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What If You Dont Believe in Jesus?

(John 8:21-30)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Weve seen
That on the last day of the Feast of Booths,
Jesus made two Gospel invitations:
As the water was being poured out
At the base of the altar,
Symbolizing the water God provided
From the rock in the wilderness
The rock Paul tells us was Jesus
He said, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in
Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being will flow rivers of living
water (John 7:37-38).

The second was as He taught in the treasury

That was illumined by the candelabra
That represented the pillar of fire
The Lord used to lead Israel by night
Which was also a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ
He said, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the
darkness, but will have the Light of life (8:12).

If you look to Jesus as your hope of heaven,

If you surrender your will to His and follow Him,

He will satisfy your soul by His Spirit

You wont need anything else to be content;
You wont need the things of this world;
If you have food and covering,
That will be enough
If you look to Jesus,
He will guide you through life
By that same Spirit
He will teach you His truth,
Show you how good it is,
And give you the strength to follow it,
All the way to heaven.

Thats what Jesus offered those

Who heard Him on that day,
And this is what He offers you,
If youre willing to listen to Him,
Turn from this world,
And look to Him in faith.

B. Preview.
But what if you wont?
What if you choose not to trust Him?
What if you dont surrender your will to His?

This is what He tells us in our passage this morning.

Lets consider three things:

1. What will happen to you if you dont trust Him.
2. Why this will happen to you.
3. How you can avoid this happening to you.

II. Sermon.
A. First, what will happen to you if dont trust Jesus?
He says in verse 21, I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin;
where I am going, you cannot come.
Jesus was going away
He was about to return to heaven.
The Passover at which
He would be betrayed by one of the twelve,
And handed over to the Jews,
Who would hand Him over
To the Romans to be crucified,
Was less than six months away.

After He was gone,

They would seek Him
Not in the sense they should
Seek Him to be saved
But they would look for Him,

And He would be nowhere to be found.
His soul would be in heaven,
As well as His body.

Since they didnt believe Him,

When they died
And everyone will one day,
Everyone of us will
They would not go where He went,
Jesus says, Where I am going, you cannot come.
They would die in their sins.

Since they werent going to be with Him,

Where would they be?
The Bible speaks of only two places
Where the soul can go after death:
Heaven or hell.
Jesus was going to heaven,
But they werent.
The only alternative is hell
The place God has reserved
For those who die
Who are still in the guilt of their sins.

Was this something that was unique to them?

Were they the only ones

Who would go there when they die? No.
Jesus says, Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).
Hell is where the Lord will send everyone
Who has not looked to His Son in faith.

B. But why will that happen? Why does the Lord send people to that place?
1. First, its not because you didnt trust in Jesus.
You do have to trust Him to be saved,
But you dont go down into hell solely for not trusting
If you have the opportunity to hear the Gospel,
But dont receive Jesus,
That does become one of the reasons youll end up there;
But its never the only reason.

2. Its not because God sends you there

He is the One who will send you,
Because He is a righteous Judge
He cant overlook sin
But it wont be His fault that you go there
Anymore than its the judges fault
That any criminal goes to prison.

Criminals are punished because they break the Law,

And sinners are punished because they have broken Gods Law.

Jesus says if you dont trust Him,

You will die in your sin
The fault will be entirely yours.

C. The important question to ask then is,

How can you avoid this happening to you?

You need to look to Jesus:

You need to understand the Gospel,
Believe it,
And receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

These Jews clearly didnt do this.

They didnt even understand what He was saying.
They thought Jesus was talking about
Doing away with Himself.
John writes, So the Jews were saying, Surely He will not kill Himself, will He,
since He says, Where I am going, you cannot come? (v. 22).
Jesus would die, but not by suicide

1. You need to understand and believe

That He willingly laid down His life
For everyone who would believe in Him.
He didnt kill Himself,

He sacrificed Himself
He took the guilt of His people on Himself
And died in their place
So that if you would only believe in Him,
You would never die,
But have eternal life.

2. You need to understand and believe

Where Jesus came from,
And something of His character.
And He was saying to them, You are from below, I am from above; you are of
this world, I am not of this world (v. 23).

He didnt come from this world,

But from heaven.

He was born here

He is the Son of Man,
He is Marys child.
But He didnt come in the usual way
Mary was a virgin
When she conceived Him
And the Holy Spirit is the One
Who brought this about.

