Pastor James J. Barker

Text: JOHN 3:16-21


  1. When I read the newspaper, this verse came to mind (John 3:19).
  2. A New York City Health Department form for new parents requesting birth certificates asks the “woman giving birth” if she’s male or female.
  3. “To be clear, it is possible for a person who has given birth to a child to identify as male,” said Susan Sommer, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, an advocacy group for homosexuals.
  4. There is so much bad news in the newspapers that I was considering just reading a few news articles, and then reading Psalm 9:17 -- "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
  5. Perhaps I will do that later, but this morning we will consider John 3:16-21, giving particular attention to John 3:19.



  1. "Light is come into the world" (John 3:19). This is the great theme of Scripture (cf. John 1:4-9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35, 36, 46).
  2. Genesis 1:3 says, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Light was the first thing God called into existence when He created the word.
  3. P.P. Bliss wrote the beautiful hymn, "The Light of the world is Jesus."

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noonday His glory shone in,
The Light of the world is Jesus.


Come to the Light, ‘tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me,
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus.


No darkness have we who in Jesus abide,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
We walk in the Light when we follow our Guide,
The Light of the world is Jesus.


Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Go wash at His bidding and light will arise,
The Light of the world is Jesus.


No need of the sunlight in heaven, we’re told,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
The Lamb is the Light in the City of Gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

  1. A missionary named Dr. Earl S. Tay­lor was in Cal­cut­ta dur­ing an eclipse of the sun. For days be­fore the eclipse he saw the ci­ty’s streets crowd­ed with pil­grims on their way to var­i­ous sac­red plac­es, where they hoped to wor­ship and bathe in the ri­ver dur­ing the time of the eclipse, ex­pect­ing there­by to ward off evil.
  2. When at last the eclipse ar­rived, hun­dreds of thou­sands of screaming na­tives thronged the sac­red wa­ters, ter­ror­ized by the eclipse and afraid that their snake-god was about to swall­ow their sun-god.
  3. As Dr. Tay­lor wit­nessed this ter­ri­ble display of pagan su­per­sti­tion, he heard group of na­tive Christ­ians sing­ing in their meet­ing:

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin;
The Light of the World is Jesus

  1. Dr. Taylor recognized that In­dia’s spir­it­u­al dark­ness is due sole­ly to the eclipse of Je­sus, the Light of the world.



  1. In Scripture, darkness represents denotes sin, ignorance, guilt, or misery. Sinners prefer ignorance, error, superstition, to the light of truth.
  2. Proverbs 4:19 says, "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble."
  3. G. Campbell Morgan said, "Darkness (is) only a word; but a word recognizing all human failure."
  4. The reason why sinners love the darkness, and hate the light is because their deeds are evil (John 3:19).
  5. All throughout the Bible, darkness represents sin. Acts 26:18 says, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God."
  6. In Luke 22:53, our Lord referred to "the power of darkness."
  7. Ephesians 5:8, 11 says, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light...And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
  8. Romans 13:12 says, "Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."
  9. Albert Barnes said God's "efforts to enlighten and save men have been like light struggling to penetrate a thick, dense cloud; and though a few rays may pierce the gloom, yet the great mass is still an impenetrable shade."
  10. Men love darkness. They prefer darkness to light. They hate the light because the light exposes their wickedness. John 3:20 says, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light..."
  11. A farmer walked into his barn one night carrying his flashlight. As soon as the barn door opened, a bunch of rats started running away from the light.
  12. A man walked into his kitchen for a midnight snack and as soon as he turned on the light he saw the cockroaches scatter.
  13. Light exposes darkness; honesty exposes dishonesty; holiness exposes sinfulness; goodness exposes badness (cf. John 3:20, 21).
  14. John 1:5 says, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Sinful men are so ignorant, so wicked, so vile, that they do not want anything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ.
  15. They do not appreciate what God has done for them (cf. John 3:17).
  16. A friend of mine was passing out Gospel tracts and a group of ruffians grabbed them out of his hand and threw them on the ground. One said, "Is your Jesus coming back?" My friend said yes. The man then spit in my friend's face and said, "This is what we will do when He comes back!"
  17. But when the Lord comes back, He will not allow any sinner to spit on Him. When our Lord came the first time, He was mocked and spit upon. Isaiah 50:6 says, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting."
  18. But this will not be the case when He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords. Second Thessalonians 1:8 says He will return, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
  19. Richard Crashaw was a 17th century English poet. He had some strange ideas, but I like this little poem:

The world's light shines, shine as it will,
The world will love its darkness still.
I doubt though when the world's in hell,
It will not love its darkness half so well.



  1. Verse 18 says, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already..."
  2. Some people mistakenly believe unbelief is merely an intellectual problem, but it's not. It is a moral problem, because men love their sin. It is a sin problem -- "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (3:19).
  3. The prophet Jeremiah said, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
  4. Every person in this world was born with a sinful nature. Ephesians 2:3 says we were all "by nature the children of wrath."
  5. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
  6. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
  7. Nicodemus was a virtuous man. A moral man. A great religious leader -- "a master of Israel" (John 3:10). But he was still a lost sinner.
  8. And so Jesus told Nicodemus, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:7).
  9. The only person who ever lived a perfect, sinless life is the Lord Jesus Christ. We all deserve to be in hell. And we'd all be in hell right now were it not for the grace of God.
  10. Whether religious or irreligious, whether rich or poor, whether Jew or Gentile, all men are lost sinners and need to be born again.
  11. John 3:20 says, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed)."
  12. But their sins will be exposed sooner or later anyway. First Corinthians 4:5 says the Lord "will bring to light the hidden things of darkness."
  13. It is better to confess our sins now and forsake them now before it is too late (Rev. 20:11-15).



  1. Mammoth Cave is in the state of Kentucky. It is the longest cave system in the world. In this cave are fish with no eyes. These eyeless cave fish have adapted to the darkness by ceasing to grow eye structures. I have seen pictures of these eyeless fish.
  2. To illustrate John 3:19, A.T. Robertson said, "The fish in the Mammoth Cave have no longer eyes, but only sockets where eyes used to be. The evil one has a powerful grip on the world." "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19).
  3. In other words, just like fish or rats or other animals, men can get accustomed to darkness. In fact, they love darkness. John 3:19 says, "Men loved darkness rather than light."

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