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He Didnt Come to Condemn, but to Save

(John 12:47-50)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
We saw this morning
That Jesus was sent from the Father
As His Ambassador of peace
To offer the message of reconciliation.
Because the Father sent Him
Because He was His representative
Sent with His authority to make this offer
Jesus said whoever received Him,
Received not only Him,
But the Father as well.

But we also saw

That Jesus was more than a mere ambassador:
An ambassador comes with the authority
Of the one who sent him;
But this One shares the same nature
As the God who sent Him
Because He is God in our nature.
Jesus said to see Him was to see the Father
Which doesnt mean theyre the same person,

But that they share the same nature

And so the same holy character.
All this mean He was perfectly suited
To bring the Gospel to us.

And thats what He did:

As Gods Herald,
He declared that truth
With a heart that desired
That those who heard would receive it,
So that we who were in darkness
Whose minds were ignorant,
Whose hearts were sinful,
And who were under Gods judgment
Might receive the light
His truth,
His love of what is right,
And the hope of eternal life.

Finally, we saw that having received Jesus

He has also appointed us as His ambassadors,
And entrusted us with His Word and Spirit
So that we might bring His Good News
To all who will listen.

Those who receive us, receive Him,

And they receive also the Father who sent Him.

B. Preview.
This evening,
Jesus again reminds us
Of His present mission:
To bring Good News.

He didnt come into the world

To judge or condemn,
But that He might save.

But He also tells us

That the time would come
When that work would be finished
And it would be time for judgment.

II. Sermon.
A. We know that Jesus is both Savior and Judge
He came to save all men,
And one day He will judge all men.
But now is not the time of judgment:
It is the time of salvation.

As Jesus had now preached

Not only at this last Passover Feast,

But throughout the three and a half years of His ministry
There were relatively few that received Him,
But many more that didnt
Who had heard His message,
Understood what He had said,
But didnt respond to His call
To repent and believe.

How did Jesus respond to them?

Did He get angry?
Did He threaten judgment?
Actually, it was quite the opposite.
He says in verse 47, If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not
judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

Just think about the whole tone of His ministry.

On the day He rode
Into Jerusalem on the back of that donkey,
As He approached the city
Knowing what would be waiting for Him
At the end of that week
He didnt threaten judgment
Or fire from heaven,

He wept over that city
Because of what was coming on them
For their rejecting Him (Luke 19:41).
He says in verse 42, If you had known in this day, even you, the things which
make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.

When He was on the cross

After He had gone through the mocking,
The shame and the pain of crucifixion
Again we dont hear Him
Praying that the Father would send judgment,
But that they might be forgiven.
Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing (23:34).

What condemning action

Did Jesus ever take
Against any of the Jews
During His earthly ministry?
Where in Scripture
Do we find Him threatening judgment
Or dealing out retribution?

On one occasion,
When He sent His disciples ahead of Him

Into one of the villages of the Samaritans
To make arrangements for Him to spend the night,
And they didnt receive Him,
James and John suggested that He do exactly that.
They said to Him, Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from
heaven and consume them? But He turned and rebuked them, and said, You
do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to
destroy mens lives, but to save them. And they went on to another village
(Luke 9:54-56).

When the soldiers came out to arrest Him

And Peter stood to defend Him
By cutting off one of the servants ears,
Jesus said to him, Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the
sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My
Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of
angels? (Matt. 26:52-53).
Jesus didnt come to destroy, but to save.

This doesnt mean

That He never pointed out their hypocrisy
Especially in the leaders of Israel
Or warn them of the coming judgment.
But it does mean He never executed judgment
That wasnt why He was there.
He came to warn men of their danger
That they might turn to Him
While there was still time.

He came to preach the Gospel,

That He might gather together His lost sheep.

He came that He might show His disciples

What it means to love your neighbor as yourself;
By laying His life down for them.

He came that the ruler of this world might be cast out,

That He might send His disciples to the world
That He might save His people from every nation.

He came to prepare His disciples to carry on this work

After He had died, been raised and ascended into heaven.

He is both Savior and Judge,

But He came first as a Savior.
He continues to be one to this day,
And will until He comes again.

