“‘The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him’” (John 3:35–36).
Because of His love for the Son, the Father has given Him supreme authority over all things on earth and in heaven (Matt. 11:27; 28:18; Phil. 2:9–11). That supremacy is a clear indicator of His deity.
John’s affirmation of Jesus’ absolute authority demonstrated his humble attitude, even as his own heralding ministry faded into the background. Having fulfilled his mission on earth, John realized that his work would soon be finished.
But before he faded from the scene, John gave a warning and invitation that forms a fitting climax to his ministry: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” The blessed truth of salvation is that the one “who believes in the Son has eternal life” as a present possession, not merely as a future hope.
But on the other hand, the one “who does not obey the Son will not see life.” The fearful reality is that “the wrath of God” continually “abides on” disobedient sinners who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. Condemnation is their present condition. The idea here is not that God will one day condemn sinners for their disobedient unbelief; they are already in a state of condemnation (3:18; 2 Peter 2:9) from which only saving faith in Jesus Christ can deliver them.
In what ways is the wrath of God evident in the lives of unbelievers? How do you hear it in their voice, see it in their eyes, notice it in their countenance, observe it in their families? Some of these folks seem so nice and easy-going. What are the more subtle forms of dissatisfaction they carry within them?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610