“‘He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God’” (John 3:18–21).
Although God graciously has offered the world salvation through the work of Christ, that salvation is not appropriated except by penitent faith. The lost are condemned because they have “not believed in [literally, “believed into”] the name of the only begotten Son of God.” While the final sentencing of those who reject Christ is still future (cf. 5:28–29), their judgment will merely consummate what has already begun.
Jesus described judgment by contrasting light and darkness. Christ is the Light—He came into the world and “enlightens every man” (John 1:9). But people refuse to come to the Light because they love the darkness where their evil deeds will not be exposed. The Light reveals their sin. But as a result, they seal their own condemnation because they reject the only One who can save them from their spiritual darkness.
In contrast, believers hate their sin and love righteousness (1 John 2:3–6), so they willingly come to the light because they have nothing to hide and no reason to fear what the light will reveal.
How many times a day do you participate in activities you hope no one else knows about? Aspire to the freedom of being the same person in private that you are in public—unashamed at and unexposed by the Light.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610