John 3:18… Already Condemned?

Innocent until proven guilty.

That is one of our favorite clichés in the American system of justice.  Too bad it fits into the social media category #thingsjesusneversaid.

As in… there will be a judgement at the end of this age, the sinner will be on trial and considered innocent until the plethora of sins, misdeeds and crimes will be presented, and only then will he be judged and condemned.  Too bad that is not biblical.

In a twist that only a God who foreknows future events and who actually ordains them, John 3:18 reveals a shocking statement:

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Condemned already?

This verse poses two problems for the humanists who criticize biblical faith

1. It tells us that there is only one way to avoid eternal judgement.  There is only one way to avoid condemnation at the final judgement in front of the white throne: to believe in Jesus Christ now.  Such concept runs against the inclusivity of today’s modern humanistic thought.  The world hates us because we are an exclusive faith.  There are no multiple ways to heaven.  There is one Way and His name is Jesus Christ

2. Future condemnation is foreordained for those who do not believe.  How is it possible to condemn someone before his sins are even judged? They ask this question because they do not know God.  They do not acknowledge His infinite and timeless attributes.  At any point of our earthly time dimension, God knows all facts and events… past, present, future.  God reserves the right to condemn an unbeliever even before he commits sin. Understanding and believing such attributes makes sermons like “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” all the more effective.

 The message of the Gospel is best news for those who believe it and the worst news for those who do not.  Condemnation to hell, as abrasive as it sounds not only in the world, but even in lukewarm churches, must be part of any Gospel presentation.  Without it the Gospel is incomplete which makes the Gospel a false gospel.

Eternity has been sealed.  

Believers in Christ and His atoning work stand redeemed, and those who will not believe have already been condemned.

5 comments on “John 3:18… Already Condemned?

  1. A well-written, well thought-out expose of an old cliché, Delight.

    Humanists face the problems you have mentioned. We must teach the entire Word of God (complete Gospel) as well as we can with the Holy Spirit as our guide.

    John 3:18 is very clear. I think the previous two verses give us the balance that is always found in scripture:

    16 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.

    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    And then:

    “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

    Tremendous words from an awesome God.

    God’s blessings…

  2. Romans 5:18-19 says, “through one man’s trespass, judgment came to all men, for by one man’s disobedience all were made sinners.”

    And through one man, JESUS, we have forgiveness and reconciliation if we will choose to accept His wonderful gift of salvation.

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