A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, and some believers even think it's God telling them these things. In this day in age we have perpetuated the idea that God only speaks to a select few and are highly susceptible to the lie that God sends his direction for your life to another persons mailbox. Nothing could be further from the truth! God NEVER tells you what a loser you are nor does he send people around you that kind of message. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 12:47)!
So, How do I identify condemnation?
Condemnation comes from our advisory Satan and is meant to tear you down. Many professing believers are often the delivery system for the adversary because they have never gotten a grip on grace or, should I say grace has never gotten a grip on them. They will tell you in their legalistic approach that the grace you are embracing is sloppy or to good to be true. I would suggest to you that if the gospel of grace was easily understood or not to good to be true then it wouldn’t be the Good News at all! Unlike conviction, condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you've messed up. Condemnation is showing you the problem, but avoiding the solution.
Jesus did NOT come to condemn the world (John 12:47). There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Satan on the other hand is KNOWN for accusing the brethren (Rev 12:10).
Why won't you ever hear God telling you what a failure you are? Because Jesus said, "I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47)
So, How do I identify conviction?
Conviction is known in the Bible as Godly sorrow. God's Word tells us that Godly sorrow is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Condemnation tells you, "You are such a flake! Look at what you did!" while conviction tells you, "Come to me... and I will forgive you!" “Cast all your cares upon Me.”
Not only is God willing to forgive your sins, but He longs (deeply desires) to do so!
"Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him." (NASB)
1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
Conviction shows you the answer to your problem and leads you to the cross of Christ. Conviction shows you the blood of Jesus that wipes away your sins!
So, What’s the difference?
Conviction shows you the answer (the Blood of Jesus, which washes away sin), while condemnation shows you the problem (the sin, the past and your failures). Condemnation shows you the problem, but conviction shows you the answer.
Condemnation shouts, "Your past! Your sins! You loser!" But conviction shouts, "The Blood of Jesus washes away sins! Come to Jesus and be forgiven of your sins! You can be forgiven! Your sins and past don't have to be a part of you anymore!"
Understanding the nature of God's forgiveness.
I have often said that one of the greatest attributes of God is His forgetfulness!
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
It's so important to understand the nature of God's forgiveness and His desire to wash us clean from our pasts.