Teaching Eternal Principles
Tim Temple

Introduction

Shakespeare said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune.” The ability to recognize turning points in our lives is a very valuable commodity, and most people don't seem to possess that ability. We move through life from day to day, and many times significant things happen to us—life changing events—the significance of which we don't realize until they are already past.

In John, chapter 12, Jesus came to one of those points in His life, and He recognized it. He said, in verse 23:

John 12

23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

That is a major turning point in the life of Christ. He knew that He had come to earth to be crucified. He understood all of that from eternity past, but now with His human understanding in the scale of His human life, He sees that time approaching and beginning to come to pass. From that time forward, for the rest of the Gospel of John, for the few days that He has left with His disciples, He begins to teach them about His death and the way it is going to affect them and about things they will need to be prepared for.

We have divided the chapter into three parts. We have talked about the first two of those. In verses 1-11, there is the tender encouragement that Mary gave to Jesus as she anointed Him for His burial and wiped his feet with her hair after she had broken a bottle of expensive perfume. Then in verses 12-19, we talked about the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In this lesson, we want to look at the last section of the chapter in which Jesus is teaching eternal principles. In those verses, He begins to prepare His disciples for His death and for what would come after it. Let's look now at the details of this third part of the chapter in verses 20-50.

The Popularity of Jesus

The first principle that He stresses is the principle of timing in verses 20-30. The setting for the teaching of that principle is the popularity of Jesus, which we see demonstrated in verses 20-22. Notice verse 20:

John 12

20And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
21The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
22Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

These Greeks coming to Jesus at the close of His life are an indication that even the Gentile world has begun to hear about Him. Obviously, they are from outside Israel. They are from Greece, and for some reason, they had come to Jerusalem during the time of the Feast of the Passover, maybe as tourists to see what went on among the Jews at that feast. We are not told why they came, but it is interesting that the word about Jesus had spread even outside Israel, and these men came to Him. It is a little reminder of the fact that Jesus' ministry was not just to Israel. He came to die for the sins of the whole world.

Another interesting fact is that back at the beginning of His life, we have the record of how the wise men from the East came seeking Him and bringing gifts to Him. Those people were Gentiles also. So at the beginning of His life, the Gentiles came; at the end of His life, we have just a little passing reference to Gentiles coming. It should be comforting to those of us who are Gentiles that Christ came to the Jewish nation and that the Jewish nation had been founded and prepared for Him to come through them, but in His grace, He also came to die, not just for that nation, but for the sins of the whole world.

To See Jesus is to Hear His Teaching

His teaching in the next verses is in answer to their request. They said, “We would see Jesus.” Notice in verse 23, Jesus answers them:

John 12

23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

It included the disciples and the other people who had been following Him, but certainly He answered these Greeks also. It indicates that to see the Lord Jesus Christ is a matter of hearing His teaching. That is not the only way to see Christ, but one of the major ways to see Christ is to hear His teaching. These men came, saying, “We want to see Jesus,” and Jesus responded by teaching them some important principles.

If you have had very much experience in studying or reading the Bible, you know that we do see Jesus as we sincerely and with an open heart come to read or study His Word. I hope that will be our experience in this study.

Prophecy Regarding Jesus' Death

Out of that background, we find the prophecy of Jesus in verses 23-26. The first part of the prophecy, in verses 23-24, has to do with His death. Notice:

John 12

23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Here is that moment of change in the life of Jesus that I mentioned a few minutes ago. “The hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified.” Jesus had used this kind of terminology several other times, particularly in the early part of the Gospel of John. You remember, for example, the first miracle that He did was when His mother asked Him about providing the wine at the wedding in Cana. He said to her, “Woman, My hour has not come.” We talked about the fact that that answer indicated that perhaps Mary thought Jesus was going to reveal Himself for Who He was right there at that wedding. She had known from before His birth what He was going to do. She had watched Him grow and develop and move into that position of being recognized as the Savior, but He said to her, “My hour is not yet come.” He did go ahead and do the miracle, but He was letting her know that it was not yet time for Him to be revealed and for Him to start that process of going to the Cross, But now He says, “The hour is come.”

