~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.
~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 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.
The Bible says that if one does not believe in Jesus Christ, he is condemned already. This is not an act from God but a free will act by man. Man chooses not to believe in Christ. 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 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 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. 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. Sadly, their choice cost them Heaven! Their choice damned them for all eternity.
It is the will of God that saves, it is the will of man that damns.
Charles H. Spurgeon