“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.” John 3:36 NIV
What a profound and unpopular verse. Even most non-believers can quote John 3:16, but even many churches stop there, shying away from the subsequent discussion of condemnation. I understand. We spend an astounding quantity of all of our types of resources to put the best face on ourselves, the best spin on our lives.
Yet, God would rather clean up our mess than paint over it. Our mess is there. It’s real. It is the foul odor of our secret places, the weight that pushes our head into our hands when we hope no one is looking. It is the stage IV cancer in our soul.
We want, and need, a doctor that is offended by cancer, that sees it as an enemy to be crushed, annihilated, not someone who takes it in stride between golf games. We need a doctor that is angry with us when we treat it with mild indifference or ignore it—a doctor that will push us to death’s door to force us to acknowledge our dire condition, then, when we turn in fright and horror, will hold us and say I have the cure, here and now. Take it. See life. Be living. Be disease-free.
But who will take a cure for a disease they don’t believe they have? We need to know we are terminal, to know we are condemned, to realize we need a cure, a pardon. Anything else is only half the Gospel, or less. The sad part is that half of a cure can often make the disease worse.