The Eskimo Chief and John 3:16

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Early in the last century Hans Egede, a Danish missionary, left his native land to preach the gospel to the Eskimos of Greenland. He labored and toiled for years seeking to instruct them in the truths of Christianity, and yet he saw no apparent results from his arduous and self-denying efforts.
Eventually Hans Egede became so discouraged and depressed by the indifference of the unbelieving people that he decided to leave the country. The text he selected for his farewell sermon was from the words, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught, and in vain." Isa. 49:44Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. (Isaiah 49:4).
Egede was succeeded at the station by a Mr. Beck, another Moravian missionary. On his arrival he began to tell the poor pagans of God's wondrous love to guilty sinners as revealed at Calvary's cross. When Kajarnak, the chief, a wicked old murderer, heard the missionary reading the blessed and glorious words of John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16), he exclaimed, "Read it again."
Beck read the "wonderful words of life" again and again, and Kajarnak burst into tears and wept like a child. God's holiness and righteousness did not move him; the terrors of law and of hell made no impression on him. But the matchless grace of God in giving His only begotten Son to die that he might be eternally saved completely broke the stony heart of the murderous Eskimo chief.
Thousands on earth praise God for "John three and sixteen," and tens of thousands will do so in the glory. And yet no unsaved person understands the saving truth underneath the words of this "miniature gospel," as Luther delighted to call it. Every word in it is full of the deepest significance.
"FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD." Then God loves you, O unsaved fellow-traveler to eternity. However careless and indifferent to your eternal interests you may be, God loves you. He hates your sin with a perfect hatred, but loves you with an unmeasured wealth of love. `.Prove it," you say. That can easily be done.
"THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON." Loving and giving are inseparable. Here then is love that "passeth knowledge."
"Why did God give Christ to die?" may be asked by one. That you "should not perish, but have everlasting life," our verse replies. Sinners are perishing fast perishing in their sins, yet it is not God's will that any should "perish (2 Pet. 3: 9). It is His desire that "all men" should be saved (1 Tim. 2:4-64Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:4‑6)). At al, infinite cost He has provided salvation for all. Everlasting life as a free gift can be obtained as you read these lines, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life."
Friend, don't delay. Time is short. Eternity is drawing nigh. The Lord Jesus is coming, and you may be left behind for judgment. Let the Savior into your heart. May you, before you lay these words aside, be enabled to say, "God loved—God gave—I believe—and I have everlasting life."