15 December, 2019

John 12:47-48—“if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not”

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12:47-48).

“Jesus is saying in this passage that his first coming was not for the purpose of judging and condemning the world as on Judgment Day, but that his ministry was to save the world, though He be rejected by it.  The person that does not believe and rejects Him, Jesus does not condemn because He came to save the world.  ‘The world’ cannot mean the elect because it is the world that rejects Jesus and shall be condemned by His word on the Last Day.”


David J. Engelsma

Difficult as the passage may be, it does not express or imply the well-meant offer.  There is nothing in the passage of a love of God for all men with a desire to save all.
First, with regard to the difficult denial of Jesus that he “came not to judge the world,” this must be understood in light of other passages of the Bible that plainly teach that he is the judge of the world.  I think of Matthew 25 which has Jesus on the throne of judgment before whom all the world will stand to be judged.  There are also such passages as John 5:22, 27, which teach that Jesus, by God’s appointment, will judge all.
In the light of all of Scripture, what Jesus taught in John 12 is that it was not the main purpose of God in sending Jesus that Jesus be judge.  The main purpose was that he be savior.  In fact, there was no need to send Jesus as judge, inasmuch as the entire world stood judged by God apart from and before Jesus’ coming.  God did not have to send his Son into the world to condemn it.  The world stood condemned apart from the coming of Jesus.  Even after his coming, there is no need for Jesus to judge, because there is one—God the Father—who judges everyone, including those who reject Jesus.
Second, the text itself teaches that in fact Jesus does judge humans and that this obviously was an aspect of the purpose of God in sending him.  For if “the word” that Jesus has “spoken” judges those who reject him, it is Jesus himself who does the judging by means of his word.
Third, the implication of the doctrine of those who appeal to the text and explain it as described in the “free offer” argument is that Jesus fails to save the world that he desires to save and gave his life to save.  This is not only to make him a failure, but also to imply that those whom he does save are saved by their own will, rather than by the will and work of Jesus.  This is the denial of the gospel of grace.
Fourth, positively, Jesus came to save the world that was lost and under the judgment of God, even though as a secondary purpose, he will also judge those individuals who are in the world who reject him.  He did not need to come into the world to condemn the world because the world stood under judgment without his coming.  As he willed to save the world, so also does he save the world, the world of John 3:16—all those in all nations and of all races whom God elected and who believe on Jesus.  Jesus did not come for the Jews alone, but for the world.  As this primary purpose of Jesus is being carried out, his word also judges.  It judges all those who reject his word.  This is a secondary, almost incidental, effect of his coming and work.  And this judgment will be publicly confirmed in the great day of judgment as Matthew 25 teaches.

(DJE, 14/12/2019)



More to come! (DV)

No comments:

Post a Comment