We know from what we have already read of the story and what we have been taught all our lives that He is not going to die the next day, but the hour has come—the general time-frame in which He is going to be sacrificed has come. Notice that He doesn't speak of it as death. He says, in verse 23, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” We know that He was going to die. He knew that He was going to die, but He speaks of it as glorification.

The death of Jesus Christ was different from any other death before or since. It was the fulfillment of all that He had come to do. It was His crowning achievement. It was the whole purpose of His birth and of His life. God the Father had promised Him that because of that sacrifice, He was going to be given the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9). He amplifies that further, in verse 24, when He speaks of it in terms of a seed dying and bringing forth more grain.

Think about this: If Jesus Christ had not died, you and I probably would not be sitting here or our lives would be totally different. Chances are, if Jesus Christ had not died on the Cross when He did—this is speculation—the way the world has gone, there is a good possibility that the human race would have destroyed itself by now, 2000 years after that time. If Jesus had not died on the Cross, evil men would have waxed worse and worse, and very likely the world would not even be going by now. If the human race had not destroyed itself, think how different your life would be if Jesus Christ had not entered it. It is hard to even imagine, isn't it? If we give it some thought, we can think about where we might have wound up if we had gone on in our sin unchecked.

That is what sets Him apart from every other religious leader. His death, not just His teachings, brought about our redemption. All the other leaders are revered for their teachings—maybe for some demonstration that they led, maybe for some great speech that they gave, but they are remembered for things about their lives. Their deaths are just a footnote to whatever it was that they accomplished in their lives. But Jesus is known for His death. I say it reverently, but I say it factually: If Jesus Christ had not died on the Cross for our sins, He would have been no more important than Martin Luther King or any other leader of a movement that ever lived on the earth. In fact, we probably would have heard very little about Him. It is His death that sets Him apart.

I heard recently about a person who was witnessing for Christ to another individual. This other individual considered himself a thinker and a well educated person, and he said, “Why should I get involved with Jesus Christ? What about all these other religious leaders of the world? Their followers think that they have the truth, and why should I believe that your God has all the answers?” This person answered, “My Lord is the only one who doesn't have dirt on His face.” The Lord Jesus came out of the grave. His work was finished. He died, but because He had completed His work, He came out of the grave. All those other leaders are still six feet under the ground. Jesus Christ, because of the death that He died, is set apart from every other leader in the history of the world.

That is why, in the transfiguration experience that is described in Luke, chapter 9, they had the privilege of seeing Him in His glorified body. You remember the story of how Jesus took Peter, James and John, and went up on the mountain, and He was transfigured before them. We are told that Elijah appeared in glory with Him, and we are told in Luke, chapter 9, that they spoke of His decease which He would accomplish at Jerusalem. I am sure that they would have liked to ask Him about what He had been doing on earth since they last saw Him in Heaven and to tell Him what had been going on in Heaven while He had been gone, but they didn't talk about any of those things. They talked about His death, but it is also important that they talked about it in terms of accomplishment. They spoke of His decease that He would accomplish. The death of Jesus Christ was the greatest accomplishment that God has ever done, past, present, or future. Jesus spoke of His death, but He spoke of it in terms of His glorification.

The Principle of Death Bringing About Life

In verses 25-26, His prophecy was about His death, but it extends the principle of His death to His disciples. Look at verse 25:

John 12

25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

You see Jesus' transition from talking about His death to the principle of death that He wants His disciples to operate on the basis of even down to our day. He wants us to operate on the same principle that He was operating on—not that we are to die for sins, not that we can rescue anybody from Hell, but the principle of living the way that Jesus did. Notice He says, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it.”

When He talks about hating life, He is not talking about the fact that Christians should be unhappy and dissatisfied and wishing they were already in Heaven. To look at a lot of Christians you might think that was what He meant. Sometimes Christians are an unhappy looking bunch, and sometimes Christians are so busy trying to appear serious and concerned that you would think that they hate life. But Jesus wasn't talking about that. What He was saying was that we should not try to hold on to our lives at all costs. That was the principle that Jesus lived by. Jesus came to give His life. He didn't come to hold on to it. He enjoyed life. We have talked in this study about how He had friends. He spent time with them and taught them. No doubt, He was one of the happiest people alive. I'm sure that people were attracted to Him because of His upbeat nature. He became angry with sin. He talked very sternly and strictly about that, but Jesus, I'm sure, was a perfectly happy person and a person people enjoyed being around. But He came to give His life.

