I do not believe that God actively condemns anyone – it is we who condemn ourselves by the choices we make to sin. If we experience separation form God it is not because he has chosen to reject us or leave us or has forgotten us, but that we have chosen to ignore his will for our lives and have separated ourselves form him through sin.

The condemnation we experience is a result of sin, in other words our choices to stand apart from God’s will and ways. We cannot blame God for this at all! It is a result of our own doing and our own doing alone. What we need to recognise and come to be convinced about is the truth that it is only in God’s will that we will discover true fulfilment and happiness. Apart from God and his will nothing is possible. If we live according to God’s will it is logical that we will be happy and free of any sense of condemnation.

Jesus makes this quite clear in the Gospel where he tells us that anyone who hears and listens to the word of God and keeps it faithfully, will live in the light of God and be free of condemnation. This is not easy to do as it requires an enormous amount of humility to submit one’s life to the grace and will of God over and above doing what we want when we want to do it. It is probably a bit similar to the situation where one is working for a boss: you will have a good relationship with your boss and enjoy your work much more if you are obedient to the rules and regulations set down for your job. If you step outside the bounds of these rules then the odds are that you will sour your relationship with your boss and your experience of work will deteriorate as well. It makes logical sense.

God is not really such a demanding taskmaster when one considers what is at stake. If we are talking about eternal life, it is logical to expect that the requirements thereof will be somewhat demanding because of the seriousness of the matter at hand. It could be interesting to reflect upon the question as to what we really think the gift of eternal life is worth in terms of the response we are willing to make to its offer!

Exactly what am I willing to give in return for the offer of eternal life?

Jesus, you demonstrated your depth of commitment to me through your willingness to die on the cross. Help me to make a reasonable response to your offer of love and eternal life.