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John 3:18-21 - Man’s Condemnation

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Man’s Condemnation

 Heaven or Hell



A.       Who is condemned:

1.      Not the believer, but the unbeliever (v.18a)

a)         The believer is released from all condemnation

(1)        John 3:18; 5:24; Romans 8:1,33,34

b)        The believer is saved:

The Word Salvation is used in Scripture 3 different ways:

(1)        The once-for-all experience of salvation (Luke 7:50 cf. Eph.2:8; 2Tim1:9).

Saved from the condemnation of sin, death, & hell.

(2)        The continuous experience of salvation (1Cor.1:18).

Being saved from the dominion of sin and is being sanctified (Heb.7:25)

(3)        The redemptive experience in the future (Rom.13:11)

Will be saved from the very presence of sin in heaven forever (Rom.5:9-10)

c)         Is actively & “diligently seeking God” (Heb.11:6)

d)        God will save any man who will believe, seek, & honor His Son (Jn.12:26)

2.      The Unbeliever is Condemned.  When?

a)         “already”

b)        Why?  “because he has not believe in the only begotten Son of God

(1)        Ezek.18:20; Rom.6:23

(2)        The dignity of God’s Son is ignored ( John 1:1-2; Heb.1:3, 6; Col.2:9; Jn.5:23).

(3)        The dearest thing to God’s heart is denied ( John 3:16).

(4)        The name that is above every name is abused and cursed (Phil. 2:9).

(5)        The only begotten Son of God is rejected (John 3:16-19 cf. Hebrews 10:26-31; John 16:8-9).

(6)        John 3:36; 8:24

3.      Condemnation is:

a)         The sentence of God against sin (Matt.25:41)

b)        Universal, caused by the offense of Adam (Rom.5:12, 16, 18)

c)         Inseparable consequence (Prov.12:2; Rom.6:23)

d)        Increased by:

(1)        Impenitence (Matt.11:20-24)

(2)        Unbelief (John 3:18-19)

(3)        Pride (1Tim.3:6)

(4)        Hypocrisy (Matt.23:14)

4.      The unbeliever is without Christ, without hope, without God in the world (Eph.2:12)

5.      The unbeliever already stands guilty of the sin he has committed (Gal.3:10)            

II.                The Judgement – (v.19)

A.       Light Has Come Into the World

1. There is none who seeks after God (Rom.3:10-11)

a)         The Lord went looking for Adam (Genesis 3:8-10)

b)        Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)

c)         Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (Jn.8:12; 9:5)

2.      What does light do?  Light:

a)    is clear & pure (Eph.5:8)

b)   penetrates, cutting through & eliminating darkness (1Thess.5:5)

c)    guides and directs our path (Ps.119:105; Jn.8:12)

d)   light exposes & strips away darkness (John 3:19-20)

3.      Men tried to put out the Light but could not (Jn.1:5) on the third day His light shined brighter than ever!

B.        Men Loved Darkness (sin Romans 13:11-14; 1Thess. 5:4-7) Rather than light (purity, holiness).

Sin: It’s Results

1.      Sin controls the mind, the will, the affections, and ultimately the person’s entire being

a)         The minds of unbelievers are dominated by evil (Jer.17:9; Eph.4:17-19); and because of sin, they cannot understand spiritual truth (1Cor.2:14).

2.      Sin also controls not only what people think, but also what they decide to do and what they come to love . 

a)         Jeremiah 44:16-17—the Jews in Egypt wanted nothing to do with the prophet’s message.

3.      Sin also has the domineering effect on the affections of men and woman.

a)         Even believers can love the wrong things or love things the wrong way (1Jn.2:15-16)

b)        John records for us here how sin can have the complete domination of the unsaved heart (John 3:19).

c)         People who are dominated by sin are under the control of Satan until they come to Christ (Eph.2:1-2) & under Satan’s dominion there is no freedom but only slavery (John 8:44, Rom.6:16; 1John 5:19).

4.      Ephesians 2:3 are those who are controlled by the sin nature

a)         Jesus identified all unbelievers as objects of God’s wrath: (John 3:36; 1Cor.16:22; Gal.3:10).

b)        This should prompt us to proclaim, in the spirit of John the Baptist, the only salvation from divine wrath—the gospel (Matt.3:7-12; Luke 3:7-9 cf. 1Thess.1:10).

5.      The result of sin is that it can damn a soul to eternal punishment and separation from God in hell.

a)         Rev.20:11-15

b)        Matt.10:28

(1)        Hell is a place of extreme bodily suffering

(2)        Hell is a place of memories (Luke 16:25 remember)

(3)        Hell is a place of insatiable and tormenting desire (Luke 16:24)

(4)        Hell is a place of vile companionships (Rev.21:8) there is not parties in hell!

