Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

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John 3:36: Not A Smorgasbord

John 3:36: 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. [1]

You may know, or perhaps are, someone who treats religious believes like a buffet: “Buddhist meditation relaxes me, I like the Christian heaven, and Unitarianism is welcoming.” But John 3:36 teaches only those exclusively believing in Christ, and continue believing by God’s grace [2] have eternal life. Along with John, Jesus and Scripture are clear that God enabled heart change alone produces saving faith in the Son which leads to everlasting life. [3] Further, wrath and judgment waits for those outside Jesus. [4]

How is this fair? When we ask this, we ask the wrong question. The real question: why has God given escape from just wrath? We sinned, rebelled, and made ourselves God’s enemies. [5] Who do you know Who loves their enemies so much He would kill and raise His Son so that His chosen enemies could enter His glory with all the welcome and acceptance of a child? [6] Only the triune LORD of Scripture is that loving. He is yours when you confess your sins and submit your life to Him, as is His heaven. [7] May you grow in love and knowledge of this loving God.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software 6. All Scripture references will be ESV unless noted otherwise.

[2] Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament with Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 621 footnote 22.

[3] Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:12, 3:3, 3:15-18, 5:24, 6:40, 6:47, 6:54, 11:25-26, 14:6, 20:31, Romans 3:23-26, 4:13-25; Ephesians 2:1-10, etc. See also John Calvin. Commentary on the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to John. Trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 141-142, Andreas J. Kostenberger. John: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 139-140, and The Westminster Standards: The Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism. (Philadelphia, PA: Great Commission Publications, 2011), chapters VI-XIV.

[4] Romans 1:17-18, 2:9; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Hebrews 3:18; 1 John 5:10-13, and Kostenberger, John, 139-140.

[5] Genesis 3:1-14; Romans 3:9-23, 5:6-11, 8:7-8; Ephesians 2:1-3, 2:11-12.

[6] Romans 8:14-19; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 3:1-2.

[7] 1 John 2:1-2, 2:25-29.