Don’t Be Late! Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
The first two reasons for why we believe in Jesus is “He becomes sin for us” and “He becomes our salvation.”
And the third and final reason for why we believe in Jesus is that Jesus becomes our SEPARATION.
Listen to John 3:18-21:
(18) “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (20) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (21) But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Jesus becomes the dividing line. The text here clearly tells us that Jesus did not come to judge the world, but at the same time, judgment does come. Condemnation and judgment come passively; that is, it comes as the result of doing nothing. For, if we do not believe and take hold of the salvation that comes through Jesus, we are condemned. If we reject God’s love and choose to love something of our own liking instead, we are condemned. It is a decision that we will have to live with, for eternity.
One night, after he had gotten ready for bed, Beverly Dillard’s husband went out to the driveway to retrieve some work papers from his car. Since it was dark, he figured no one would see him make the quick run in his underwear. And he probably would have made it, too—if not for the motion-sensor light, which illuminated him, just as he reached the car door.
We need to be very careful of the light, since light condemns because it exposes both sin and sinners. Light reveals the righteousness of righteous men. But for those who are unrighteous, they hate the light because it exposes their sins. If you are not willing to be exposed for whom you are and what you have done, you are going to reject the light of Jesus.
Someone wrote this about the light of God’s word that reveals our sin and makes us admit, “I am a sinner.”
We are not stuck though.
We do not have to wait for wrath.
There is a way out of it.
For light is more powerful than darkness.
And love is stronger than hate.
I like how Max Lucado puts it…There are many reasons God saves you: to bring glory to himself, to appease his justice, to demonstrate his sovereignty. But one of the sweetest reasons God saved you is because he is fond of you. He likes having you around. He thinks you are the best thing to come down the pike in quite a while… If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. And the Christmas gift he sent you in Bethlehem? Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you!
Now, how can we make application of this to our own personal lives? We believe in Jesus! Do you believe? Do you believe in…God in a baby. Incredible—the sound of those words, isn’t it? How could God become a baby? Yet, every Christmas, we celebrate this tremendous truth. For this is the way God has shown His love for the world.
Do you believe in…God on a cross? Incredible—the sound of it, isn’t it? How could God go to a cross and die? Yet, every Good Friday, we celebrate this tremendous truth. For this is the way God has shown His love for the world.
Do you believe in…Life after death? Incredible—the sound of it, isn’t it? How could anyone believe that someone lives after he dies? Yet, every Easter, we celebrate this tremendous truth. For this is the way God has shown His love for the world.
Do you believe? Jesus is worth believing. The apostle Paul writes…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2b). And on this day, this Paul point to self, has been appointed by God to warn each one of you that do not believe…now is the acceptable time to believe in Jesus. He is worth believing!
Imagine for a moment…one of your children when they were small, playing in the road. You see a fast moving car approaching. You know you can’t reach them in time. Running toward them you yell, "Get out of the road and come here!" It is important at that moment that that child trust you and respond. Are you trying to ruin their fun? No, you are trying to save their life. God knows that we are all in danger. We’re in danger of spending eternity separated from him. The Bible calls it the second death and it is racing toward all of humanity. For that reason, God sent his Son to die on a cross, as a sacrifice for our sins. He’s paid our penalty. All He asks in return is that we believe in him.
Years ago, a young man who had quarreled with his father left home. He continued to keep in touch with his mother, and wanted very badly to come home for Christmas, but he was afraid his father would not allow him. His mother wrote to him and urged him to come home, but he did not feel he could until he knew his father had forgiven him. Finally, there was no time for any more letters. His mother wrote and said she would talk with the father, and if he had forgiven him, she would tie a white rag on the tree which grew right alongside the railroad tracks near their home, which he could see before the train reached the station. If there was no rag, it would be better if he went on. So the young man started home. As the train drew near his home; he was so nervous he said to his friend who was traveling with him, "I can’t bear to look. Sit in my place and look out the window. I’ll tell you what the tree looks like and you tell me whether there is a rag on it or not." So his friend changed places with him and looked out the window. After a bit, the friend said, "Oh yes, I see the tree." The son asked, "Is there a white rag tied to it?" For a moment the friend did not say anything. Then he turned, and in a very gentle voice said, "There is a white rag tied to every limb of that tree!"
That, in a sense, is what God is saying here in John. God has removed the condemnation and made it possible to come freely and openly home to him. So…Don’t wait! Don’t be late! Now is the time to come. Now is the time to believe in Jesus.