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the wrath of God abideth on him?

29-10-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet

images7 One of the most common arguments against the Good News message (as it is taught on this site), is taken from John 3:36.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The bottleneck of the argument is (as so often in this issue) the word age (Greek: aion). In Scripture it refers to an age. Or if you prefer, to an eon. A Scripture that clearly shows this is Luke 18:30:

…and in the coming eon, life eonian. (CLV)

The eonian life is the life of the eon to come. It is the Messianic Kingdom, that in the Hebrew Bible (O.T.) has many times been prophesied to come. It will be the age/eon in which the Messiah will establish His Kingdom. To that eon John constantly (20x) refers in his evangel account. Remember that John, as well as James and Peter, were to evangelize “the circumcision people” (Gal.2:9), i.e., the Jewish people. Whoever will disobey the Son of God, shall not see the life of that eon. What does that mean? These words in John 3 get a clear explanation in Acts 3. After Peter and John, at the temple in Jerusalem, had healed the paralyzed man (Acts 3:1-10), Peter addresses his fellow countrymen. He speaks of the Messiah, who will return to establish the Kingdom, of which all the prophets have spoken (3:19-21). And he (along with John; Acts 4:1) explains to the men of Israel the following:

… it shall be that every soul whatsoever which should NOT HEAR that Prophet SHALL BE UTTERLY EXTERMINATED from among the people. -Acts 3:23-

Whoever disobeys the Son (the Prophet) will perish. This, here, is about the time that God in indignation will deal with all those who refuse to be subject to the King, Whom He will establish in Zion (Ps.2:5-7). They will be smashed to pieces, as vessels of a potter (Ps.2:9). In disobedience, they will perish and remain dead until the end of the thousand years (Rev.20:5). What John 3:36 says, precisely dovetails with the language of the prophets.

Is all of this in conflict with the message that God will save everyone, will justify, reconcile and vivify (make alive beyond the reach of death) all? No, not at all! John 3:36 refers to the beginning of the oncoming eon in which the Kingdom of the Messiah will be established. In contrast, the salvation, justification, reconciliation and making alive of all, relates to the consummation of the eons, at which time Christ will hand over the Kingdom to His God and Father (1Cor.15:22-28). At the beginning of the coming eon, many will perish. But at the end of “the eons to come” (Eph.2:7), Christ will abolish death and, thereby, make all alive, beyond the reach of death. Distinguish the times, and the Scripture is in perfect harmony with itself!