, with his daughter, Anna Claire, left, son, Jack, and wife, Emily, as they announced he accepted the position as pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene.

Think about some of the key circumstances in your life, especially those that changed the future moving forward.  Some of the occasions in a person’s story are tragic, difficult and painful, while most are remarkably breathtaking, joyous and transformative.  

The circumstances of our existence mold and shape us; they present us with choices for the future.  We can be passive in the way events influence our lives or we can be active. We can try to numb the painful moments and memories with chemicals, activities, and work, but eventually, pain returns.  

Finding that we are created for a purpose, that there is a plan for each life can liberate our reality and change our outlook.  

One single event can change everything.

In fact, there was one single event that did change everything.  That single event is the reality of Easter. Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a cross, died a real death and was put into a real grave, was raised to life to wear the crown of victory over sin, death, and hell.  

The empty tomb of Easter morning changed the circumstances of the existence of the world not just in that powerful moment, but for every moment that would ever exist.  Easter changes everything and the triumph of the resurrected life is available for all who will believe.

John 3:16-17 says: “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.”

The “world” that Jesus mentions here really means the world, the whole world.  It means that God loved, loves and will continue to love every woman, man, girl and boy.  Every person who has ever lived lives and will ever live.

God loves people from every culture, every race, and every land.

Just as the children’s song says, “red and yellow, black and white; they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world!”  

My friend, this even means YOU!     

I included John 3:17 because we often just focus on John3:16.  

Verse 17 shows us that in addition to loving the world, God sent Jesus to the world He loved to save the world.  The same world that is included in who He loves is also included in who He sent Jesus to save.

Jesus did not simply save the world, but He gave His life, in death, death on a cross to save the world from sin, death, and hell.

If you doubt that God loves you, then I encourage you to look to the cross as the only proof needed to realize that God really does love the world.  He really desires for the world to be saved.

We can’t forget Easter Sunday in God’s saving story of love.  In fact, without the empty tomb, the cross is worthless. In Easter, we see the culminating event of God’s love for humanity, when in love, He raised His one and only Son back to life.  

Easter then becomes the ultimate key event that all of history can look back and say, “from that point on, nothing was ever the same.”  It was never the same because, in Easter, God proclaims that His Holy Loves wins and gives purpose to all life, even the life of the one reading these words.  

My friends, God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.  That Is Good News!


Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Frist Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.