THE VERDICT IS IN – AND IT IS HARSH

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done through God. – John 3:19-21

Pretty harsh verdict, but God’s truth: People love their darkness more than God’s light.

I have to admit that I don’t really like it when people shout out – whether from the pulpit or from a public corner – the verdict against evil in this world. But it’s only their style that makes me a bit uncomfortable. God’s judgment against sin doesn’t make me uncomfortable. It’s the truth.

But what does happen within me, when faced with God’s verdict against sin, is this: I am ripped apart by God’s truth, and then put back together again by the blood of God’s grace. His light exposes my every ugly and sinful, hateful and shameful thought, word, action and attitude. Coming into God’s light can be scary. But look at the Hands that are beckoning us to come into God’s light. They are nail-scarred and loving. They offer forgiveness and salvation, freedom and transformation, hope and eternal life in the light of our Savior Jesus.

Yes, God’s verdict against sin, against our human nature that would prefer to keep on sinning and prefer to stay in the darkness, is exceedingly harsh. And rightfully so. The consequences of staying in our sins only bring death to us. Maybe not immediately, but eternal darkness and separation from our God, who loves us so much, is the certain destiny of all who will not come into the light of Christ. God’s verdict against sin, against our human love of the darkness, compelled God to give His Holy Son Jesus over to death to pay for the forgiveness of our sins. Because God so loved the world. Because God so loved us, we lovers of darkness.

Did you know God’s harsh verdict against sin? Did you know the harsh punishment Jesus suffered, out of His perfect and passionate love for you? Come into God’s light now! God wants to shed His light into your mind and into your spirit. Admit that you have sin in your life and you need God’s forgiveness. Jesus Christ has already died for your sins. Ask Him to be your Savior. He will be. Jesus Christ has already conquered death through His resurrection. Ask Him to give you His promised gift of eternal life. He will give it.

If Jesus is your Savior already, celebrate the eternal life in God’s light you have been given! Then, check yourself and your light level. Are you living in the light of God’s truth? Or are you living in the shadow lands, believing that what you think, say and do aren’t really all that bad? Please, think again. If we have to justify and rationalize anything we think, say and do – then I’m pretty sure we’re still living in the shadow lands. Jesus is not a God to be taken for granted. He cannot be mocked. He cannot be fooled. He is the truth. Jesus, out of His love, wants all of us as His precious, passionately loved children, to stop living a lie. To stop living in the dark since He has already given each of us the full light of life through His death and resurrection! God’s verdict against sin is harsh. But His gifts of light and life are here! Live in His light!