Condemned to Hell for Sin or Lack of Faith?
I have often looked at the modern American Christian who worships Christ on Sunday but lives in carnal sin without fear as a conundrum. The word of God is clear in saying that you must be born again (John 3:3, Mark 16:16), and if the Son sets you free from your bondage to sin you are free indeed (John 8:26 NASB). "Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God" (1 Peter 2:16 NASB). So what kind of theology has invaded the church to cause men to believe that they are saved and at the same time living in willful sin without fear? I had a conversation the other day that revealed this unbiblical, unholy, and wicked theology.
I'm an RN in a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, the other day I was talking with one of the staff members who is also a believer about my recent trip to the Texas state Capitol to preach the gospel. One of the nurses on the unit hearing our conversation said, "Did you hear about that preacher getting arrested in England?" I answered, "Yes I did, he is a friend and brother in Christ." He then said, "He was preaching that you go to hell for homosexuality. I disagree with that, there is only one sin that sends you to hell. Not believing in Jesus." This caused me to then preach the gospel openly in the middle of the ICU before I even realized what I was doing.
So what about this, are we condemned to hell for sin or lack of faith?
“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 3:18 NKJV)
This man took this verse as saying that if you believe in Jesus you are saved; but if you do not believe in Jesus you are condemned, not because of sin, but for not believing in Jesus. With this belief he had thus reasoned that the only sin that can send someone to hell is not believing in Jesus. In other words no one will be in hell for lying, stealing, committing adultery, or murder; they will be in hell for not believing in Jesus. In this thought he had reduced the entire law down to a single law; believe in Jesus. This kind of reasoning is the result of modern day easy believism. Which results in doing whatever feels good, follow your heart; sleep with your neighbors wife, live with your girl friend, and if she gets pregnant take her to an abortion mill to kill your baby but believe in Jesus and all is well.
This is not what the verse says at all. It says, "he who believes Him is not condemned; but he who does not believed is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." The one who believes in Jesus believes because he is not condemned, he has been granted repentance by the Father (see Acts 11:18). The one who does not believe does not believe because he is already condemned, he has not been granted repentance by the Father. Do not forget when looking at these single verses like this, the context from which they come. Jesus spent the first 15 verses of John chapter 3 saying that you most be born again. The answer to this question is not found in some verse in another book in the bible, the answer is found in the prior verse. "For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17 NKJV). If this man's theology were to be correct, this statement by Christ would be a lie, and God cannot lie. If this man's theology were correct, and the only sin that could condemn a man is not believing in Jesus, then God sending Him into the world is for condemnation. The first coming of Christ was not for condemnation but for salvation, salvation from what? The wrath of God against our sin. While His first coming was for salvation, His second coming is for judgment. Repent and believe in the gospel while you still have time.
Christian, if God has granted you repentance that means He has forgiven all your sins; but never forget He is righteous, in order for Him to have forgiven you, He had to first pour out has wrath for your sins on another, namely His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