What do you get from this? (Belief and Rejection)


#1

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. He who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness. If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day. For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”
John 12:44-50

I was wondering what any of you got from this regarding the teaching of… basically Eternal Life, Purgatory, Eternal Life, etc.
Does this have any accordance to the Protestant [Christian] brothers and sisters?
Or could this possibly mean, those who do not believe, but are still great people are still accepted into heaven? What?


#2

Well Christopher, from looking at the scripture at many different angles, I have come to the conclusion that Jesus is stressing His hypostatic nature. He wants his followers to believe that he was “sent” by the Father. He is literally yelling to His flock that He is only part of the Divine Unit (the Trinity). I don’t think this is to say that Jesus was making Himself any less God (since He is co-eternal and co-equal), but simply explaining how He came to take on human flesh and human suffering. The final judgement is upon the individual. Jesus was saying that if they don’t want to believe, He wouldn’t judge them…their time will come though when they will be judged.

I personally don’t believe that just living a good life and being nice most of the time is a ticket into heaven. He will separate the sheep from the goats. Not necessarily the bad from the good, but the familiar from the strangers.

Love ya,
Heather


#3

Hi. I am not sure if I properly understand your question. Could you simplify it a little? Nevertheless, here’s some thoughts I have about your post.

First we must remember that Jesus makes statements that sometimes sound contradictory because He means different things in different contexts. For instance, in one place He might say that He has not come to judge the world (for instance John 12:47), and in another place He might say that He will come to judge all nations (like Matthew 25:31-33; Revelation 22:12-13).

In the first case, Jesus is emphasizing that His primary mission on earth is not to condemn but to win people back to the Father, to forgive sins (through His own sacrificial death), to sanctify, to redeem, to save.

In the second case, Jesus is saying that He will be the one on the throne judging all the nations at the end of time/Last Judgment/Second Coming. His actions in the end times will be different from His actions on earth 2000 years ago.

In the passage you cited, Jesus wants people to understand that He is proclaiming (and that He Himself is) the definitive divine revelation of the Father given to man. Because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, we must believe in Him, know Him, love Him, and serve Him in order to have a proper relationship with God. Jesus, the incarnate Word, perfectly reveals the Father to us. We would not know the Father if it were not for the Son who has revealed Him to us. Jesus uses images of light to describe what it means to come to know God because knowing God is “enlightening” – it is a kind of knowledge that leads to wisdom, understanding, and ultimately our salvation (if we respond to His free gift of grace), and it makes sense of our confusing world. Knowledge of who God is and what He wants from us sets us free to be what He designed us to be and to act in accordance with our natures. Jesus is the light of the world because He is the source of its salvation, the victor over the darkness of sin, evil, and death, and because He makes sense out of human history. Without the light of Christ, the Old Testament, human suffering, and our very lives would remain a complete enigma, if not totally meaningless.

I do not think this text is specifically talking about Purgatory or Protestants, but I could be missing something.

It seems to be emphasizing this point: to reject Jesus is to reject God, or at least the light that comes from knowing God’s perfect self-revelation.


#4

By the way, when Jesus says, “I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them…” (John 12:47), He does not mean that those who reject His words will not be judged. We must not take this phrase out of context. Two verses later, He clarifies: “On the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge.” Jesus is emphasizing the fact that, in the judgment, the words He has spoken will themselves be testimony against those who rejected them on earth.

Regarding the question of who will be saved, we must leave that up to God. We can speak in generalities (about certain actions leading to hell), but not about particular individuals being sent to hell, even if they appear to have rejected the light of Christ. God will not hold us accountable for things we could not have known or done. He desires that all men be saved and so He provides sufficient grace for all to reach heaven through the blood of Jesus (He died for all men, not just a few).


closed #5

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