“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn 3:18, 36).
There is no excuse – all those who refuse to believe that Jesus is God, be they Muslim, ex-Christian, atheist, Liberal, Higher Critic, Unitarian, cultist, or whoever, will not escape the wrath of God. You can’t “unbelieve” God out of his creation. Denying his existence doesn’t make him go away. Your condemnation already hangs over your head; you are already condemned – it only needs the appointed time until that judgment is executed. Don’t dare close your eyes in death – because as soon as you do, you will fall into the hands of the living God, and this is a fearful thing to happen, as the writer of Hebrews warns (Heb 10:31).
But, as the saying or the song goes, “It ain’t over till it’s over”. Yes, as things stand at this time, if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you are condemned. But God “is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9); that’s why he sent Jesus to die in the place of sinners. If you would escape his wrath, he’s provided a way to do so: “…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up [crucified]: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:14-16).
Unbelief won’t save you. Ignorance won’t save you. False arguments won’t save you. Defiance of God and mocking him won’t save you. Neither is God your mate, your buddy, a good bloke who will look smilingly upon you because he’s such a nice guy; he won’t overlook your guilt because you weren’t as bad as some others; he won’t wink at your “smaller sins” because you didn’t murder anyone or rape anyone or rob any banks or hijack a car while the poor woman who owned it was still in it. In fact, he doesn’t even compare you with others – he compares you to his perfect, unbreakable, unrelenting, law; that law, the breaking of which, even the smallest commandment, requires the death penalty and eternal damnation.
And it’s no good laughing, and saying, “Well, if I go to hell, all my friends will be there too” – What?!! Do you think that will make endless torment any more bearable? Those of your friends who will be there will also be suffering and will be no comfort to you. There is no comfort there; no peace; no respite; it is everlasting absence from the presence of God which is described in the most terrifying manner – fire, darkness, torment, flesh-eating worms – the mind recoils, staggers, when allowed to think for more than a few moments about that terrifying judgment.
If Jesus wasn’t God – if he was just a man, a prophet, as Islam insists; if he is a god but not Jehovah, as Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaim; if he was some superhuman exalted being or glorious angel or demigod, more than man but not quite God – if he was any of these, then God would not condemn you for not believing in him; because Jesus would then be a created being and God does not – would not – condemn you for not believing in him. But Jesus is none of these – he is the living and true God. Consequently, to reject him through unbelief, ignorance, or defiance, is to bring the wrath of God upon your soul. And you are already condemned.
So I plead with you to repent and to come to God through Jesus and ask for his forgiveness. Acknowledge his Son and you will have peace with God; you will receive everlasting life; your filthy garments will be replaced with the robe of Christ’s perfect righteousness and consequently you will be able to stand before him, to come boldly into his presence as his beloved child. Your guilt will be lifted from you and cast into the deepest sea, God will come into you and fellowship with you, and you will enjoy him forever. All this and more he promises – and he cannot lie.