John 5:19-29 (February 15, 2015)

There is a day of judgment coming. Every human being is born as an enemy of God, a spiritual criminal, worthy of death.

All the religion in the world cannot protect sinners from the judgment of God. The Pharisees “out-religioned” any one, and Jesus speaks of them in the harshest possible terms. As Matthew 7 makes clear, eternal life requires knowing Christ, not following a religious pattern of belief and activity. In fact, the good works that so many do are actually counting toward their condemnation, because they happily or proudly or boastfully or arrogantly do them apart from knowing Him by grace and through faith. 

Jesus is a merciful Savior - those who put their faith in Him alone, and abandon their false beliefs and sin, will be fully saved in that moment. The Holy Spirit will begin to transform that person, so that they steadily grow to resemble Jesus Christ in character. By the grace of God, the Spirit’s work becomes evidence of our salvation. If that work is not apparent – if the old person is still alive and well, and there is no new life growing within – then there is no salvation. If you find that statement intimidating, just as yourself, “Do I really want to wait until death to find out that I’m not really saved after all?” Of course not; we want to know now, while there is time to repent and truly believe.

Jesus is also an unflinching judge. He will condemn the wicked to hell without any regrets, and without any grief or tears. He won’t waste a tear on His enemies, especially since He gave His Word to us through His apostles.