As Christians, we are in the process of growing up into Christ, learning to think and act like Him. If we’ve been captured by His love, we will naturally begin to radiate with the faith, hope, and love that transforms us. There are others, however, who release a constant threat of the judgment of God on the world, focusing heavily on inflicting penalties and punishments. So what should the message of our lives be today? Is today the day to proclaim judgment on the world or is today the day to offer salvation?
“If anyone hears My teachings and fails to observe them [does not keep them, but disregards them], it is not I who judges him. For I have not come to judge and to condemn and to pass sentence and to inflict penalty on the world, but to save the world. Anyone who rejects Me and persistently sets Me at naught, refusing to accept My teachings, has his judge [however]; for the [very] message that I have spoken will itself judge and convict him at the last day.” John 12:47-48 AMP
When Jesus speaks of His teachings in this passage, I believe He’s referring to all that He did and taught. However, I find it particularly interesting that His teaching on judgment was clarified in this very statement.
Jesus taught that He came to save, not to judge; separating salvation and the judgment of the world. He then clarifies that there is a specific day of judgment coming, just as it has been consistently prophesied throughout the Scriptures. Today is not the day of judgment — today is the day of salvation.
“For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!” 2 Corinthians 6:2 AMP
Jesus continued by stating that anyone who refuses to accept His teachings will be judged by His words on the last day. Since Jesus clearly teaches that today is not the day of judgment, teaching that it is would be a blunt refusal of the message of Christ. He then supports the validity of this message by stating,
“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” John 12:49 ESV
After He was raised from the dead, Jesus said “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (Joh. 20:21). The Father sent Jesus, not to judge the world, but to save it, and to teach this message as well. Today, He sends us to do the same.
So, we should ask ourselves some questions.
Am I offering judgment to the world today or salvation?
Is my life radiating with hope or insisting on punishment?”
Am I on the mission of Christ?
(Note that there is a clear and definite difference between judgment on sin, its effects, and all the work of the devil versus the judgment of the world, including mankind. Jesus came to destroy all the works of the devil, but not to judge the world. Refer to John 12:47 and 1 John 3:8.)
Additional reference added 21 Feb 2015:
“Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for eighteen years, and is the proud father of two boys.