Max Lucado: Take back the “heart” of the Christian message with “3:16 The Numbers of Hope”

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Best-selling evangelical author Max Lucado wants Christians to revisit the “central question” of faith, which concerns “God’s great invitation” to salvation.

He says accomplishing this means revisiting one of the Bible’s most familiar verses, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish. not, but may he have eternal life. ”


According to the biblical account in which this verse is contained, Jesus said these words to Nicodemus, a Jewish spiritual leader who visits the Nazarene teacher at night and is told that he must be “born again” to “see the kingdom of God”. (John 3:3).

Mr Lucado says the passage is “a 26-word parade of hope” that is vital for today’s trying times, which is why he has republished his book “3:16: The Numbers of Hope” with Christian editor Thomas Nelson.

The book was first published in 2007, but Mr. Lucado, the teaching minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, said the spiritual climate of 2022 suggests it’s time to dismiss the delivered.

“I just felt it was a good opportunity for us to invite people back to the main message that God loves so much that God gave that we could live, we will not perish, but have eternal life. I don’t think it gets much more essential than that,” he said in an interview.

He admits that this core Christian message “is a candidate for getting lost” in a religious world of mega-church services filled with worship groups and smoke machines, even as sports fans hoist signs reading and that the players enshrine it in the eye black they wear on the field.

The “theatrical staging of history, then also the politicization of the Church, [of] people who want to see the church as just another marketing group, a subculture that you know people can market their product to or their view or their opinion” are among the reasons why the subject of salvation individual gets lost,” he said.

“The word ‘Gospel’ means good news,” Lucado said. “But the good news contains compelling news that apart from God’s help we are lost. And it is a message that does not go well today.

Cultural avoidance of salvation issue comes amid ‘mental health crisis in our country’ he says. Highlighting what he called “an all-time high” in reports of anxiety as well as suicide attempts, which he blamed in part on the multi-year COVID-19 pandemic, he says the focus on getting more has put people’s understanding on why they are “simply off track” here.

“The reason we are on this earth is so we can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to God’s great invitation ‘to eternal life in a renewed world,’ he said.

“The heart of the human problem is the heart of the human,” Lucado said. “We are born with this propensity for selfishness, and we really need to be [what] scripture calls “born again”, we need a new person to be placed within us.

To get that message across this time around, Lucado took the next step: Last summer, he spent three days in a studio recording “3:16” as an audiobook, a task he normally leaves it to professional storytellers. He says he’s “always had voice issues,” but felt that this message would have more impact if he recorded it.

“I felt I could add something to it that would help people, long after I left to hear the importance of the 3:16 message,” said Lucado, who has sold more than 145 million books. copies of his books and other editions.

But daily six-hour recording sessions accompanied by copious amounts of Throat Coat herbal tea reinforced his belief that “pros” who narrate audiobooks are uniquely gifted.

“I admire these people whose full-time career is recording an audiobook,” said Lucado, 67.

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