The Gospel Message
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God – John 3:18
Here is a crystal clear description of the justified sinner, from the lips of Jesus himself, as well as a depiction of the unbeliever’s state before God.
The repentant, bankrupt sinner who comes to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and trusts in him is not condemned. He is justified, declared guiltless in the courtroom of heaven.
Notice that it is a present reality, although the believer still sins and falls short here on earth. When we strive to conquer sin, seek to follow Christ, and still find that we daily fall short of the mark, it is a great comfort to know that God already sees us through the perfection of Christ.
But he that believeth not is condemned already. It is interesting and revealing that this, also, is plainly and purposefully in the present tense. Jesus reflects the calmness and control of heaven, even over those who may loudly and persistently reject the claims of Christ upon their lives.
Why is the unbeliever condemned? Because he has not believed in the name of the Son of God. While God is sovereign in condemning the unbeliever, He does not condemn him without reason. The unbeliever earns his guilty status by rebelling against the authority of Christ.
You have two unmistakable descriptions before you. Which are you? Are you trusting in the Son of God for salvation? If so, Jesus says, you have already been justified in the eyes of God.