A Voice in the
April 11, 2009
Believe or Obey?
The King James Bible says He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the
wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36
And your Bible says (I don't mean like you wrote it) The one believing
into the Son has eternal life; but the one disobeying the Son shall not
see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36.
It seems to me that obedience is not taught much these days.Do you think
its because of errors like this.
Indeed. This is addressed in the series in Hebrews, lesson 07 from ch3.
It is interesting to notice -which- translations say what. The ones (in
my OLB collection) that say "believe" are ALT, KJV, MKJV, NKJV. The
ones that say "obey" are GENEVA, LITV, NASB, VW. And then Darby says
"subject" and NIV says "rejects" (The ALT surprises me; its compiler is
better at the Greek than that!) And then the older Wycliffe and Tyndale
(which I have in html) also are on the "unbelieve" side of this question. Wycliffe's older English says "vnbileueful" (unbelieveful).
The one "believing" is "pisteuo": think to be true, persuaded of, have
Notice that the second word includes aspects of faith, but the
predominance seems to be the non-compliance aspect. Disobedience.
The one "disobeying" is "apeitheo": refuse belief and obedience, not to
comply with. And is related to "apeithes": impersuasible, not
God "commands all men everywhere to repent" (Ac17:30) The word "command" naturally expects obedience to or compliance with the command. But the sinner refuses the command. Right now man has been given 'choice': Moses closed off his review of the Law with, "Therefore CHOOSE life...." (De30:19) God does not come up to each person with a gang of thugs, knocking everybody in the back of their knees, forcing them into subservience. He is "longsuffering", not having a desire for any to perish. (2Pt3:9) But eventually the pronouncement will be made: "the time is at hand" (Re22:10) and then, all those who had refused will be rounded up, handcuffed and dragged before God's throne by two hulks of wardens and knocked down to their knees (**) to "confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Php2:11). But they won't be going to Heaven! They will make their confession; some will also be forced to bow to the True Believers they had taunted (Rev3:9); and then be tossed into the Lake of Fire.
** No...I know the Bible doesn't say that. Is a little imagery
permissible, after talking about 'thugs'? Jesus used many illustrations: of virgins knocking on the door (Mt25:11), of fishermen sorting the good from the bad out of the dragnet (Mt11:47-48), of the wealthy farmer building barns (Lk12:19), farmer seed and birds (Mt13), banquets (Mt22), bread and stones (Mt7:9), etc.
Remember: THERE ARE NO UNBELIEVERS IN HELL! "Sola Fide" is of no benefit
there! Whoever is in Hell knows that God exists; there are no atheists
there, either. They know that Jesus died to save sinners, They know that
"Jesus is Lord". Thus, rebellious lips repeating those words like a
mantra is meaningless. WHAT IS IN THE HEART?
"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual
perversions, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." (Mt15:19)
Keep in mind that "every tongue"
will confess Jesus to be Lord, but not everybody is going to Heaven.
(Like the old Negro spiritual: Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't
goin' there!) "Many" are on the "broad way" leading to destruction, and
it is only the "few" who find the way to Life. (Mt7:13-14) And it is
immediately after that statement that Jesus warns against the "false
Yes, they "believe". The demons also "believe and shudder" (Ja2:19)
But they refuse to obey! They refuse to comply with God's standards of
"...as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts
in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also become
holy in all conduct, because it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.
And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according
to each one’s work, behave yourselves throughout the time of your
sojourning in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible
things, like silver or gold, from your vain way of life received by
tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as
of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1Pt1:14-19)
Also: is the Greek word, that from which our word "apathy" comes? The
person might hear the Gospel, and feel good about it. Oh, isn't it
wonderful... this thing called "Salvation". They might even believe that
it is true, that God exists, and that Jesus died to save the sinner, and
that repentance and faith are necessary. Oh yes, I believe all that; I
believe it deeply and with great emotion. But in their apathy, they
'ho-hum' along through life and don't actually -respond- to God's -call-
upon them. It is not enough to believe -about- faith and repentance. One
must actually -obey-, and meet Jesus at the foot of the cross. They must
"receive" Jesus Christ (Jn1:12) through the sealing of the Holy Spirit
(Eph1:13) and the birth "from above" (Jn3:3) They must actually take on
the new nature. (2Co5:17)
Many people will be in the Lake of Fire who, in this life, had "good
thoughts" regarding Christianity; and possibly even went to church
regularly. But they will experience "weeping and gnashing of teeth"
They will be like the "sons of the kingdom" in the "outer darkness"
If a person were producing a literal "amplified" Bible, to include the
full degree of meaning, perhaps that verse would include:
"The one believing into the Son has eternal life; but the one disobeying
[in non-compliant apathy towards] the Son shall not see life, but the
wrath of God abides on him." (Jn3:36)
Do you "feel good" with "warm fuzzy thoughts" about the Lord; and you
can hypnotize yourself in 'worship' mantras, with the rest of them at
church? Is He your (purported) "friend"?
Or have you obeyed? Can you truly say:
"The Lord is -MY- Shepherd" (Ps23:1)