You’d think that John 3:16 would have some kind of sporting vibe given that you see it in the crowd at every Olympics, World Cup and Super Bowl. But no, this isn’t an athletes only vibe. It’s a vibe that probably best summarises the ubervibe of the New Testament, and it is thus: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ Or, in other words, God let Jesus die so that, if we believe it really happened, we can wipe our mucky past clean and spend the forever after safe in the company of God.
Those who hold this verse aloft on placards at public events are doing this because, like the street preacher with a megaphone, they believe that anyone who has heard God’s message and rejects it is destined for an eternity of being prodded with red hot toasting forks in the fiery vortex. And, like the prophets of old, they feel compelled to warn them of the danger.
On seeing the placards, some people rush off to find a Bible, others wonder at the meaning of a man’s name and two numbers separated by a colon while the rest roundly ignore it and concentrate on watching the game.
General vibe: God’s message in a sentence.
Factvibe: The first time John 3:16 appeared on a placard at a major sporting event was at the 1977 NBA Finals.