Friday, July 15, 2016

Whosoever Will

One of American Christendom's most beloved and abused verses must surely be that of John 3:16 which is plastered everywhere, including football games, presenting the gospel to whosoever believeth. Unfortunately the verse does not mean what its advocates proclaim.
 
The verse in question reads
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. 
The superficial reading of the verse does indeed appear to support the proclamation that anyone who believes will have everlasting life. Leaving aside the Greek diction and its delimitations of who constitutes whosoever, we must consider this verse in the light of other sayings of Jesus which control the applicability of this verse.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:24
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Quoting John 3:16 without this context does great violence to Jesus' words. The whosoever of this verse can only be those of the lost sheep of Israel.
 
The question of interest is who are the lost sheep. While the answer to that question takes us far afield from our initial investigation, we note that lost sheep are those Israelites who were dispersed by the invasions by Assyria, and then Babylon,  of the nations of Israel - the north and south kingdoms.
 
The Jews are not the lost sheep - only the Hebrews are sheep. These Hebrews are the 12 tribes of Israel which were dispersed to fulfill the promise given to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations.
 
As the kinsmen redeemer, Jesus came to save his people and no other. His people spread far and wide, mostly across northern Europe and then to North America.
 
John did not write 3:16 to promiscuously promise the Kingdom to non-Israelites.