The Great Eight (Part 6)

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:35-36 ESV).

Our reading today is a result of yesterday’s mention of universalism. The bible simply does not teach that all men may come to this position of “no condemnation.” It does teach that there are many roads, but only one way. If you say, “Ah, but he died for the whole world. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” you would be correct. However, what that means is that there is infinite room in Jesus. Christ is not some small house along the way. It is an eternal place where there is room for everyone. And everyone is invited and commanded, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden.”; and, “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”; and, “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”” (cf. Matthew 11:28; Revelation 22:17; and John 6:37).

But what if you don’t come? What if you don’t believe? What if you don’t receive the free gift? Jesus tells us in our reading. The wrath of God — the condemnation of God is taken away in Christ. Not outside Christ. You don’t have to stay under condemnation. There is room in Christ. There is always room in Christ. And Christ’s word to every sinner is, “Come! Trust me! Enter! I will be your life, your righteousness, your pardon, because I have been your condemnation.”

There is much more to say about being “in Christ” but I want to look at some incredibly wonderful practical effects of truth from our text. What difference does “no condemnation” make now? First, even if you said to me, “It’s of no help now whatsoever in my practical problems,” I might answer, “Even so, it is ten thousand times more valuable than any other help you might receive. Because eternity is so long and life here is so short.” Even total misery here for 85 years, and no condemnation in the presence of the all-satisfying God for 85 million ages of years would not be a bad exchange.

That’s the great hope received in our forgiveness. However difficult and painful your life is now, it really will be of no comparison to what you have already been “reckoned” then. That word “reckon” is very important. It means it has been determined and secured for a future realization. That’s our focus. That’s our long view. The end of this journey is merely the door to forever leaving behind every struggle, every pain, every challenge, and every difficulty. But, there really is only one way to get there. It is in Jesus.