That doesnt mean

That what Paul says in Romans 1 isnt true:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (v. 18).
We see Romans 1 being fulfilled every day
As we hear the news reports
And see the direction this nation is going

As we see Him handing this nation

Over to greater and greater sin.
He is judging us.

B. But final judgment waits for another day

When everything all men have done
Will be required of them.
Thats what He next tells us in verse 48, He who rejects Me and does not receive
My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at
the last day.

Lets consider what Jesus is saying and not saying.

1. First, Jesus is not saying
That He wont be Judge on that day:
Its quite clear
From other parts of Scripture that He will:
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds
in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore,
knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.

2. Hes also not saying

That everyone will be judged
Only by what they heard and understood Jesus saying:
Everything will be weighed in the balances
Even every careless word they spoke.

Paul writes regarding the Jews, But because of your stubbornness and
unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath
and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO
And Jesus said to the Pharisees, But I tell you that every careless word that
people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment
(Matt. 12:36).

The Jews will be judged by the light they have in Gods Law.

Those who dont have that Law will be judged

By what they know of it in their consciences
That which is left over
Of the moral image of God
They once had impressed in their hearts.
Paul writes, For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the
things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that
they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience
bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending
them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of
men through Christ Jesus (Rom. 2:14-16).

3. What He is saying is that

Whoever is blessed enough to hear the Gospel
Understanding there are many
Who never have and never will hear it
And yet reject it
And end up perishing in their sins
That Gospel will come back
To condemn them at the last day.


Jesus said this is what would happen to Capernaum

He says in Matthew 11:23-24, And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to
heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had
occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this
day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of
Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.

Peter says it would be better

Not to have known Gods truth more clearly,
Than knowing it, to turn from it
And to go back to the way
We were living before.
He writes in 2 Peter 2:20-22, For if, after they have escaped the defilements of
the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are
again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse
for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the
way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy
commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the
true proverb, A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT, and, A sow,
after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.

What Jesus is saying

Is that those who have the Gospel
Will be judged by the Gospel,
And that judgment will be much more severe.

4. Why will it be more severe?

Because of whose Gospel it is:
It is the Fathers Gospel

The one He commissioned His Son to preach
As we saw this morning.
He says in verse 49-50, For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father
Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and
what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the
things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.

Judgment will also be more severe

Because its a great blessing and privilege
To hear this Gospel.
There are many who have never heard it
And so have perished forever in their sins.
They werent condemned for not hearing it
The Gospel is the only way
They could escaped judgment for their sins.

C. Application.
1. Just as the Father commanded Jesus to preach the Gospel,
So He has commanded us
To preach the Gospel to every nation,
To every creature.
Now is the day of mercy.
Now is the time of salvation.
Now is the opportunity
For our family, friends and neighbors
To escape Gods judgment


And receive His mercy.

And so lets answer our Lords call
Lets submit to His commandment
To take this Gospel to others
While its still the day of His grace.

2. As we speak to them,
Lets warn them of Gods judgment,
But lets not condemn them before the day.
Most people have to hear the Gospel many times
Before they receive Jesus;
A few receive Him the first time;
And there are still many more who never do.

That being the case,

We really cant write anyone off
If they reject what we have to say.
So lets continue to warn them of that coming day,
And continue to offer them Gods salvation,
As long as the Lord gives us opportunity.

3. Finally, the point about

Those who hear and reject the Gospel
Having to face severer judgment

Might make us reluctant to share it,
So that this wont happen to them.

But if we think about this for a minute,

Well see that we dont have any other choice.

a. What will happen to them if they dont hear?

They will certainly perish forever.
But if we tell them, they might be saved
This is the only way they possibly can.

b. What has Jesus told us to do?

He has commanded us to go to all the nations,
To tell everyone we can.
Is this optional?
No, we must do it
If we are to be faithful to Christ.
And so lets faithfully tell them.

c. Finally, is telling them a good thing or bad?

Its good.
Its an act of mercy.
Its an offer of grace.
Which is why its such a great sin
To reject it.

Just because they might refuse
Gods infinite gift
Is no reason not to offer it.

So while we still have opportunity,

Lets offer Jesus to as many as we can
That the Lord might call
As many as He will to Himself. Amen.