by Rolaant L. McKenzie
"The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:22-29 (RSV)
Sometimes people question the idea that God will send people to hell. They say that God is too loving and merciful to cast people into that dreadful lake of fire. Even John 3:16 is quoted sometimes to "prove" that God is too full of love to do such a thing. While it is very true that God is the epitome of love, He is equally a God of justice. It is sometimes overlooked that it is those who believe in Christ are the ones who are saved, not those who believe they are living a good enough life deserving of heaven in the end.
Verse 17 says, "For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." God does not seek to condemn humanity, otherwise He would not have sent His Son. His great love and mercy was shown when He sent His Son to save sinners, who are enemies of God and justly condemned to hell. Mercy because if God only did what was just regarding sinful humanity, all would be condemned to hell. For the best good anyone can do cannot make any righteous to a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). God has provided the only means, His Son, by which fallen humanity can be saved from the results of sin, which is eternal death (Romans 6:23).
Recall the story of the Flood in Genesis 6-8. God saw that every imagination of humanity was evil continually, so He decided to destroy all life from the face of the earth. But before doing so He sent a man named Noah to warn the world of this impending judgment. The ark Noah built was the only means given by God to provide salvation from the coming flood. All anyone had to do was enter it with Noah and his family. Those who refused to enter in were doomed to destruction. In the end, only Noah's family went into the ark are were saved. Could those who did not enter the ark rightly claim God was at fault for their inevitable deaths? Not at all. It was their own rebellion that exposed them to the judgment of God.
Likewise today, people enter hell by their own refusal to accept the only means of salvation provided by God, which is His Son Jesus Christ. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior. John 3:18 and 36 says, "He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him."
Consider your eternal destiny. Will it be a joyful life beyond imagination in heaven with God, or misery beyond description in hell? Jesus holds out His hands to you in invitation. No matter where you have been or what you have done, come to Him and He will welcome you with open arms. Please do not harden your heart in refusal; do not say tomorrow I will come to Him. Tomorrow may never come (Proverbs 27:1, 2 Corinthians 6:2, Hebrews 3:15-19).
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." But it must never be forgotten that Hebrews 2:3 says, "How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?", and Hebrews 10:28-31, "Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.' And again, 'THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.' It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
"Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)
"'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die?'" (Ezekiel 33:11)
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, please accept His free gift of eternal life before it is too late.
The decision is yours today. Right here. Right now. Please choose life.