Die in Your Sins
When Jesus said this to people, he was letting them know that their opportunity for forgiveness of their sins was quickly leaving them. Their time was running out. Jesus said, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” (John 8:21). If we have sins unpaid for, unforgiven, we cannot be with Jesus when we die. Unrelenting, he repeats, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24). But during this conversation, “many came to believe in him” (v.30).
First step in discipleship it to believe in Jesus, but that is not the final step. The next step Jesus wants you to take is, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (v.31). Does your faith drive you to read, think and digest the words of Jesus? Before this conversation is over he tells his disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” (8:51). So we see Jesus expects believers to 1). continue in Jesus’ words, 2). to keep those words.
Next the question arises, how faithful does Jesus want me to be in keeping his words? He is the example. “But I know Him, and keep His word” (v.55). How well did Jesus keep his Father’s word? He never rebelled, he always obeyed. Even to the point that his enemies could not find a single moral failure, “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?” (v.46).
Now they had their opportunity to believe and obey his words, or otherwise they “would die in” their own sins. Now you have our opportunity. Jesus expects us to believe and obey, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). He expects obedience from those who call him Lord and Savior. Too many people want to read Jesus’ words as if we are from the position of being above those words. We all are expert lawyers who can see an obvious loophole for “me”. But we are not the exception, we too need to believe and obey. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe some that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20). Yes, that is a typo, on purpose. Jesus didn’t do some of what the Father said, but ALL of it. Now that is the standard he sets for us. Yes, a high standard. We are disciples. Jesus said to do “ALL that I have commanded”, not “some”. Jesus loved his father more than “some”. He loved his father “all”. Let us all then, press on to continue in his words. Let us not die in our sins, but love him enough to ALL that he commanded. Dan Peters