John 3:16—If I should wake before I die [Sermon]

It’s the most famous verse — ever. It’s held up at football games and engraved under names on tombstones.

Matthew Henry says it is a one-verse summary of the Gospel message. Max Lucado says, “If you know nothing about the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here.”

This sermon dives into John 3:16-21. It discusses what it means that the world is “condemned already,” God’s divine rescue mission of love, the horror of what it means to perish, what it means to truly believe, what eternal life will be like, and how John 3:16 compels us forward as a people of love.

The sermon also offers six practical suggestions for going deeper with this ever-important verse.

Some people are alive but spiritually asleep. Imagine dying before getting the chance to respond to the greatest promise and invitation the world has ever known. And imagine dying before getting the chance to live a renovated and abundant life because of it?

If you are watching or listening to this, there is still time. The sermon is called “John 3:16–If I should wake before I die.”

Below is the YouTube video version. Under that is the audio-only download. You can also access a link to the “growing deeper” background content as a part of The Pulse Podcast.


Audio-only download:

As mentioned, you can access the extra “growing deeper” background content as a part of The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan by going here (or by finding it wherever you subscribe to podcasts — iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn). It’s called “John 3:16 — Unpacking the world’s most famous verse and peering into the heart of God.”

Subscribe wherever you enjoy podcasts:


  1. Hi, Matthew! I have been following your sermons on line for a year or more, and I always enjoy them. If last Sunday’s wasn’t the best, I certainly don’t remember a better one! Thanks, blessings, and be well! Rory ________________________________


  2. Matthew, Thank you so much for a wonderful sermon. I have an alarm set on my cell phone for 3:16. Quite often I have someone ask me what the alarm is for and love to tell them and give them the words.
    I have been ill and not able to attend my church so enjoy your weekly sermons. Thank you. God bless you and family.


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