(5)        Hell is a world without hope (Matt.25:46)

Millions of people die every year and ten’s of thousands die every day.  There are more than six billion people in the world, and they will all die sooner or later; the world’s birthrate is more than keeping up with the death rate.  So not only is every person in the world in the process of dying, but more people are being born to die all the time.  And the sad reality is that all will die in their sins unless they repent and believe the Gospel.  Hell is waiting for its victims.

C.       The Contrast between Darkness & Light (Eph.5:8)

Four Characteristics of Spiritual darkness

1.      It is the work or Satan (John 8:44; cf. vv.38, 41)

2.      It is the dominion of Satan (Luke 22:53 he is called “the power of darkness”) as a citizen of his “dominion of darkness” (Col.1:13; cf. Eph.6:12; 1John 5:19).

a)         Unbelievers think they are free to do what they want but in reality they are in bondage & under the power of Satan.

3.      Spiritual darkness brings God’s penalty – “the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (Eph.5:6), who are “by nature children of wrath” (2:3).  Romans 1:18

4.      Spiritual darkness leads to eternal darkness

a)         Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, “shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt.8:12; cf.1Sam.2:9; 2Pet.2:17).


D.       Men will not come to the light lest their deeds should be exposed (v.20)

1. They practice evil & hate the light

2. The Woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11)

a)         They were convicted by their conscience and left, beginning with the oldest.

b)        The only one who was without sin (2 Cor. 5:21) and qualified to cast stones did not.

c)         Jesus, did not condemn her (John 3:17-20)

d)        They came to the light & their deeds were exposed, and they left.

III.             The Escape

A.       Who escapes condemnation (v.21)

1. He who practices truth (v.21a)

a)         1Jn.2:29 cf. 1Jn1:6-7

2. He who comes to light (v.21b)

a)         Matthew 11:28-30


(1)        “Come to Me”

(2)        “take My yoke upon you” a yoke is for work not for becoming a couch potatoe

(3)        “learn from Me”

(4)        “abide in Me”

3. He whose works are wrought by God (v.21c)

a)         1Cor.15:10; Phil.1:11

b)        Phil. 2:12-13 cf. Heb.13:20-2

B.        The Christians Responsibility (Eph.5:11-14)

1.      It is more than not participating in the sinful ways of the world, but expose them (v.11)

a)         Silent rebuke – by living in obedience to God; refusing to participate in sin.

b)        Open rebuke (Matt.18:15-17; 2Tim.4:2)

c)         Psalm 139:23-24

2.      Our Resource for exposing evil is Sripture.

a)         Ps.119:105, 130; Prov.6:23

b)        Hebrews 4:12-13

The Greek word translated “naked” or “laid bare” was uses of criminals who were being led to trial or execution.  Often a soldier would hold the point of a dagger under the criminals chin to force him to hold his head high so everyone could see who he was.  Similarly, Scripture exposes us for who we really are and forces us to face the reality of our sin. 

C.       Where do you stand (Joshua 24:15)

1.      The choice that was to be made. Which God they were going to serve.

a)         There were the gods that their ancestors worshipped in Babylon, or Egypt.

b)        There is only one true & living God to serve. He delivered all of their enemies into their hands.

c)         The choice was not whether they would serve a god or not, but which God they were going to serve.

(1)        Every man serves some god.

(2)        Every man lives for something, and whatever that something is, is your God. Some may say:

(a)         For me to live is success.

(b)        For me to live is happiness.

(c)         For me to live is knowing.

(d)        Paul said, "For me to live is Christ."

2.      Serving God is a matter of Choice, you choose to believe in Christ or you choose not to.

3.      Are you saved or are you lost?

4.      Are you on the road to heaven or hell (Matt.7:13-14)?

Fill in the blank, “If I would die tonight, I would go to _____.”  What would it be?   Heaven or hell?

5.      Are you a child of God or a child of the devil? 

a)         John 8:44

b)        1Jn.3:10

c)         John 1:12

6.      Are you a mere formal Christian or a real Christian?

a)         Do you have Christ in one hand & the world in the other?

7.      Are you for Christ or against Him (Matt.12:30)?

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.   All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6 NKJV)

8.      Eternity—where will you spend it?

1.      Jesus sets the stage for a great miracle (John 8:12 feast of Tabernacles)

a)         Jesus sees a blind man from birth (vv.1-5)

b)        The working of Christ’s light (vv.6-12)

c)         The Controversy of Christ’s light (vv.13-34)

d)        The blind man not only had physical light but spiritual light (vv.35-38)

e)         The Reception & Rejection of Christ’s Light (vv.39-41)

(1)        Those who think they have spiritual insight will be shown to be blind and those who do not suppose they have spiritual insight will see (v.39).

(a)         Those who go blind are the ones who do not realize their need.

(b)        Those who receive sight are the one who sense their darkness (Luke 18:11-12)

f)          The conclusion: The way of seeing is the way of the blind

Charles Spurgeon: it is not our littleness that hinders Christ; but our bigness.  It is not our weakness that hinders Christ; it is our strength.  It is not our darkness that hinders Christ; it is our supposed light that holds back His hand.

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