31The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all.32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony.33Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true.34He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.35The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands.36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.
Comments: My first thought this morning is that how quickly the wonderful chapter of John 3.16, turns to the wrath of God! Remember the context, this is so important. Jesus is STILL speaking with Nicodemus, one who came in the dark, one whom others trust as a religious leader, and yet Jesus seems to be suggesting all along that even folks like Nicodemus (not by intention) are living in the dark! This is a serious spiritual problem and it can only be cured by God! God has now come in Chirst, to show that it is the work and righteousness of GOD that brings salvation, not human work. Yet this desire to hang on to our own way, our own path, our own deep seated preferences and prejudices will prove difficult for many of us to give away. Notice, it's not that God wants them to endure God's wrath, but that there is no other possible destination for those who insist on salvation being the result of their own effort. These who insist on this attempt will find themselves constantly running into the 'wrath,' the law of God that so quickly shows our brokeness. On the contrary, to lean on Christ is to no longer be bound by the law--nor it's wrath!
Questions: Have you heard the word: Universalist? A universalist is someone who believes that ultimately all people will be saved by God through Christ. How would a universalist look at todays reading? Does wrath equate with damnation? Did you notice the language being used, did it sound like a personal conversation (between Jesus and Nicodemus) or more like a court room? What is the testimony do you think that has been offered?