Introduction

 by

Bernie Koerselman  


 There are two issues this book will discuss; the meanings of believes and him in John 3:16: 

"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. 

What does it mean to believe?  And to whom does him refer?

Salvation is ours when we believe in him as God tells us in his Word.  This book is dedicated to proving what Scripture says that is. 

As you read the above paragraphs, you may think those issues are foolishly simple, that everyone knows what it means to believe and knows that "him" refers to Jesus.  Though "him" does refer to Jesus, Scripture is much more exacting.  The American church often seems to depict a Jesus who is much less than the person God presented to us in his Word.  It is my observation that much of the church doesn't understand what God means when he says we are to believe.  Somehow we've lost the true meaning of a saving faith as we've culturized Christianity in twentieth-century America.  Worst of all, the person who accepts the wrong definition of either word believe or him may not have salvation. 

In a recent Focus On The Family program, Dr. Dobson related statistics which showed that over 50 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God; an even higher percentage call themselves Christians.  He and his guests wondered why the behavior of those people is so little influenced by their beliefs.  This book will explain why.

In twentieth-century America, Christians are often indistinguishable from unbelievers.  Many seem to follow the god of materialism.  The entertainment on television and in movies is violent, sexual, and often perverted.  Homosexuality is recognized openly as an alternate lifestyle.  Some states compel only evolution to be taught in the schools and forbid the teaching of creation.  Over twenty million babies have been aborted.  Legislative and administrative branches of government have become less and less tolerant of Christianity.  The judicial branch has become openly hostile, while giving constitutional protection to homosexuals, Satanists, and God-haters.

How could this country unravel spiritually so far so fast?  This book will show why Christianity in America has become impotent, having lost the power it had when it motivated our first settlers.

This book may be especially important for moms and dads.  As parents, we watch as our society becomes more secular and increasingly attractive to our youngsters.  Peer pressure seems more powerful than anything we have to offer. 

I suspect the reason those problems exist is that most children are able to discern integrity.  They know when they're not told the full truth.  I contend that if a child is taught what you will learn in this book what the Bible teaches about Jesus and a saving faith that child is far less likely to stray.  Instead, his devotion and steadfastness may put his parents to shame.  Our children need to know the truth about who they are to believe in and what a saving faith really is.  There's integrity to that.  And they respond.