I AM ... The Light of the World | John 8:23-24
But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."
Jesus did not mince words about eternity. In today’s passage, he makes it clear that unless a person believes that he is the Messiah—the one he claims to be—that person will die in his sins. This is straightforward, clear, and refreshing.
I contrast this clarity with a new book out by an “evangelical” pastor questioning the existence of hell. The author, Rob Bell, says in a Time magazine interview, “When we get to what happens when we die, we don’t have any video footage. So let’s at least be honest that we are speculating, because we are.” Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary adds, “[Bell is] trying to reach a generation that’s more comfortable with mystery, with unsolved questions.” Really? Unsolved questions about eternity?
Thankfully, Jesus is very clear about who he is and who we are, what we need to do in order to have a relationship with him, and where we will spend eternity based on that decision. Trust in Jesus alone as the One who paid the penalty for our sin is the only way we can have an eternal relationship with the living God. When it comes to eternity with God or without him, heaven and hell, that’s one question no one should leave in the category of mystery or speculation.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your clear teaching on heaven and hell. Thank you for paying the penalty of my sin on the cross. I thank you that, through trusting in you alone, I can know for sure where I will spend eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.