I want to apologize in advance for the long post. I tried to condense as much as possible.
I’ve been sharing some thoughts concerning the last message of warning given to a dying planet – Revelation 14:6-12. Although this message is for “those who dwell on the earth,” people who are not in a relationship with God and don’t give God glory, it raises questions for all people. One of those questions is how does God’s judgment apply to those who know God and are known by God. Last time, I wanted to make it clear that we have been set free, rescued, delivered, saved, by God’s grace and there is not one thing we can add to that. And yet, many who look to God as friend and Saviour, are afraid of judgment or at least concerned they won’t measure up.
If we’re going to talk about God’s judgment and we’ll start with a familiar and bedrock foundational text: John 3:16-18 (NLT).
The statement I want you to see today is, verse 18: “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him.” How much judgment is no judgment? Zero.
Have you ever felt judged? Maybe from your boss at work, a teacher at school, another church member, or even a parent? What’s it feel like? Words that come to my mind are anxiety, crushing weight, feeling small or insignificant, wounded. If you know what it’s like to feel judged then read that promise again. Does it bring peace to your restless heart? If you need additional assurance, also read John 5:24.
Both John 3:18 and 5:24 talk about believing. What does that mean?
When we believe, trust or have faith in Jesus Christ, it’s much more than simply knowing about God or having an understanding of God’s characteristics. You can get a really good grasp that God is Creator, Rescuer and Restorer and still perish. You can know that Jesus is wholly God as well as wholly man – God among us – and still die forever. Believing in Jesus and the one who sent him means that we believe or trust in God characteristics AND his character; what he is AND who he is.
Let’s say, there is something in your life you want to see healed – could be mental, spiritual, or physical. You say, “I believe you are Creator God and I ask in Jesus name for you to heal me.” Wait for it… wait for it…. Nothing seems to happen.
You start to figure you must be doing something wrong:
You need to get your life in order,
You’re not being spiritual enough,
You just aren’t being obedient enough.
Then in creeps in this thought that maybe God doesn’t hear your prayers or he does but he doesn’t care enough to answer them. Maybe he just doesn’t care about you. Disappointment, bitterness and cynicism start to find a place in your heart… Sure,you still believe there’s a God but now you starting to believe the worst about him. Without even realizing it, you make the first judgment – the one made by Adam and Eve: God is not really who he says he is and he can’t be trusted.
Believing in Jesus means that when you are caught between a rock and a hard place you hang on to your trust in his character, in his ability to fulfill his promises; to be the God you have read about. Believing in Christ Jesus means to keep abiding in him even when he says, “I heard your many requests but my grace is sufficient for you.”
Would you like to have that kind of belief today?