April 14, 2021

Not Judged

 

Photo by Daniel Reche @Pixabay

It isn’t unusual to be reading Scripture and have one particular verse stand out, the Holy Spirit opening your eyes to a deeper, personal message. That happened to me today with John 3:18: “He that believeth in him is not judged...”

Why the powerful message had not resonated with me before is a mystery only God and the Holy Spirit can answer. Timing? Probably. Jesus told the Apostles they wouldn’t receive the whole truth of God’s mystery, only parts as they grew in faith enough to understand and accept it.

As much as I try not to rehash all my past mistakes, they continue to pester me. This isn’t uncommon. David said the same in Psalm 50:5: “For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.”

John 3:18 explains so much about why the New Testament is The Good News. We who believe Jesus Christ is our Salvation will not be judged for our sins, only for our faith.

This was exemplified in Jesus’ words on the cross to the Good Thief. The man repented but had no time to do good works. It was his faith that restored his relationship with God and guaranteed him a place in heaven.

My dream about dying and going to heaven makes more sense too. In the dream, Jesus escorted me into heaven. Instead of reminding me of all my sins, He gave me a personal tour of all heaven’s wonders. As I oohed and awed over each, He laughed, pleased with my reaction.

The same with my vision of the pit of fire. He didn’t judge me then either.

Does that mean we can do whatever we want without fear of any retribution? No. Even if God won’t judge us because of our faith, we will still face the earthly consequences of our sins and poor choices. Also, if we truly believe, our thoughts and actions change. We try to please the one we love. That means replicating the kindness, compassion, faith, and love we have received. The Good News is when we fail, God understands and loves us, loves our efforts.

Many scriptures have comforted me, but this one has set me free. Amen.