And as far as His character,

Because He came into the world this way,

He is holy.
When the angel told Mary
The Lord was going to bring
His Son into the world through her,
She asked, How can this be, since I am a virgin? The angel answered and
said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most
High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the
Son of God (Luke 1:34-35).
He is from heaven,
And He is holy.

3. You need to understand and believe

That you didnt come from heaven
You are from below,
You are of this world
And you are not holy, but sinful
Which is why you are in danger
Of Gods judgment for your sins.

4. You need to understand and believe

Not only that Jesus is from above and holy,
But that He is God in our nature.
Jesus said, Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you
believe that I am He, you will die in your sins (v. 24).
Its not yet clear

That this is what Jesus had in mind

When He said you must believe that I am
Well see in a moment,
The Jews certainly didnt understand this
But this is what He meant.
Jesus is the Son of God
The Second Person of the Triune God
Who became a man
Without ceasing to be God
That He might save man.

The debt that we owe to God is so great,

That only God can pay it.
You must believe in the Savior
Who is both God and man
If you are to be saved.

As I said,
The Jews didnt understand this.
John writes, So they were saying to Him, Who are You? Jesus said to them,
What have I been saying to you from the beginning? (v. 25).
What had He been saying?
That He is the light of the world,
That He gives the living water,

That He is the bread of life,
That He is the Messiah,
That His Father is God.

Its particularly this last statement

That shows us who Jesus claimed to be:
He is God.
Thats the way the Jews understood this,
Which is why they wanted to kill Him.
John writes in John 5:18, For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all
the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also
was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

The only Savior that can save you,

Is the One who is God in our nature.
You must believe thats what He is.
And you must believe in Him.

5. You must understand and believe that He is both Judge and Savior.
Jesus says, I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He
who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the
world (v. 26).
Jesus knew what these Jews had done.
He also knew that one day
He would sit in judgment against them,
If they didnt repent.

He said earlier, For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all
judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the
Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent
Him (John 5:22-23).

But He wasnt there to judge them now

He was there to preach the Gospel:
To reveal the love, grace and mercy of God
Toward sinners who repent
That they might be saved
To offer Himself as a Savior.
He said earlier, For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,
but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17).

Jesus doesnt threaten you now as Judge

Though one day He will
If you dont repent and turn to Him
He offers Himself to you as a Savior.

While its still the day of His mercy,

Believe in Him;
Turn from your sins and look to Him in faith;
Trust Him to save you.

6. Finally, you need to understand and believe

That this is what God the Father
Sent His Son into the world to do.


Again, the Jews didnt understand this,

John writes, They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the
Father (v. 27).
But one day, they would,
On the day He would be crucified:
So Jesus said, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am
He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father
taught Me (v. 28).

Would all of them learn it? At some level,

But not all would acknowledge it.

As a rebuke to them,
Mark records one who did:
Someone who wasnt a Jew,
But a Roman, a Gentile.
When the Centurion saw the darkness
That fell over the land at the crucifixion,
When he saw the way Jesus yielded up His spirit,
And felt how the earth quaked,
He said, Truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:39).

This is what you must believe:

You must believe that God the Father
So loved the world,
That He gave His only begotten Son


That whoever believes in Him will not perish,

But have eternal life (John 3:16).

You must believe

That the Father was with Jesus,
That He never left Him
Even when He was on the cross,
Though the Father turned
His face of blessing away from His Son,
And showed Him His face of wrath,
He still loved His Son,
And His Son knew it,
Because He always did what pleased Him,
Even on the cross.
And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the
things that are pleasing to Him (v. 29).

7. Do you understand these things?

Do you believe them?
Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Are you following Him?

Some of these Jews did,

As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him (v. 30).
They passed from death to life.


When they died,

They didnt die in their sins;
They didnt go down into hell
They were washed,
They were clean
They entered heaven.

If you believe,
The same will be true of you.
If you believe,
You too will be in heaven when you die.

If you havent,
I invite you in His name to do so.
This morning,
He offers Himself to you again as a Savior.
If you come to Him,
He wont turn you away.
If you come to Him,
He will welcome you;
The Father will welcome you;
The angels in heaven will rejoice over you.

Look to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins,

And one day you will be with Him. Amen.