Sunday, November 16, 2008

Conned To Be A Christian By John 3:16 (Part 1)

When I was a kid attending Sunday School, every week the SS teacher would give a memory verse for the class to memorize. The kids would be tested on it the next week, and the one with the highest score at the end of the year would receive a prize.

One of the first verses (if not the first) would be John 3:16. Somehow, I feel that the Holy Spirit really loves this verse, and up to this day I can still recite this verse word for word in the KJV (that was the "favourite" version during my time then).

"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."

Beautiful verse, isn't it? In fact, this is the "must quote" verse whenever we do witnessing.

However, after becoming a Christian, you find that the verse isn't so beautiful after all. Why? Because you discover from the pastor, the SS teacher, cell group leader or your discipler that when they quoted you that beautiful verse, they actually missed out a tiny little asterisk at the end:

* Terms & Conditions Apply

You can't see it? Let me help you.

* Terms & Conditions Apply

What terms and conditions? I thought I just believe in His only begotten Son aka Jesus and I do not perish and have everlasting life?

No, not according to some preachers. Turns out that everlasting is not that lasting after all: you have to live a holy life, you cannot "sin wilfully" otherwise you will lose your salvation.

But ... but ... but ... that's not written in John 3:16! Of course not, silly! Don't you know that the terms and conditions are always listed in super fine print at the bottom of the main advertisement? Please refer to Hebrews 10:26-27.

Hey, this is not fair! I have been conned by John 3:16.

Let me give an analogy:

You are walking along Orchard Road when you are approached by a sweet young thing.

"Excuse me sir, are you a customer of ABC Bank?"

"You are? Congratulations! ABC Bank has paid for you a one-time lump sum membership fee to join our Fitness Club for life! You can come to the club to enjoy the facilities for free anytime 24/7 365 days a year, just sign here."

So you happily signed on the dotted line and the next day, you turn up at the Fitness Club to try out the treadmill. At the reception counter, you meet another SYT.

"I am sorry sir, but you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to maintain your life membership."

Your face grow red: "But you said ABC Bank already paid a one-time lump sum fee for me! Why do I need to pay some more?"

"Yes sir, I understand but if you look at the form that you signed, please note the terms and conditions listed behind the page."

Don't you feel cheated?!

Is it logical that our God operates like that?


Angie said...

:) Good analogy. Next time i'll use that too! ;p

Kat said...

Bro,I remember we had to earn johnny dollars for the memorising of the bible verses and needless to say yours truly won the most jonny dollars and i remember at the end of the year i exchanged the dollars for a doll set!:))

Stanley Wong said...


I have to admit that your memory is much much better than mine because you can remember the jonny dollars while I totally forgot about them until you mentioned it :-)