Summary: The pivotal choice: Trust in Jesus and receive eternal life or reject Jesus and face God’s wrath.
Life is full of choices:
• Some are easy choices: what to wear, what to eat, what to watch on TV.
• Some are difficult choices: where to attend university, where to work, when to retire.
• All of you had a choice this morning: Should I go to church or not?
• Some choices are easy; some are difficult. But in life we face one pivotal choice: Should I put my trust in Jesus Christ or not?
22After this, Jesus and his disciples went out in the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. 24(This was before John was put in prison.) 25An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jewa over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ 29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become greater; I must become less.
31 “The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 22The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for Godb gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”c
a 25 Some manuscripts and certain Jews b 34 Greek he c 36 Some interpreters end quotation after verse 30.
Verse 36 will be our focus: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
1. God is both a God of love and a God of WRATH.
“God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day” (Psalm 7:11).
God’s wrath = God’s intense hatred of all sin.
If God did not hate sin, He would be less than perfect. This week I was reading about the execution of children and torture that took place in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was in power. If God could watch that kind of evil and not be filled with wrath, He would be morally flawed.
We may not be as evil as Saddam Hussein, but God still looks upon our sin in anger. We are guilty before God. “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
“Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath” (Psalm 78:38).
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).
“Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5).
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6).
“[The people of the earth] called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17).
Unless we are saved from real danger there is no meaning in salvation.
2. Sin cannot go UNPUNISHED.
“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws every day nearer and the command to repent goes unheeded.”—A. W. Tozer