17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Sounds kinda final, doesn't it? Sounds solemn, and still, and just plain awful. This comes right after that "hallelujah" verse of John 3:16. Bummer.
Lots of religions, and lots of people, want to explain away condemnation. It's not happy or pretty, so they'd rather just ignore it, or deny it, or explain it into oblivion.
Mankind (and womankind) knows instinctively that wrong must be paid for. That sin must be dealt with. Look at how our kiddos act, when they've done something wrong! The tiniest tot knows full well when they have disobeyed mom or pop, that they have done something wrong . . . the sheepish look, the trying to wheedle their way out of the anticipated punishment . . . itsy bitsy kids will surprise you with their inventiveness in avoiding paying for their guilt!
God sent His son into the world to save the world, but that doesn't mean that everyone in the world is saved -- some are going to be condemned and doomed.
Who is condemned? Not the believer! The believer is acquitted, as though he or she never sinned! The believer has victory over guilt, fear, bondage and shame. Though he or she is as guilty as the unbeliever, the difference is this: the child of God has committed her life to Him. She is released from condemnation because of belief on Christ.
- "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my word, and believes
on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;
but has passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom 8:1)
The Light of the world, Jesus, came into the world to give light to men and women, to show us how we can walk out of the darkness of a sinful world, and to show us the way, the truth, and the life.
When he comes, the truth about all things comes. The truth about God. The truth about ourselves. The truth about the way of salvation. The truth about what is good and beautiful. The truth about evil and ugliness. The truth about how we ought to live. All right thinking, and all right feeling, and all right doing is defined and measured by Jesus. That is some of what it means to be the light of the world.