‘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 3:36).
The Bible presents all people with a stark choice between two options. Only two. Will we believe in the Son, or not? Will we obey him, or not? And this choice divides humanity.
Of course, this choice isn’t what the world around us is insulted by. It’s the stated outcome of each choice that gets people up in arms. Believing in Jesus results in eternal life, but disobedience to the call to believe results in God’s wrath, judgement and hell.
This is unacceptable to our society, and illogical to a world that is increasingly moving away from believing in a binary, believing things are either A or B, and there is and nothing in between.
There were numerous times when I was in university ministry, presenting this verse to people. I would ask them which they were – were they believing in Jesus, or not? Were they living God’s way, having trusted in Jesus, submitting to him as King, and repented of sin? Or were they living their own way?
Repeatedly, people would say they were in the middle. They could see that the preferable option from this verse was to believe, because that resulted in life. But they were convinced they could have life without submitting to Jesus. So, they thought, they were in between. Not trusting in Jesus but getting life instead of wrath.
When we present the truth of the gospel to our neighbours, this is one belief we must undermine. You can’t be half pregnant. You either are or not. Binaries exist. Truth exists. You either have Jesus, or you face God’s wrath. What an important message we have.