"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.John 3:18(NASB)
God is not a cruel and merciless potentate Who is watching for every opportunity to pour out His wrath on mankind and punish the human race individually and collectively, as so many erroneously believe. He is long-suffering, merciful, and of great goodness, and His grace is extended to all humanity, from generation to generation.
It was sin that separated man from God, but even before the foundation of the world, God in His omniscience knew that mankind was going to rebel against Him. But He is full of tender-love towards His creation, and in His mercy and grace (and at the enormous cost of the life of His only begotten Son), God set in motion His amazing plan of redemption to save mankind from eternal separation from Himself. This plan, which was formed in the eternal council chambers of heaven, has the potential to touch and to save every person born into this fallen race, but salvation must be accessed by faith alone in the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God.
God could just as easily have sent Jesus to condemn the world, for all have sinned and fall short of God's required standard, and yet we read that that God did NOT send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Salvation was in the heart of God from the beginning, and Christ's redeeming blood has been poured out so that whosoever will, may come.
In the beginning and in His wisdom, God gave man a free-will to make his own choices and to choose his own destiny. But as a demonstration of the amazing love that God has for Adam's fallen race, He sent His only begotten Son into the world so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
Christ's shed blood on the Cross was the full and final payment for the sin of everyman, but the criteria for salvation is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." How we praise God that he who believes in Him is not judged nor condemned: "He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that while I was still a sinner, You sent Jesus to save me from my sin and not to condemn me because of my sin. I praise You for Your glorious plan of redemption, and for saving me by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, and I pray that I may live my life to Your praise and glory. Thank you, Lord, for Your long-suffering mercy, goodness, and grace for the human race, including me. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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