Jesus dreaded the specter of death that hung over Him. He dreaded the way that He was going to die. He was a human being. He understood what a terrible death that was going to be. In fact, He even prayed that the Father might let this cup pass from Him, knowing that the Father was not going to let it pass from Him; but He prayed that prayer to give us an understanding of how much He dreaded what lay before Him. He was willing to give up His life. Before that, He was willing to give up His place in Heaven to come into this human life so that you and I could someday have salvation. That is the principle that Jesus lived by.

He now takes that principle and applies that to us. He says, “You disciples should live on that same basis of realizing that death brings about life. If a grain of wheat just lies on the ground, it doesn't amount to anything. If it is going to produce a crop and accomplish its purpose, it has to die. It has to be put in the ground, and out of the death of that seed, comes the life of many more seeds.”

The key to understanding this comparison is in verse 26. He is talking about serving Him, not about dying for sin like He was going to. He is applying that principle to serving Him, which has to be preceded by believing in Him. There are many people today who are afraid to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, because they are afraid that He won't let them live the way they want to live. They have to give up too much to become a believer in Jesus Christ. Carry that reasoning to its ultimate conclusion, and those people are going to eternally lose that life that they love so much because they are not willing to give up whatever it may be to trust Jesus Christ as Savior.

I haven't seen this commercial in a long time, but there used to be a beer commercial on television during football season that said, “You only go around once in life. You had better grab all the gusto you can get.” You know, to people who are not going to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, that's pretty good advice. This life is all there is if they are not going to trust Christ as Savior, but for those who are willing to give up control of their lives and accept the salvation that Christ offers and allow Him to instruct them and guide them and make Him their Lord and Master, they are the ones who by giving up their lives are going to find true richness of life. They are the ones who are going to find joy and peace and satisfaction and find what real living really is.

Of course, that same thing applies to us as believers. Sometimes after we have become believers, we still are afraid to trust Jesus Christ completely and allow Him to be the Lord of our lives and follow His instructions and His commandmants and choose to obey Him regardless of what it costs us. We love control of our life too much even after we have accepted Him as Savior. Jesus says, “Unless you are willing to give up the control of your life and you are willing to follow My instructions and live by My principles, you are never going to accomplish what you are here to do. You are never going to know the joy and peace and satisfaction that God intends you, as Christians, to have.”

Nate Saint, a missionary who was martyred by Alca Indians a number of years ago, said before he even faced death, “He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jesus extends the principle of His death to living as Christians. One of the things that He wanted His disciples to know, as He faced death, as He was preparing them to go on with their lives without Him, was this principle of dying so that we can live. You will not be able to know the fullness of the joy of living until you are ready to die to yourself and to your own control of your life, and let Him live out His life through you.

The Costliness of His Death

Verses 27-30 show us that these statements were not just lofty philosophical statements by Jesus. In these verses, we find a prayer that Jesus prayed, and we learn a great deal more about the costliness of His death. Notice verse 27, where Jesus says:

John 12

27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

Let's think about these verses for a moment. Notice the clear statement of Jesus: “My soul is troubled.” In fact, His human tendency would be to say, “Father, save Me from this hour.” He said, “My soul is troubled. Should I say, ‘Father save Me from this hour.'?” We know, according to Matthew's record, that He did pray that prayer, but here He is saying to this group of people that same kind of thinking, “Shall I turn away from this hour? Shall I ask the Father to take Me back to Heaven without going through this death? No, that is what I came for.”

Listen, our salvation is free to us. It is a free gift from God to us, but it was very costly to God. Our salvation is free, but it was very costly. Jesus understood that. Jesus wasn't just some extraterrestrial who came into our atmosphere and mechanically went through the exercise of providing the sacrifice for our sins. The beautiful thing and the thing that we remember at the Lord's table is that He became a man and He became fully human so He could identify with us and be the vehicle of the payment for our sins. Because He was fully human while at the same time being fully God, He faced that death with dread and reprehension even though He had joy. The author of the Hebrews says that it was a joy that was placed before Him. The joy was not at the death; the joy was at what that death would accomplish.

