Our Reaction to Jesus Determines our Destiny
How we respond to Jesus is the most critical decision of every person’s life, according to John the Evangelist. The Gospel call applies to ‘whoever’ – not just Jews or religious people or those who think Jesus is a good example. ‘Whoever’ includes the catalogue of social criminals, and more, listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 . ‘Whoever’ also included the thief on the cross, and the violent persecutor who became the Apostle Paul. In other words, ‘whoever’ (and that means anyone) who believes in Jesus will have eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). That is God’s promise.
But there is another ‘whoever’ – they are the people who reject Jesus from the centre of their lives: they will not have eternal life. They are among many who continue to live under God’s wrath, and will perish in the final judgement, unless they repent and put their trust in Jesus. Interestingly, the Greek word for ‘rejects’ does not mean a violent or aggressive attitude to Jesus: it is the word from which we derive ‘apathetic’ (which means a lack of interest or concern; indifferent; unresponsive). Such people are sleep-walking into hell.
Perhaps such a thought was the Divine motivation for John’s Gospel; urging apathetic people that Jesus had come to save them from God’s wrath to come. Every true evangelist has the same burning passion: to awaken the apathetic as well as to challenge the aggressively rebellious. We might think that those who quietly ignore Christ will quietly find their own way to be saved: but no! This verse tells us that those who keep their distance from Him in this life will find that He rejects them in eternity (Matthew 10:32-33). That thought should drive us to prayerful concern and a willingness to share the gospel with those who show little interest. Many people like that are all around you at work; so, do not let them remain ignorant of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. The response to Jesus the King now determines everybody’s destiny.
© Dr Paul Adams