OK, here's the short version.
We know that the Good News rests squarely in the fact that
“…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(John 3:16-18 NKJV)
This has also become the foundation of that part of the Gospel that makes people feel good about coming to Christ. They say that all you have to do is “believe” in Him and you will have eternal life. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Well, yes, it is, but what I did this morning is read the rest of the passage…
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
(John 3:19-21 NKJV)
This passage, which follows what is arguably the most famous verse in the New Testament, talks about the foundation for the condemnation that comes AFTER “the Light” entered this world.
In verse 19, the Amplified Translation calls it "the basis of the judgment" of those who are condemned. This is saying that there are some who will still be condemned even if they do “believe”. The basis of their condemnation appears to be their decision to continue in darkness even though they “believe” that the “Light” has come.
The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil. [Isa. 5:20.]
For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved.
But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are--wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God's help, in dependence upon Him].
(John 3:19-21 AMP)
Wait a minute!!! Does verse 21 even says something about "do"-ing something with the Truth. The Amplified says we are supposed to "practice" truth. Is it really saying we have to "do" something after we believe? I don't know about you, but this flies in the face of everything I have been taught about Salvation in Christ. We can’t do anything that will make us more eligible to deserve the gift of Salvation, but there is something for us to do after we get it…Practice the Truth.
The Message Translation calls it a “crisis”…
"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness.
They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure.
But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is."
(John 3:19-21 MSG)
As is often the case with the Word, this should clear a lot of things up, but the “spin-ers” have no doubt already devised some means of softening the blow of Jesus words. Usually by deleting them from what they believe is authentic.
Misery, after all, does love company
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