Peter Barnes: Everlasting Life and Everlasting Wrath, John 3:36 (Sunday 19 July 2020
Evening Service, 6.00 p.m.
This last verse of John 3 tells us that, ultimately, there are two responses to Christ, and two destinies. It is like John 3:16, but it is put more starkly.
1. Everlasting Life.
(a) How? If heaven could be yours and mine provided we lay on a bed of nails three days a week, would it be worth it? What if we handed out tracts for half of our waking hours? What if we lived on a diet of locusts and wild honey? What if we made a pilgrimage to some holy place? But the Bible says none of those things. Faith is not trusting yourself but resting on Christ alone – Rom.9:30-32.
(b) When? – ‘has’ in the present tense, not the future. See John 5:24.
However long from mercy
We may have turned away,
Thy blood, O Christ, can cleanse us,
And make us white today.
Luke 19:9; 23:43.
(c) What? Richard Baxter in The Saints’ Everlasting Rest describes heaven, but then falters: ‘But I cannot express it, I cannot conceive it’.
– John 3:13; Matt.25:21, 23; Rev.21:3-4.
There is a happy land,/ Far, far away,
Where saints in glory stand,/ Bright, bright as day …
O we shall happy be/ When, from sin and sorrow free,
Lord, we shall live with Thee,/ Blest, blest for aye.
2. Everlasting Death.
(a) How? The NKJV has ‘he who does not believe’, but it should be ‘he who does not obey’. There is no other Saviour – Acts 4:12
(b) When? This is in the future: ‘he shall not see life’. But look back at verse 18 . The condemnation starts now.
(c) What? ‘The wrath of God abides or remains on him’. Note 1 Thess.1:9-10. J. C. Ryle: ‘Many will go to hell, because their ministers never told them about hell.’
– John 5:28-29; Rom.6:23. Horatius Bonar: I lay my sins on Jesus,