The voice from Heaven, in verse 28, certified that emotional setting. Verse 30 says that the voice was given primarily for the sake of the humans who were there. Before long they were going to see Him hanging on the Cross in shame as a criminal, so for their strengthening, God gave them this assurance of the deity of Christ. They were going to see Him tried even though it was a kangaroo court. They were going to see Him go through the process of a trial, and no doubt some of those people who had been listening to Jesus teach and seeing Him do these things and who had become convinced that He really was God, might begin to wonder, “Have I really put my faith in the right thing?”

God the Father loved Jesus enough to reassure Him, to glorify Him with a voice from Heaven, but also He loved those humans enough to reassure them. They apparently didn't understand just exactly what the Father said, because verse 29 said that some of them thought it had thundered, and others thought that an angel had spoken to Him. Jesus said that whatever they understood, it was for their sakes and to reassure the Lord Jesus that this was, after all, the Father's plan.

The Father had done this on at least two other occasions. Back in John, chapter 3, when John baptized the Lord Jesus and He came up out of the waters, the voice of Heaven appeared and said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Humans heard the voice whether they heard the words or not.

The other occasion on which this happened was on the Mount of Transfiguration, which I talked about a few minutes ago. They were there on the Mount and Peter said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tabernacles—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” The voice of God the Father interrupted him. Luke tells us that Peter said that not knowing what he said, and the voice of the Father interrupted and said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him.”

The implication of that voice was, “Peter, you don't need to stay here on the mountain top in order to hear My Son. You see My Son glorified. You are impressed. You are carried away, so that you would love to stay right here; but you are still going to have Him here with you when you go down from the mountain. When you are back to the everyday, humdrum experience, you are still going to have Him with you. You just listen to Him.”

At the beginning of His ministry at His baptism, somewhere along the middle of His ministry at the Mount of Transfiguration, and now here as the last stages of His life on earth took place, God the Father reassured Jesus and reassured the listeners that He really was His Son and that God was intimately involved in all this.

The Principle of Testing

The principle that Jesus teaches is the principle of timing, in verses 20-30, but the second principle is developed in verses 31-43, and that is the principle of testing. Let me try to clarify what I mean by that terminology. The Scripture talks about testing. The book of James is built around the whole doctrine of Christians going through tests in order to strengthen our faith, in order to reveal things to us that we might not learn any other way, but that is not the way I am using this term. The verses themselves do not use the word test , but I am talking about this as a standard, because what Jesus is going to say in these verses is that the death of Christ was a test of all that is true. It was the test of all that Jesus would accomplish, and so that is the reason that I am using the word testing . The basis of the test is given in verses 31-33:

John 12

31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33This he said, signifying what death he should die.

We know that He is talking about His death in verse 33. John clearly tells us that He was talking about the way He would die when He talked about being lifted up from the earth. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great dividing line for all people in the human race. When you come right down to it, there are only two kinds of people in the world—saved people and lost people. We could make lots of subdivisions, but on an eternal basis, there are only two kinds—saved and lost. Belief or unbelief in Jesus Christ is the test that God provided, the dividing line that God provided. Every person in the world has the choice to either believe that the judgment of God upon their sins fell on Jesus Christ or to face that judgment for themselves. That is the test. That is the dividing line. Was Jesus punished for your sins, or are you going to be foolish enough to be punished for those sins?

Notice that Jesus refers to it as the judgment of this world . It is judgment in the sense of the test by which the world will be examined. When we stand before the Great White Throne Judgment of God, Revelation, chapter 20, makes it very clear that people can make an appeal to their works. It tells us in Revelation, chapter 20, that the Book of Works is opened. God makes note of all the good works that we do. God makes note of all the philanthropy that has taken place in the world. There are people who will stand before God and bring their works as a testimony to why they should be allowed to come into Heaven, and God will say, “Yes, I am aware of that. I wrote it down. I knew it when you did it.” But it says another book was opened which is the Book of Life, and those whose names were not found written in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.

