The one who comes from above is above all things. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all things. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever accepts his testimony confirms that God is true. The one whom God sent speaks God’s words because God gives the Spirit generously. The Father loves the Son and gives everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever doesn’t believe in the Son won’t see life, but the angry judgment of God remains on them.” (John 3:31-36, CEB)
I am sure we have all heard the phrase things get lost in translation. I remember Dr. Scramm my Hebrew Scriptures Professor in seminary talking to us about this a lot.
The Bible as we have it is a translation of the text scholars feel is the closest to what was written originally because over time texts are copied or edited and changed so scholars try to get us the texts as close to the original as possible, but then we have to translate them. I say all this to talk about the last two sentences above.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever doesn’t believe in the Son won’t see life, but the angry judgment of God remains on them.
I had to look at the Greek for this and this is a bad translation. The first part is fine, whoever believes in the Son has eternal life and in the original, there is a but/and/now so there should not be a period and the thought continues. So we now have “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever doesn’t _______ the Son won’t see/have/experience life. The blank in the translation above is believe. However, the word in Greek is not the same word as the beginning of the sentence. So in my opinion it should not be translated the same as that word. And when looking up the second word it doesn’t mean believe or have that as a second or third option. The word there means obey.
So now we have “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever doesn’t obey the Son won’t see/have/experience life.”
If you believe in Jesus you have eternal life, but if you don’t do what Jesus asked us to do you will not have life and God’s judgment remains on you.
It is not enough to say you believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. If you do that you have eternal life, but if you do not do what Jesus told us to do, Love God and Love your neighbor, then you will not experience a full life and God’s judgment is still upon you.
So love. Knowing that is what God does for you. So you will experience life.
Loving People. Loving God.