Yep, trick question. Almost all of us were taught to say yes to that one. I just read a blog where a pastor writes to his congregation: “We truly deserve eternal destruction every day!” His point, of course, was that the judgment of God is hanging over each of us and the only thing stopping us from sliding straight to hell is the choice of God. If God changed His mind about us, we’d be in trouble. So… be afraid!
But is this true for believers? Do we deserve condemnation? Is the axe hanging over our heads about to strike? And what would be the deciding factor? Some teachers say that we have to be worthy of God’s forgiveness. Some say that we have to be in the right church. Others just tell us to be good—very, very good. If we fail, is the danger real?
So, let’s be sure that we get this right. First, we used to deserve condemnation. There is no doubt about that. We all deserved to be cut off from God forever. But that was past tense. That’s what we were. Then Jesus came into us and saved us. He reached down to us in the midst of our condemnation and shame and brought us out. We did deserve hell before Jesus saved us.
But now there is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1) for us. The punishment for our sin was laid on Jesus and He took it away from us. There is no axe hanging over our heads. The penalty has been paid. Our sin is as far from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) This is what Jesus did for us.
No, you and I no longer deserve condemnation. We did, but Jesus saved us.