16 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.
John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
Can the Gospel be reduced to one verse? In one sense it can. John 3:16 cuts to the very core of God’s plan of salvation: His great love for the world, His great sacrifice freely offered, and our response to that call.
On the other hand, Jesus expounds a Gospel that encompasses so much more than that. Although this verse might be sufficient to achieve salvation alone, it can not even begin to inform a Christian life.
What is the answer? Very simple.
Hold up the sign.
Jesus said that when He is lifted up (exalted) He will draw all men to Himself. But after that, we who follow Him must care for the souls drawn to Him. A “John 3:16” Christian may escape Hell, but he will not experience the joy of a Christian life and he will not be very effective in drawing still more to the Lord.