And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”John 3:19-21
Well, this is not the first time I spoke about this subject, that there is more to John 3:16 than what we were taught in churches by pastors and preachers. The common gospel ringtone you will hear is, for God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. And this ringtone is set on auto-repeat mode each time this section of the Bible in the book of John is revisited or whenever the gospel of salvation is preached.
So what we have today is a culture of believers who stops at the punctuation after the word believe and they would go no further because that’s what preachers do and do repeatedly, and they go no further. But other than John 3:16, Jesus did speak a lot more when He explained the definition of salvation to Nicodemus.
The Opposite Of Redemption Is Condemnation
In John 3:17, Jesus made it clear that God did not send Him to the world to condemn us. This is a fact. Jesus came to save and not to condemn. Secondly, in John 3:18, Jesus then stated that those who believe in Him is not condemned and those who does not believe is already condemned. Therefore, by default, we are already condemned before we took steps to believe and to trust in the Son of God.
Unlike false preachers and false prophets, Jesus did not stop short of fully completing His explanation when He defined salvation to Nicodemus. To make what He said crisp and clear, Jesus left no room for doubt in what He said about those who believe in Him – that they ARE NOT condemned, BY EXPLAINING FURTHER what it means to be in the opposite, i.e. to be condemned.
In John 3:19-21, Jesus said it clearly, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
In John 1:4, the apostle John describes that, in Christ is life and that this life is also known as the light. Therefore, by this line of reasoning, those who come into the light are those who cross over from death (darkness) to life (light). And in John 1:5, again it was mentioned, that the light shines in the darkness, but those still trapped in darkness did not understand it. It is this failure to comprehend what is meant by light stated in the Bible that played up the confusion as to how men, by themselves, failed to recognize the real matter that brings life.
As such, if any believer were to examine the full context of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus and break down section by section of what Jesus meant when He said believe in Him, as opposed to being condemned; Jesus clearly said that those that are condemned are those:-
- Who love darkness more than light.
- Whose deeds are evil.
- Who practice evil.
- Who hates the light & does not come to the light.
- Who is afraid their deeds will be exposed.
Likewise, when Jesus said those who believes in Him are not condemned, what Jesus is saying is that those who believe in Him are those:-
- Who loves the light more than darkness.
- Whose deeds are no longer evil.
- Who no longer practice evil.
- Who loves the light & comes into the light.
- Who is no longer afraid of being exposed.
Or would you prefer to stay in the closet and continue to believe that those who continually do things that condemned people are doing, are also in a viable state of believing in Christ by other means of justification – that is by professing alone with the mouth? Effectually, this is the biggest lie of all lies ever perpetrated to Christian believers in the entire history of mankind.
Opposite To Condemnation Is Not To Sin
This is confirmed in 1 John 2:3 that those who claim to know Him, will keep His commandments. And those He who says they know Christ but does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. And therefore, if we go back to John 3:21, people who lie and do not keep His commandments are not people who come to the light (life), because by Biblical definition, they are not doers of the truth.
In 1 John 3:6, whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. So, how can a person claim he believes in Christ if he does not know Him? How can a person, who live a life continually in sin, claim that he believes in Jesus? Hence, is it reasonable then to say that a person who believes in Christ is also a person who knows Him, who abides in Him and who does not sin continually?
And in 1 John 2:24-25, those who abide in Him are those promised to be given access to eternal life (light). “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.”
Scripture Defines Condemnation For Understanding, Not To Condemn Us
So, why did Jesus spoke about condemnation after He told Nicodemus to believe in Him? Did Jesus say those words, by explaining the lurid details of condemnation, to actually condemn Nicodemus? Or did Jesus explain condemnation to Nicodemus so that he could discern clearly what leads man to condemnation, and therefore Nicodemus himself will not do things that will lead him to condemnation? Essentially, this is what Nicodemus came to Jesus for, in the middle of the night and away from being seen by others that he was going to Jesus, because he had a lot of questions to ask Jesus and wanted to find answers (John 3:1-4).
Inasmuch as condemnation, therefore if you hear words of people telling you that if you sin you will die, therefore are these people who spoke to you about death, condemning you to death or are they cautioning you of things that man do that will lead them to dying?
While Christ came to show us the way that leads us to eternal life, it is man and his own wicked ways, desiring darkness more than light, that is still confining him to condemnation. Instead of teaching and leading people to be obedient to instructions given by Christ, false preachers and false prophets replaced true salvation with their altar calls, saying after them what they claimed to be the sinner’s prayer which is never taught in the Bible and providing fake assurances to man that they could be saved by their lips alone (Matthew 15:8).