~John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

It is not God’s will for us to go to hell. That is not His desire for us. Our salvation is our choice. We either believe in Jesus Christ, accept that we are sinners and that He is the only way to Heaven or we don’t. (Acts 4:10-12)

~John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I see the world’s viewpoint of Christ in several ways:

1. They truly accept Christ’s work on the cross for their sin and are truly born again.
2. They have “believed” in Jesus Christ (but not repented) because they are religious and that is how they have been taught all their lives.
3. They have heard about Jesus Christ but they really don’t care one way or another.
4. They have heard about Christ but they hate all that He stands for.
5. They have never heard of Jesus Christ – ever!

The Bible says that if one does not believe in Jesus Christ, he is condemned already. (John 3:18) This is not an act from God but a free-will act by man. Man chooses not to believe in Christ and man chooses not to repent and turn from his wicked way. God will not force Himself upon anyone. He has provided a way for man to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. However, if a person chooses to go his own way and does not want Jesus Christ as part of his daily life, then that is his choice – not God’s choice.

~Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Believing unto righteousness is quite different from just “knowing.” I was raised Roman Catholic but I did not believe in Jesus Christ unto righteousness – I didn’t turn from my wicked way and REPENT (Acts 20:21). I knew about Christ but I did not believe unto righteousness. Had I done so, I would have been born-again (John 3:3) – I would have changed (2 Corinthians 5:17) – my desires would be focused on learning about Christ and living my life for Him (2 Timothy 2:15). Christ’s righteousness is upon the believer after salvation.  There is definitely a difference between playing church and being truly born again. I played church before I was saved – I taught Catholic catechism – I deceived those around me but knew in my heart that I was not the person I pretended to be. The heart is very different after salvation. That is the heart that believes unto righteousness.

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees when they were trying to trick Him:

~Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

The Pharisees saw with their own eyes how publicans and harlots believed and followed after righteousness when they heard John the Baptist preach. Yet, even after seeing the changes in these people, the Pharisees did not repent nor did they believe. It was their choice. If you have been around true born-again believers, you have seen a difference in their lives. You probably secretly desire what they have. But you’re afraid to take that step. You’re afraid of what your family will think. You’re afraid of what your spouse will say. But none of these will stand with you when you die and you are standing before Christ. Try explaining to Jesus why you weren’t born again. The excuse of “being afraid of your family” will not cut it. No excuse will be accepted by God on Judgment Day for those who rejected salvation through Christ. None! Sadly, your choice will cost you Heaven! Your choice will damn you for all eternity.

It is the will of God that saves, it is the will of man that damns.
Charles H. Spurgeon

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