by Tony Nester

The Judgment That's All Around Us
Tony Nester
John 3:14-21

I once sat across a table during a church dinner from
a young man and woman who had come for the meal but
who didn't attend my or anyone else's church. During
the conversation I asked them to give me an honest
answer as to why they found church unappealing. The
man answered first and without hesitation. He said,
"We don't want to be judged."

Few people have any difficulty accepting the idea that
God is love. But many people have difficulty with the
belief that God judges people. All talk about
judgment, hell, and condemnation is regarded by many
people both inside and outside of the church as narrow
minded and far too judgmental.

What does the Bible say about judgment? Today's
Scripture gives an answer that surprises many people.
Let's take a look at what this Scripture from John
3:14-21 has to say.

The first thing the Bible says is that God loves the
world. And that means every person in this world.
John 3:16, one of the most quoted verses in the Bible,
declares that God gave His Son for everyone so
everyone would believe and receive eternal life. No
one is left out. There are no favorites, no
exceptions, no unloved people.

In one Peanuts cartoon strip Charlie Brown and Lucy
are leaning over a fence speaking to one another:

CB: All it would take to make me happy is to have
someone say he likes me.

Lucy: Are you sure?

CB: Of course I'm sure!

Lucy: You mean you'd be happy if someone merely said
he or she likes you? Do you mean to tell me that
someone has it within his or her power to make you
happy merely by doing such a simple thing?

CB: Yes! That's exactly what I mean!

Lucy: Well, I don't think that's asking too much. I
really don't. [Now standing face to face, Lucy asks
one more time] But you're sure now? All you want is to
have someone say, "I like you, Charlie Brown," and
then you'll be happy?

CB: ...

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