John lays down an either/or statement that we may not like until we realize it hinges on one thing.

John 3: 18 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

A Love for Gray Area
I like wiggle room. I like to have the decision, the outcome, based on the merits of my individual situation. I like things to be tailored to fit my particular circumstances. I think that’s the fair and correct way to do things. I am a lover of gradations and analysis and judgment. In regard to this passage I am absolutely, positively, out of luck.

None of that Here
John couldn’t really paint it more black and white. Believe and be saved. Don’t believe and be condemned. Doesn’t matter what you did. Doesn’t matter how much you tithed. Doesn’t apparently matter how many good deeds, little old ladies you helped across the street, smiles of appreciation, how polite you were; you’re going to hell. Good guy points? No go, Joe. See that line in the sand? Yeah, don’t cross it.

What Saves our bacon

The good news is that we only have to do one teeny, tiny little thing and we’re good to go. That thing is to believe. Believe that Jesus was the savior. Believe that he came to die for all our sins. Believe that the only way to heaven is through him but most of all believe that he was God’s son. That shouldn’t be hard, should it? No, should be easy. That is, unless we can’t let go of our wiggle room.

One Small Stipulation
You see, we can’t just believe some of the time. We can’t believe most of the time. Heck we can’t believe 99.99% of the time. It’s all of the time or….nothing. And nothing is….nothing. Desolate, vast, ugly, full of gnashing teeth and wailing and sorrow. So, now that all that’s been established and Jesus has come and gone and come again and we know the story and the cost and John has laid it out so very, very plainly; I hope, I pray, you believe. Because that’s all it takes.
Something to think about

What stands in your way to belief? How will you get past it?