“The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36 HCSB)
There are those who read this verse and immediately think that God is cruel, and without love, or compassion for people as He claims to have. Most people who believe this way do not understand God because they have very little, or no knowledge of God. What’s most troubling is that there are many who call themselves Christians who have this same mindset and have no idea of the danger they are in. So, let’s break down and understand this verse.
- “The one who believes in the Son…” – the word “believe”, here, means much more than a simple intellectual conviction that Jesus exists, and that He died on a cross, and rose from the dead. God, in James 2:19, tells us that even the demons believe in Jesus, and even shudder in fear of Him. This does not mean that demons are going to heaven. The belief that this verse speaks of is a complete, unconditional surrender of our lives to the lordship of Christ in such a way that we strive to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands; not out of obligation, or as a “stay out of hell card”, but because we understand what He has done for us.
- “has eternal life,” – eternal life in heaven with Him is our reward for surrendering our lives to Jesus, and submitting ourselves to His Lordship, in such a way that we strive to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands.
- “but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life;” – the person who outright refuses to surrender his/her life to the lordship of Christ, and refuses to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands. this person will not see eternal life in heaven with Jesus.
- “instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” – God’s wrath remains on us because we choose to live our lives in rebellion against Him, which is what’s in our nature to do. We don’t want to surrender our lives to anyone, or anything, unless it satisfies our lusts, and desires for the things of this world – “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17).”
Here is what we need to understand about God, folks. God does not hate anyone. On the contrary. God loves us all enough to give us the choice to surrender to Him and live according to His will and purpose, or to live according to our will and desires. But, He also loves us enough to warn us of the consequences of not living according to His will and purpose.
God sends no-one to hell. We send ourselves to hell by the choice we make. With every choice we make, we also choose the consequences we will suffer.
In Christ’s love,