You see, the good works that people have done are not the test of which group of people they are going to be in. The kind thoughts they have thought, the teaching they have done, the huge amounts of money they have given, God makes note of all those things, and God gives people credit for the human good that is accomplished. God allows people to be honored for the good things that they do, and there are all kinds of awards and ceremonies where people are recognized. That is the grace of God in allowing people to get credit for what they do; but the overall context of Scripture would tell us, “If that is your purpose, you had better get all the glorification you can because that is all you are going to get.”

Those things have nothing to do with getting into Heaven, so if you are going to try to do a lot of good works to get attention for yourself or even to sincerely try to help fellow humans, you had better do all that you can do, because that is all it is going to amount to—just whatever recognition you can garner in this life, because the issue is not how much you gave, not how much you were honored; the issue is did you believe in Jesus Christ? Did you accept the fact that Jesus Christ was punished for your sins? That is the issue.

That is the judgment of this world, and make no mistake about it, it was also where Satan was judged. Verse 31 says, “Not only now is the judgment of this world, but now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” You see, the Cross of Jesus Christ was where Satan was defeated. One of the things that I don't fully understand is the fact that God didn't immediately banish him to Hell. He has allowed him to continue to flourish even after he is defeated. Satan is active today. The Scripture tells us that he goes about as a roaring lion, seeking those whom he may devour. But he is already defeated. Jesus said, “At the Cross, the world will be judged. The test will be established for the whole world, but also the ruler of this world will be cast out.”

Satan is Ruler of This World

For reasons known only to Himself, or at least for reasons God hasn't revealed yet, He allows Satan to continue being the ruler of this world. Let me tell you something. You know it probably, but let me just put it into the context. Bill Clinton may be the leader of the free world, but he is not the ruler of this world. The great communist leaders who have passed across the stage, the great leaders of commerce and industry, the movers and shakers who form what takes place in this world are not the rulers of this world.

Every day on the news we hear what the stock market did yesterday. We hear what Congress is going to do and what the leaders of other nations are going to do, but do you know who the ruler of this world is? Jesus said it is Satan, and He referred to that in several other places using other names for him. God allows Satan to determine how unsaved people are going to operate in this world.

That is another reason that it is so important that if we are saved, we should let the Lord Jesus Christ be not only the Savior of our souls, but the ruler of our lives because if we are not going to be under Christ's control, guess whose control we are going to be following. Satan is ruler of this world. Satan is the one who determines and who influences and who pressures the way that the world is going to go, so if Christ is not our Lord, we are going to be operating under the pressure that Satan puts on the world.

I heard an illustration one time that when a person has been in the military forces, at the end of basic training, he is used to doing what the drill sergeant says. Once he is out of the military, he may run into that drill sergeant somewhere after he has been discharged, and that drill sergeant might give him an order. Because of his training, he may brace up and get ready to follow the order because the drill sergeant can still strike fear in the heart of somebody who had that kind of training, but he doesn't have to obey him any more.

That is the way it is with Satan. Satan is still going around shouting orders at everybody who will listen, and to people who don't want to listen. The sad part is that some Christians think they have to obey those orders. When temptation comes, we think, “I have got to give in to the temptation. It is something that I have got to do.” No, it is not. Satan brings that temptation. Satan is the one who is giving that order, and you do not have to obey it any more, because the prince of this world was judged at the Cross. He doesn't want you to know that. He wants you to think that he is still in command, but he was judged at the Cross. He is a lame duck politician. There is not one thing that he can do about enforcing his orders.

Jesus' Death Was Sufficient

In verse 32, Jesus says that His death was sufficient for every race and nation and station in life. Notice:

John 12

32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

One of the fascinating things that has taken place in the last five or six years, as we have seen the iron curtain come down and as we have had access to Russia, is the huge number of Christians in that atheistic nation where the Bible was outlawed and where God was outlawed for seventy years. Yet there are people there who came to know Jesus Christ even during those years. There were people who went into that period as believers in Jesus Christ who continued to spread their faith. We would think, from a human standpoint, and the Communist would have had us think that Christ's death did not apply from 1917 until 1989 in Russia. Jesus said, “If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to myself.” Jesus Christ continued to draw people to Himself behind the iron curtain.

