Life and Judgment
I tell you the truth: eternal life belongs to those who hear My voice and believe in the One who sent Me. These people have no reason to fear judgment because they have already left death and entered life.
I tell you the truth: a new day is imminent—in fact, it has arrived—when the voice of the Son of God will penetrate death’s domain, and everyone who hears will live. You see, the Father radiates with life; and He also animates the Son of God with the same life-giving beauty and power to exercise judgment over all of creation. Indeed, the Son of God is also the Son of Man. If this sounds amazing to you, what is even more amazing is that when the time comes, those buried long ago will hear His voice through all the rocks, sod, and soil and step out of decay into resurrection. When this hour arrives, those who did good will be resurrected to life, and those who did evil will be resurrected to judgment.
John 5:24-29 (VOICE)
In this fascinating paragraph, Jesus spoke about four different resurrections.
- The resurrection of lost sinners into eternal life.
- The resurrection of our Lord Himself.
- Future resurrection of life.
- The resurrection of condemnation.
The Resurrection Of Lost Sinners Into Eternal Life
The lost sinner is as lifeless and helpless as a corpse. No matter how an undertaker may prepare a corpse, it is still dead; and no corpse is “deader” than any other corpse. If you are dead, you are dead! The lost sinner is helpless to save himself and he certainly cannot give himself life.
How are dead sinners raised from the dead?
By hearing God’s Word and believing on God’s Son. Jesus healed the paralyzed man at the pool by His word (John 5:8). Each time He raised somebody from the dead, He spoke the word (Luke 7:11-17; 8:49-56; John 11:41-44). His Word is “living and powerful” and can raise sinners from spiritual death. “Everlasting life” means that they can never die spiritually again, nor can they ever come into judgment (Rom. 8:1). To hear His Word and believe means salvation; to reject His Word means condemnation (John 12:48).
The Resurrection Of Our Lord Himself
Our life is derived, but His life is original, “in Himself”. “In Him was life” (John 1:4). The grave could not hold Him because He is “the Prince of Life” (Acts 2:24; 3:15). Jesus laid down His life and then took it up again (John 10:17-18). Because He has life in Himself, He can share that life with all who will trust Him.
The Future Resurrection Of Life
The third resurrection named is the future resurrection of life, when believers are raised from the dead. This wonderful truth is explained in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15. Keep in mind that resurrection is not reconstruction. It does not imply that God “puts the pieces back together again.” The resurrection body is a new body, a glorified body, suited to the new heavenly environment. Death is not the end for the believer, nor will he live in heaven as a disembodied spirit. God saves the whole person, and this includes the body (Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:20-21). This resurrection of life will take place when Jesus Christ returns in the air and calls His people to Himself.
The Resurrection Of Condemnation
The fourth resurrection He mentioned is the resurrection of condemnation. This resurrection involves only the lost, and it will take place just before Jesus Christ ushers in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 20:11-15). What an awesome event that will be, when the dead “small and great” stand before Jesus Christ! The Father has committed all judgment to the Son and has given Him the authority to execute judgment. Today Jesus Christ is the Savior, but one day He shall sit as the Judge.
The title “Son of Man” used in John 5:27 refers to Daniel 7:13-14 and is a definite messianic title. It is used twelve times in John’s Gospel and over eighty times in all four Gospels. The Jews would know this title from their reading of the Book of Daniel; and they would know that, by using it, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, and the Judge.
Believers will be given resurrection bodies so that they might reign with Christ in glory. Unbelievers will be given resurrection bodies—but not glorified bodies—that they might be judged and then suffer punishment in those bodies. Bodies that were used for sin will suffer the consequences of that sin.
The fact that Jesus has the authority to raise the dead is proof that He is equal with the Father, and therefore He is God.
I have not ever acted, and will not in the future act, on My own. I listen to the directions of the One who sent Me and act on these divine instructions. For this reason, My judgment is always fair and never self-serving. I’m committed to pursuing God’s agenda and not My own.
John 5:30 (VOICE)
In John 5:30, Jesus told of His complete dependency upon the Holy Spirit. He told the disciples, “I have not ever acted, and will not in the future act, on My own. I listen to the directions of the One who sent Me and act on these divine instructions.” You see, Jesus was constantly listening to the voice of the Spirit, waiting for that divine signal to act, to heal, to deliver, or to cleanse someone who was sick.
Then Jesus said what He did as soon as He was confident of the Spirit’s direction to act “…I judge; and my judgment is fair…” The word “judge” and “judgment” are both from the Greek word krino, a legal term meaning to make a decision on the basis of information, like a jury who has heard all the evidence in a trial and now possesses all the information needed to take action.
This word is used in John 5:30 to let us know that Jesus never acted until He had all the direction He needed from the Spirit. Once that direction was given and Jesus had all the information He needed, He acted. Because He acted on directions given by the Sprit of God, He was able to say that His actions were always right. In other words, Jesus had a 100-percent success rate because He followed the Spirit’s leading!
Jesus didn’t go with a preplanned program or act mechanically every time He was confronted with a need. Therefore, we need to learn from His example and depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit just as He did. If we listen to the Spirit and do what He tells us to do – if we will learn to wait until we hear Him speak – we will have powerful results just like Jesus had in His earthly ministry.
So what about you friend? Are you ready to let the Holy Spirit become the Leader in your life today?
DECLARATION OF FAITH
By the blood and will of Jesus, I have eternal life. I have taken my stand with Him as a covenant partner. Through me, He still raises the dead and gives them life.
I am entirely in the hands of Jesus and I shall never be condemned or experience the wrath of God.
I honor Jesus and pay Him homage, just as I do our Father.
My ears have been opened to receive the Word of God with understanding and I have put my total trust and reliance on the power of my heavenly Father to fulfill it in my life.
Right now, this very minute, I know that I possess eternal life. The sentence of my judgment was placed upon Jesus. I shall never come into condemnation, for I have already passed over from death into life.
Jesus became what I was so that I could become what He is. He is my Lord and my Redeemer and I am identified with Him in every way.
Like Jesus, I have been raised to a new life. I now practice good.
Of myself, I am able to do nothing. All that I do for the kingdom is wrought in and through God. I do all that He teaches me and, as a good soldier and son/daughter, I am quick to obey my orders. I do not make a single decision apart from His counsel. All of my judgments are just and right, because I do not seek my own will and purpose, but the will and purpose of my Father in heaven.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen.