Tom: Dave in our segment of Understanding the Scriptures, trying to help our listeners as well as ourselves—I mean we learn from this as well, but trying to understand the scriptures better, the topic has been the gospel of salvation which is central to our whole lives as Christians. But according to the scriptures, man is under condemnation for sin. I want to go over some verses here: Romans:5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:…” Now Romans:8:1 tells us that there is “therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” John:3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
What I want to address here is condemnation. We are really cut off from God if we don’t believe. So for the lost, condemnation is what they have to look forward to.
Dave: Well, the Bible says we’re condemned already. Psalm 1 says the ungodly will not stand in judgment and what it mean of course—it doesn’t mean that their works won’t be judged, we’ve quoted Revelation 20. They will be judged out of the books that have been written according to their works, but what it says is that they’re not going to be judged as to whether they are saved or lost, they are condemned already. So we “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “The wages of sin is death,” the scripture says. God’s judgment is upon all mankind. So it’s not a question of am I going to be condemned or not, I’m already—I’m condemned already the scripture says.
Tom: It involves God’s wrath as well doesn’t it? Well, Ephesians:5:6, “Let no one be deceived…” the reason I want to quote these scriptures is because people listening to a program like this who have just tuned in, first of all may say well that’s just their opinion and what they’re laying on is a trip here, a guilt trip or whatever. We are just presenting what God’s Word says and it’s either true or it’s not true and our listeners are going to have to wrestle with that, but this is what God’s Word presents. It says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these (i.e. evil practices), the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Matthew:25:41, “Then he will also say to those on the left hand, depart from me you cursed into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels and these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
And one more scripture along this line, 2 Thessalonians:1:8-9, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord….” Now these are very sobering scriptures that we don’t hear a lot.
Dave: Yes Tom, I didn’t quote thoroughly John:3:18,“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already….” In other words, because we have sinned, we have rebelled against God, we’ve broken His laws, there are consequences. You can’t even play a game, football, basketball, whatever it is, tiddlywinks I guess, you can’t even play anything unless you have rules. And when you break the rules there are consequences. And God created this universe. And I think it is only reasonable that he should decide the rules! And sin is basically rebellion against God, refusing to go by God’s rules. It’s robbing God of the purpose he had in creating the human being. And I am tearing out of God’s hands my life that he has given me, maybe saying it just happened by chance, you know it’s an evolutionary process and I’m in charge and I’m going to live it the way I please. God cannot tolerate that in His universe. Now he is very gracious and patient and merciful, but he says finally it is going to come down to this. He’s going to have to destroy the whole universe that he made because sin has entered in and he’s going to create a new universe. This is what the Bible says, “wherein dwelleth righteousness” and only those who are willing to be what he wants them to be and have been reconciled to God through faith in the penalty that Christ paid on the cross for our sins, those are the only ones who will be in that new universe. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
Tom: That’s not only not unreasonable, He gives all provision for us—I mean if somebody was listening to what you had to say and oh, well I have to do this, that and this—No! It’s a gift. God has provided, he has provided the sacrifice, the payment for the penalty, and he offers that to us.
Dave: You’d have to be pretty stubborn to refuse to accept the pardon God offers. I mean God is so gracious, so merciful.
But look, it’s like this Tom, let’s say that I’m a judge and you are my son and you stand before me in court and the jury has weighed the evidence and they found you guilty of murder. But somebody sitting in the back of the courtroom says yes, but he’s not going to condemn his own son. I mean he loves his son.
No, I have too! Otherwise it’s corruption.
Tom: Right. You are not a just judge.
Dave: That’s right. And God’s holy character, His righteousness compels Him to stand behind His Word.
I’ve seen so many families and as a grandpa now, you are tempted to be like this, where a little girl or a little boy does something they shouldn’t and mommy says “you do that again, or daddy says you’re going to get it.” And then they just defy, I’ve seen them, just defy their parents and do the same thing again and there’s no consequences. So a lot of parents are teaching their children that they can run the show. Some of these little two year olds might just as well have an emperor’s crown on their heads. The family is afraid to cross them, they will throw a tantrum. So we’re teaching them that the parent’s word doesn’t mean anything, you can violate it without any consequences. I mean that brings total chaos in a family.
It brings chaos on this earth because man has rebelled against God. God is not going to tolerate this. He is patient. He’s not willing that any should perish. He’s calling man to repentance, but the time comes when God says, “Look, I say what I mean and I mean what I say. And if I were not that kind of a God, the whole universe would be chaotic.”
And now he offers as you said, He offers pardon on a righteous basis. It’s not just a bookkeeping entry that He makes he turns his head the other way, or just says okay well, I’ll forgive you.” No, God himself became a man, through the virgin birth and paid the penalty that His own infinite justice required. It wasn’t just what men did to him on the cross. That would only add to our condemnation, but He took our place. He paid the penalty and became the sin sacrifice. The Scripture says on that basis he can forgive us and pardon us and give us eternal life for all who will accept what Jesus has done in their place. But if they will not do that then they are stubborn rebels refusing to let God be God in His universe. And to think that God would tolerate that, that’s impossible!