Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you too will likewise perish.” (Luke 13: 3, 5) What’s the counter for that? Have I got any other options? Jesus says, ‘No’.
Jesus says, “Don’t be surprised when I tell you, you must be born again.” (John 3: 7) The rules haven’t changed. Grace doesn’t change the rules. Grace makes the rules more emphatic. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” (John 3: 16-18)
So are you going to follow the rules or not? “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 30-31)
Jesus began his ministry with this here’s-the-way-it-is call to each one of us. “He said, ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel’!” (Mark 1: 15) Some may want to ask, what about those who haven’t heard the gospel? Do they warrant an exception? Once again, the answer is ‘No’.
“For since the creation of the world his (God’s) invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” (Romans 1: 20 NET) Same rules apply because everyone is expected, even if they haven’t heard the gospel, to align and prioritize their lives with God and do it with joy and thanksgiving in their hearts. What’s made has always had to meet the approval of their Maker. The rules haven’t changed.
Are you going to follow the rules? Grace says, you can!