John 7:24 “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
In a world where sin flourishes at every level it seems judgement is the only recourse. How can God continue to allow hundreds of millions of babies to be slaughtered and not bring His judgement upon this world?
Today it is being reported that Russia is intentionally murdering families, bombing maternity wards, shooting people who stand in bread lines, and openly executing children. When these reports are released the world gasps in horror, “how can this madman be allowed to continue?”, is the question and yet these same people support the murder of the unborn every day.
Human trafficking is a continual sin propagated throughout the world. The insatiable desire for sexual fulfillment drives the cruel abusers of justice to take advantage of the weak and poor. How does God not reign down fire from Heaven upon such wickedness in the land?
There seems to be no end to the ways people sin against their fellow man. As soon as a crisis develops, there is a group of people ready to step in and take advantage of others. From home invasions to car thefts, the criminal becomes more brazen each day, thinking there is no judgement if they just don’t get caught.
The Final Judgement
There is a judgement that has already occurred, the sentence has been given and the gavel is about to fall–God has already judged this world, the world just doesn’t know it yet.
Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
How can the world know their future plight unless someone warns them?
Those who have been redeemed from Hell and death are those who have accepted the call of Christ’s redemption. When the love of God fills the heart, it becomes impossible to see the world as before, the perspective of a Spirit filled believer becomes a perspective of love.
The law of the Lord is perfect; It judges rightly, it holds no biases, and it does not neglect holding every class of society to the same strict standard. If people judge others incorrectly, they forsake the law of God and form a law unto themselves.
A Correct View
James 4:11 “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”
When considering how to uphold the law of the Lord, a good place to start is to recognize why it must be upheld. If people judge one another apart from God’s law, they have made up their own law as the standard of righteousness. The endeavor of setting your own standard apart from God’s standard is the same sin that Satan strives to control every day. There is no way to establish anything apart from God and so an illusion of power must be portrayed.
In like manner to Satan, people will strive to establish themselves as authoritative over God’s sovereignty and thus giving them the position as judge.
The attempts to usurp God’s authority are typically administered through warped interpretations of Biblical truth. Some examples include the idea of papal supremacy and infallibility within the catholic church, Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon, Charles Russell’s Watchtower Society publications, Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhist Maharatnakuta Sutra, and many more. Each of these examples represent men who have made statements either in positions as God’s personal speaker or in direct contradiction to Biblical doctrine.
Any doctrine administered by men that contradicts God’s established law is heretical in nature. It is ever more imperative that God’s Word be the standard by which every other doctrine is judged. If anyone speaks contrary to what God has decreed, they have falsely placed themselves in a position as judge of truth.
Judgement of Truth
Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
In the American judicial system sit levels of judges, appointed to uphold the law of the land. The men and women representative of these positions are to have a working knowledge of the law of the land and administer justice in accordance with that standard.
Today the United States Senate is conducting hearings to determine whether Ketanji Brown Jackson should receive the position as Justice of the Supreme Court. The fact that a very liberal minded President decided she was the best candidate for nomination is of great concern. Abortion rights, transgenderism, marriage equality, and a litany of other issues will be decided by people who either hold a traditional judeo-christian value system of belief or a methodology that subscribes to interpreting law based off an ever changing societal standard of morality. Since American society is growing increasingly anti-christian, this method only erodes the foundational elements that made this country great.
Truth that is contained in the Bible is universal. In other words, God’s truth applies to every facet of life and is the standard by which we should hold ourselves accountable.
Since the world does not subscribe to a Biblical belief system, the church must govern itself as to how God’s Word is interpreted.
Biblical Standard of Truth
John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Condemnation is a strong word of judgement, it implies a strong sense of disapproval. If we want to understand whether our actions are approved or disapproved by God, we must consider His law as our guide. The condemnation Jesus speaks of is whether a person is condemned as guilty or not guilty before God’s justice.
Breaking the law in our society today is what sin is to God. For those who have believed in Jesus’ redeeming grace and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior, they walk in obedience to show love to God in return. When God determines a heart is truly humble and contrite before Him, the Lord seals that person as His own by filling them with His Holy Spirit.
When a person is “saved”, they have been given a reprieve from the judgment of sin. The judgement is an eternal death sentence, it implies that a heart that is unwilling to submit to God’s authority, particularly after He calls them by His Spirit, is a person who will never submit to His authority. Hell is the place of an eternal death sentence.
*If we are to use God’s Word as our standard of Truth, we should not only hold ourselves to this standard but other believers as well.
This process of holding other believers to God’s law is one that has very specific guidelines for use. The spiritual person may say that this is unbiblical to judge one another and may cite the Bible itself as a reference.
1 Corinthians 2:15 “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.”
Why can’t a person who is redeemed be judged by another?—Because they are under God’s jurisdiction, He is the authority, it is His law.
Romans 14:10-13, Matthew 7:1-2, and Hebrews 10:30 all make it very clear that God only judges His people.
“For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” Heb.10:30
So when Jesus instructs His people to “judge correctly”, what is He implying?
Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
- Restoration is the goal–not denouncing someone, embarrassing them or trying to drive them away but help them return to the position of faithfulness with God.
- Unity in decision–Matthew 18 gives a clear example of how to approach someone living in sin, again with the ideal for restoration in a spirit of love.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
- For those who refuse to turn from sin, harsher measures may be needed to bring to light the severity of their habits. These measures are extreme since the need to maintain holiness among the body of Christ is paramount.
- Ultimately, it is the Word of God by which we hold each other accountable. Not according to our own standards, but God’s standards by which every believer has attested.
- Don’t complain about one another. (James 5:9) Perception can be misleading and the intent of the heart God alone judges.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Remembering the purpose of God’s church is to keep in mind our purpose in the world. There is no need to judge unbelievers, they are already under judgement(John 3:18), what they need is the gospel. There is only one standard believers hold each other to and it’s God’s standard of judgment, not in condemnation but in restoration toward righteousness.
Judging well starts with looking in the mirror and holding ourselves to the same standard God expects of us…everything else should be born out of love.