Short Meditations in John 3: 17. Condemnation
Jn 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son
There is always a dark side to belief, there are always those who do not believe and the consequences of belief AND the absence of belief are spelled out clearly in the Bible. People may make lots of excuses for their lack of belief but at the end of the day it is still lack of belief and lack of belief is an act of the will, because the unbeliever could always seek and find but they choose not to do. So unbelief is not a neutral thing as some might like to think.
Moses made it quite clear early on in the Bible when he spoke about the possibility of his people going astray, he declared, “if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut 4:29) All it requires to become a believer and follower of the Lord is that you seek him with all your heart.
And the Lord has helped us in this thing because He has put something within us that yearns for eternity. As Solomon said, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccles 3:11) There is within each of us something that hungers to know more than this mere existence.
There is so much evidence that God has provided for us as Paul said speaking of men who, “suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Rom 1:18-20) It is plain to see if you have eyes to see.
But when it comes to Jesus it is even more true. Read the Gospels with an open heart and who could but not wonder, who could not see the wonder of this God-man, as Peter said on the day of Pentecost, “Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22) This was not just any man, this was not just a good preacher, he doesn’t leave us this option. Thus any person who seeks and reads and sees what is here in the Gospel and then turns away condemns themselves. Someone has likened it to a person who hears a great symphony and goes away unmoved showing they have no music in their soul. Anyone who can walk away from Jesus Christ unmoved shows they have no truth in their soul and are condemned.