Why is Unbelief Such a Big Deal? (John 3:31-36)

John 3:31-36


31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.


            Why is a refusal to receive Jesus Christ through faith such a big deal? Have you ever wondered about that? A person’s eternity, so far as they have anything to do with it, rests on their response to Jesus. If they receive Christ, they are rescued, forgiven, and granted eternity with God forever. If they refuse Christ, they find themselves under the judgment of God and are punished for their sins against the Lord.


            In the passage above, we see a logical hint at why faith is such an issue. God has come to earth. God has made only one way of salvation. Jesus, during his earthly ministry, testified to this truth. And, as we see in the passage above. Jesus testified that God is true.


            Then we watch the implications of the fact that Jesus testifies that his Father is true. The one who believes Jesus and who receives his offer of salvation puts his seal on the contract that declares, “God is true! God is good! I believe him!” However, the one who rejects Jesus puts his seal to a different form. That one declares that they believe God to be false, untrustworthy, unworthy of faith and worship. For such a one, there is no longer any hope of salvation. Unless they repent and testify that Jesus is who he claimed to be, that God’s plan is salvation through faith in Jesus, such a person will be lost forever. They will have chosen to set themselves in opposition to the God who made them.


            Is this really the logical implications of faith or a lack thereof? I think so. That is how we can see in verse 36 something very simple. The one who believes in Jesus has life. They have rightly allied with God as the True One. The one who does not receive Jesus also does not obey him (see verse 36), and such a one has set themselves in opposition to God. God is not required to make for us more ways that his way. The one who does not obey God by trusting in Jesus is lost.


            It may seem little to us to not choose to believe in Jesus. However, in point of fact, it is extremely large. God knows that we cannot do enough good to get in to heaven. He has to do all the work to rescue us. And, at the end of the day, the one who is rescued is the one who testifies that God is true by trusting in Christ. The one for whom God’s justice is their future proves God to be just by refusing to trust in Jesus, to obey Jesus, and to declare God true.