Good News Bad News
By Mary Baird
John 3:35 & 36
Are you the kind of person that likes to hear good new before the bad, or would you rather hear the bad news first? I suppose it depends on how good or bad the news is. In the case of this portion in the Gospel of John you could not find throughout all eternity any news, both good or bad, that is as important or measureless as this. This is really really good news and really really bad news.
In these 42 words holds the destiny of every person who has ever lived or will live. No matter what man may think or hope, there is only one of two places where God tells us we will live forever after this life. The first thing to understand according to the Word of God is that the life discussed in John 3:36 does not mean our here and now physical life. It’s talking about our spiritual life in eternity.
Notice that the word used for either state of being is the word ‘belief’ or in some translations ‘obey’. Both concepts are true. Without faith, you will not obey and without obedience how much faith could you have. And this is more than a mere intellectual belief. Satan believes Christ existed but he certainly is not saved from God’s wrath. The faith that insures our eternal life is grounded in who Christ is and what Christ has done for us in His earthly life, ministry, death, and resurrection.
Notice that those who have a true faith in Jesus Christ already have eternal life. It’s a sure promise that even though we don’t possess it now, it’s as good as done. Such wonderful good news! As you read and study the Word of God you come to realize that once given eternal life it can never be recalled even when we disobey.
But also notice that those who do not have faith in Christ have God’s wrath abiding on them in the here and now. And that wrath abides on them throughout eternity. I know it’s been a comfort to people who have no inclination to follow Christ believe that when death happens there is annihilation, but that’s not true. Saved or lost, we live forever. And some think the lost condition throughout eternity is just one big party after another with all those friends of ours who were lost too. If that makes you feel better, you can believe that at your own peril.
One more bit of good news to leave you with is that even though you’ve not believed in Christ, you still have time. But once that last breath is taken, your eternal state is set. And for those of us who have believed unto salvation, perhaps it’s time for us to take the lost condition of those around us seriously and begin to proclaim Christ openly.