“Then Jesus said to them again, ‘I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.’” John 8:21.
Jesus is still in the temple’s treasury with perhaps the entire crowd that had gathered to hear Him teach that morning still in attendance.
Jesus had just finished giving His credentials to the Pharisees in the last study. We now pick up this dialogue with the Pharisees here at verse 21.
When the Lord says, “I am going away”, He is referring to His crucifixion, not an earthly journey but to heaven.
Jesus then continues with, “…and you will seek Me”, but what is meant here is not that they will seek Jesus, they could care less. In fact they wish He would go away; the Lord means here you will seek the Christ, and the Jews do, to this day.
But Jesus is the Christ and those who reject Him reject the payment for their sin.
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12.
The end result is that you, “…will die in your sin.” Now the most important thing to remember about hell my friends is that it is where Christ is not. “Where I go you cannot come.”
In fact this is the driving principle behind hell and the eventual destination of the lost; the lake of fire, there is no God in these places.
No God, none of His attributes, no purpose, no beauty, no colors, no peace, no love, no comfort, none of the things we cherish on this earth. The atheist’s dream of no God, is actually a nightmare; “Where I go you cannot come.”
These Pharisees have been in hell without Christ for some two thousand years now, but that was yesterday and two thousand years from now that too will be yesterday, there will be no tomorrow because nothing is out there.
Like walking across a desert toward a distant mountain; you trek all day, tired, thirsty, and hungry, yet when you look up, it is the same maddening distance away and tomorrow will be the same.
“…and will die in your sin”, let us consider the word sin for a moment; notice first that the word is sin, in the singular, there is an important reason for this.
As one commentator said the sin that these men commit is that of rejection of the Christ, this is true, but not the meaning of sin.
Most folks are probably familiar with the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the eating of the forbidden fruit as recorded in Genesis 3.
Our parents were created by God innocent and without sin or a sin nature; as a result there was no innate desire to sin. It was from the outside that the questions of God’s motives arose, not from the inside.
Satan, in the form of a serpent beguiled Eve by saying, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” questioning God.
He then told an outright lie, “You will not surely die.” The couple did immediately die spiritually and in time physically.
Having been reassured by a serpent, an obviously created thing, that the Creator was deceiving them, Satan threw out the bait.
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-6.
Thus sin originated not from within man but from without. Now inexplicably the sin of rebellion against God becomes the sin nature, the fountain from which all sins flow.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…” Romans 5:12.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
In Genesis 4, we see graphically how virulent the sin nature is in regard to Cain and Abel. When these young men grew up they brought sacrifices to the Lord; Abel would give of the firstlings of his flock, for he was a shepherd, and Cain being a gardener brought of the fruit of the ground.
While it is not stated, it is evident that God had given specific instructions as to what was an acceptable sacrifice; instructions which Cain evidently ignored. For this reason God did not accept Cain’s offering, and Cain became angry.
“So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.’” Genesis 4:6-7.
“Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” Genesis 4:8.
Sin, even of the worst kind now comes out of the heart of this man, not from outside, illustrating that the sin nature has passed to all men.
One definition of sin goes like this: “That whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil”, taken from “Unger’s Bible Dictionary” by Merrill F. Unger; published by Moody Press.
We are all enslaved by the sin nature inherited from our fathers.
“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:23-25.
So there is a difference between sin and sins.
“So the Jews said, ‘Will He kill Himself, because He says, “Where I go you cannot some”?’” John 8:22.
Earlier in John 7:35 the people were a little more generous in their assessment of Jesus’ words, “You will seek Me and not find Me…” by saying.
“Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?” John 7:35.
But the Pharisees insult a holy man by accusing Him of sinning by committing suicide. These men have nothing logical to say, nor do they want a serious answer from the Lord, so they insult or denigrate.
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” Socrates.
Death in Sin, John 8:21-22 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 12-4-12, updated on 10-25-17.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.