According to Jn 5:24, Jesus Christ said of every saved person, he “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation.” That is a tremendous promise. You see, before a person is saved, he is “condemned already,” [Jn 3:18]. According to Jn 3:36, he “shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” If you’re not saved, you do not have to wait until you die and face God at his judgment to find out whether you “made it” or not. We already know, whether you’re willing to believe what the Bible says or not. You are already condemned.
You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, receive him as your Savior, to escape this condemnation. God promised, that if you’re saved, you will not come into condemnation. What a promise that is. What blessed assurance that is. You know that you have eternal life when you have the Son of God, 1 Jn 5:12-13. You will never be in hell. Thank God.
But, just because you have escaped condemnation in hell doesn’t mean that you won’t face temporal condemnation. That is, you can still face condemnation in the earth or at the judgment seat of Christ even though you will never face condemnation in the lake of fire.
You can face condemnation:
By walking after the flesh – Rom 8:1 – this verse says more than most people quote. Most people only quote the first part of this verse, when they quote it. That’s not surprising when you see that most modern Bibles have eliminated the second half of the verse. They say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” As far as hell is concerned, there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. However, the second half of the verse says, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
So, the verse is not talking about going to hell, but rather suffering some other kind of condemnation. You see, the first part of the verse is conditioned upon the second part. There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. You have to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh to keep from being condemned. Do you have any idea how many Christians walk after the flesh? These days, probably more than walk after the Spirit.
Rom 8:13 says, “For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die…” Through the Spirit, you have to mortify the deeds of the body to live. In Gal 5:16, Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” When a believer turns back to the works of the flesh, listed in Gal 5:19-21, he can lose his inheritance in the kingdom of God. He can’t lose his salvation; but he can lose his inheritance. To keep from facing this condemnation, you must walk in the Spirit; you must walk after the Spirit. If you don’t you will face condemnation.
By breaking the law – Rom 13:2 – this verse says, “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Paul is talking about breaking the law here. Consider the context beginning with Rom 13:1 and continuing to Rom 13:4. Notice that the ruler has the power to execute someone who disobeys the ordinance. Whether you are fined or imprisoned makes no difference. They are both condemnation. In 1 Pet 2:13-15 we are to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man. This is the will of God. When you don’t submit to the ordinances, you are out of the will of God. You will, therefore, face condemnation when you’re caught. Again, not condemnation in hell; but at the hands of those who enforce the ordinances.
By eating not of faith – Rom 14:22-23 – Romans 14 is about the conduct of stronger Christians in the presence of weaker Christians, whose faith has not matured. We are not to eat things, drink things, or do things that would cause a brother to stumble, or to be offended, or to be weak. If a Christian allows himself to eat something, for instance, that offends his brother, he “condemneth himself in that thing which he alloweth.” That is because he “eateth not of faith.” There was doubt in his mind whether he should have eaten it. Paul said, in 1 Cor 8:12, “But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.” Therein lies the condemnation.
By not judging your sin – 1 Cor 11:29-34 – because some of the Corinthians, at the Lord’s supper [1 Cor 11:23-28], were eating and drinking unworthily, they were eating and drinking damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body, 1 Cor 11:29. The damnation was that there were many weak and sick and dying among them. The Lord can weaken Christians, make Christians sick, and even kill Christians over certain things we do or don’t do in our lives. This is not to say that all sickness, weakness, and death are the result of God’s judgment against us. In the case of the Lord’s supper, the problem was that these Christians weren’t judging their sins, 1 Cor 11:28, 31-32. Likewise, we must judge our sins. The Lord gave us 1 Jn 1:9 as the remedy. When we confess our sins to him, he both forgives us and cleanses us from those sins. This is one of the best ways to maintain good fellowship with God. And judging our sins is absolutely essential before taking the Lord’s supper.
Conclusion: people have asked, when we explain the eternal security of the believer, “You mean I can just go out and sin, and I’ll still be saved?” “Yes,” I say, “but you can’t just go out and sin and not be condemned.” And that’s the truth as you have seen today. So, be sure that you follow the Bible in your behavior after you are saved. Walk after the Spirit, keep the law, eat of faith, and judge your sins. You don’t want to be condemned.