36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
It’s amazing how much emphasis the Bible puts on your belief. If you simply believe in the Son, Jesus, you can have eternal life. Realize of course that this belief is not dead or powerless. The belief that we must have has to be one that can create change and movement in our lives.
Of course the opposite is equally true. Not believing in the Son keeps you from life itself. Notice how it says that you shall not see life, as if life actually only starts when you begin to believe in Jesus. What we are ‘living’ now is just an empty husk compared to the real life that is available to all who are willing to make the great leap to believe.
The last few words of the verse can seem very scary. The wrath of God is on all who do not believe. Some people can read this and think that God is uncaring and cruel. He punishes those who reject His Son. But I see it as a natural consequence. Do you blame fire itself when you burn yourself if you were to stick your hand into a flame? Of course not. Fire is hot and burns. That is not punishment but a natural reality of fire. God is similar.
God is pure goodness. He is the giver of life and life itself. To reject God is to reject life. Can you blame God for you yourself rejecting to live? Life, like the burning of fire, is just a natural state of God. Remember too that there is no other source of life.
I hope you can see your belief in Jesus, not as a requirement or decision but also as a natural consequence. I hope that when you experience the love, joy and peace of Christ that you just naturally become believer in it and Him.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Pr. Steven Couto