So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Sinners or Just Unbelievers?

10/27/13                   Tom and Amanda            late 20's
One of the most well-known, beloved, and simple passages in the Bible can also be the most confusing.  John 3:16 states that "whoever believes in him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life."  Simple enough.  But it goes on to say that "whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."  Now that is the part that gets confusing.  Are we "condemned already" because we are sinners, or unbelievers?  A skeptical world may question belief in a God who would condemn us for being sinful, but to condemn us just for not believing in Him is what they simply can't accept.  "What about all the people who have never heard of Him?  They never had a chance to believe!" they say.  So in their enlightened wisdom they take the high road and refuse to believe in a God who would be so unjust.  In this way, in their thinking their unbelief actually becomes a virtue.  They feel justified in judging scripture, deciding which passages meet their standards of justice and which to reject, and conveniently ignoring moral standards they don't live up to.  Rather than being judged by God, they judge the God of the Bible, and either reject Him completely or make up an alternative set of beliefs about God to take His place.  One of those biblical ideas about God that they reject goes all the way back to Genesis 3.  It's the idea that God would condemn us for sinning against Him.  It's also the idea that God would put His law in our hearts, our conscience, and that all people, whether or not we have heard the Ten Commandments, have this knowledge of good and evil, and that He would condemn us when we break that law.  I believe we have become a generation that ignores that truth, but when Jesus spoke the words of John 3, he spoke to an audience that was well aware that we are condemned by our sins.  It was accepted as common knowledge, and the focus of Jesus' words was instead on their rejection of the way of salvation.  He went on to say "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed."  Are we willing to accept the fact that we do evil?  When we share the Gospel, should we focus on people's unbelief, or on their sin?  Many say we should focus on the Savior, but why do we need to be saved in the first place?  In this video clip, I had asked a couple at the coffee shop -- Tom and Amanda - if they would give their reaction to a parable of Jesus, "The Wheat and the Weeds.  They both had said they have stopped believing in God since their Catholic childhoods, but this is their response to my question on whether they would be "wheat" or "weeds" if there is indeed a day of judgment.  Their reaction was typical of those who feel justified in rejecting the God of the Bible as I've described above...   Go To Conversation With Tom and Amanda

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