Did you know that most Christians still believe their relationship with God is dependent on their performance? They believe answered prayers and God’s blessing in their lives are in direct proportion to their holiness and ability to overcome sin. If they attend church, pay their tithes, read their Bibles, and control their flesh, they have somehow earned the blessing of God.
That may sound reasonable at first, but that line of thinking will destroy your confidence in God and couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is, sin isn’t even an issue with God. That may seem like a radical statement, but it is exactly what the Word teaches. Romans 3:4 says,
“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.”
When Jesus came on the scene, one of the first things He had to do was counter all the religious traditions and doctrines of His day. Paul recognized the same problem. He said in Romans 10:2-3,
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”
Just because people are zealous or religious does not mean what they believe is correct. One of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible is what really happened when Jesus came to earth, fulfilled the Law, and was sacrificed for our sins. When He said in John 19:30 “It is finished,” everything changed.
Jesus forever changed the way God relates to mankind. Sure, there are scriptural examples of God’s catastrophic judgment on sin. But God’s greatest act of judgment was when He placed His entire wrath upon Jesus for our sins. This forever satisfied God’s wrath. Since that time, God hasn’t been judging our sins (2 Cor. 5:19). God’s not angry with us; He’s not even in a bad mood.
Look at the angels’ joy at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Luke 2:13-14 says,
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
This scripture is very familiar to many, yet there is a lot of misunderstanding about what it’s saying. Some translations say they were proclaiming “good will among men” or “peace to men of good will.” Basically, this passage has been interpreted that Jesus was bringing peace on earth among people. But that’s not why these angels were praising God. If that interpretation were true, then Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:34-36 would contradict this. He said,
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
Jesus Himself said He was not sent to bring peace on the earth among people. The peace that the angels were praising God for (Luke 2:13-14) was peace BETWEEN God and man. They were announcing the end of God’s war on sin. Peace now reigns between God and man.
Prior to Jesus’ coming, God’s wrath was against man for his sins. It wasn’t total wrath. Even in the Old Testament, we see God’s mercy and grace. Yet the Old Testament Law was a ministry of wrath (Rom. 4:15; 2 Cor. 3:7, and 9), and man’s sins were held against him. But when Jesus came, God quit holding man’s sins against him. This is exactly what 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21 say,
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
The word “reconciliation” is talking about making peace. God was no longer holding us accountable. Instead, He imputed our sins to Jesus, making Jesus accountable for our sins. Jesus became what we were so we could become what He was—the righteousness of God.
Jesus was like a lightning rod that drew all the judgment of God unto Himself. He not only bore our sins; He actually became sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus said in John 12:27-32:
“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Many have thought John 12:32 means that if God is properly glorified in our preaching, then He will draw all people to Himself. But that is not what this scripture is saying.
If you look in the King James Version, notice that the word “men” in verse 32 is italicized. That means it wasn’t in the original language. The translators put this word in italics to let people know this was their addition, but it wasn’t a part of the text. If you take this verse in context, I believe the Lord was saying that He would draw all JUDGMENT to Himself. Jesus, like a lightning rod, attracted all of God’s judgment for all of mankind’s sins for all time unto Himself.
All the murder, all the perversion, every vile and rotten sin imaginable, all sickness, and all disease ever known to mankind actually entered into His physical human body. Isaiah 52:14 talks about the crucifixion of Jesus and says that He was marred more than any man, to the point that He was unrecognizable as a human being.
That could not have happened just from physical beatings, especially since the Word says that not a single bone was broken in His body (Ps. 34:20 with John 19:36). I believe His body was completely disfigured from cancers, tumors, diseases, deformities, and anything else that human beings have ever suffered.
Jesus didn’t ask for the cup to be taken from Him just because of the physical pain He would suffer, but because He did not want to become sin. He hated becoming what He came to redeem us from. And the worst of all Jesus’ sufferings was total rejection from His Father. Matthew 27:46 says,
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
God the Father forsook Jesus so that you and I would never be forsaken. All that we would have suffered through billions of years in eternity—the grief, the pain, and worst of all, the complete separation from the presence of God—Jesus experienced. And He experienced all of this for us. The judgment was made and the sentence carried out. The price was paid in full, once for all.
When we say God is still judging us for our sins as individuals or corporately as a nation, we are saying that the price Jesus paid wasn’t enough. Therefore, a judgment must again be made and a sentence passed. That would be “double jeopardy,” and that is not what the Bible teaches.
Some of you may not like this, but it’s true. Sin isn’t a problem with God anymore. It’s the church that has made it a major deal. Neither past, present, nor future sins can separate us from God. The only people who will go to hell are those who have spurned and rejected the greatest sacrifice that has ever been made. In heaven, we won’t answer for our individual sins; Jesus already has. We will answer for our acceptance or rejection of Jesus.
You might now be thinking, You’re just giving people a license to sin. Well, it seems to me that people are doing a pretty good job of that without a license. What I’m saying will not free you to sin; it will free you from the condemnation and the guilt that comes when you do sin.
To continue in sin is just stupid. You’ll be opening the door for Satan to have an inroad into your life (Rom. 6:16). If you sin, you will suffer the natural consequences of it, but it will not be because of the judgment of God.