That is a tremendously reassuring thing to me. When I tell people about Jesus Christ, I don't have to depend on how eloquently or how thoroughly I can do it. We should tell people about Christ as clearly as we can and as convincingly as we can. Whatever we say about Jesus Christ ought to be the greatest quality of communication that we can possibly make it, but their coming to Christ doesn't depend on how well we tell the story. It doesn't depend on the quality of the communication. It depends upon the fact that God lifted Jesus Christ up from the earth, and by lifting Him up from the earth, God draws people to Himself. Jesus said, “I will draw all peoples unto Me.”

John saw in Revelation, chapter 20, at the Great White Throne Judgment people from every kindred and tribe and nation gathered there in Heaven. The death of Christ was sufficient for people of every era of history, every nation, every station in life, and yet for all that, verse 34 shows that there was a bias against the test on the part of some. Notice verse 34:

John 12

34The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

The Blessing In the Test

This was probably a sincere question on the part of some of those people, and a rebellious question on the part of others, but it does show that they understood what the term lifted up meant. John tells us that He was speaking of His death, and they understood that, and in answer to their question, Jesus brings out the fact of the blessing that is in the test. Look at verse 35:

John 12

35Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
36While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

As long as Jesus was on the earth, verse 34 says it was not too late to believe in Him. Many people were rejecting Him, but even for those people, it was not too late to trust in Him, even while He was still alive. The same thing is true today through the witness of Christians. Now is the day of salvation. The Gospel is being preached in ways that was not even possible before—radio, television, the internet. Today is the day of salvation, but that day will someday end either at the time the Lord Jesus comes to take believers out of this world or at the time a person dies before the Rapture.

While Ye Have Light, Believe In the Light

There is only a certain amount of time in which it is possible to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The admonition is still the same today as it was in verse 36:

John 12

36While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light…

If you have not trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are not promised anything beyond this moment, and God would say to you and God would have me say to you what Jesus said in verse 36, that if you have not trusted Christ as your Savior, “While ye have the light, believe in the light.”

Walk In the Light While You Have the Light

If you have not trusted Christ as your Savior, this is the moment when you need to do business with God. But I would take that a step further. In other passages of Scripture, it tells us that God deals in the hearts of believers and asks us to walk in fellowship with Him. We know that sin in our lives breaks that fellowship with Him, and we can't walk in the light if we fellowship with darkness. So I would say that Christ would address this to those of us who are believers. He would say to us, “While God is dealing with you, while God is presenting Himself to you, while you are in this passage learning about Jesus Christ, walk in the light while you have the light.”

This is the time, if you have trusted Christ as Savior, but you are walking in darkness and still trying to control your life. You are calling the shots. You are trying to rationalize away sin that you enjoyed, and you may have convinced yourself by now that it is really not sin, but God says it is. Jesus would say to you, “While you have the light, walk in the light lest darkness overtake you.”

The Scripture makes it clear that if a believer insists on going on in his sin, the day will come when God will no longer use him. He will still go to Heaven, but I think there are going to be many in Heaven who will face great heartbreak in that Judgment Seat of Christ, which will apparently be at the beginning of Heaven. They will face disappointment and heartbreak at what could have been accomplished for Jesus Christ. They are in Heaven. They will see Jesus Christ in the context of all that He is, and they will see life in the perspective of being in the presence of Jesus Christ.

I think some of us are going to be heartbroken at what we might have done for Jesus Christ and we didn't do because we insisted on walking in the darkness when the light was available. We will be saved, so as by fire, as Peter expresses it. How do you stand with Jesus Christ? Are you walking in the light, or in the terms that Jesus uses here in verse 35, “Are you walking in darkness, not knowing where you are going?”

Conclusion

If you haven't trusted Christ as Savior, you are walking in darkness, or if you are a believer who has trusted Christ as Savior, and you are continuing to play around with sin, you don't know where you are going. You are walking in darkness. Come to Jesus. Trust Him as your Savior if you have never done so before, or if you are a believer out of fellowship, come to Him in confession of sin. Turn from that rationalization and from that control of your own life and accept Him as the Lord of your life Who gives direction, the One Who gives light on the pathway.


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