Jesus said, “you will know they are my disciples if they have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Likewise Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)
Jesus in both is telling how what the PROOF of our salvation is. Believing or knowledge is not enough for salvation.
Matthew 7. This chapter is one of the most misquoted in the Bible. Have you ever heard these words, “Don’t judge me?”
If you live on this planet you have heard those words. They will tell you that it is in the Bible.
We live in a world that increasingly strives to (supposedly) promote the idea of tolerance, but actually becomes intolerant of Christian absolutes as it does so. Whether it involves religion, behavior, or human sexuality, there is a growing anti-Christian sentiment in America and other Western nations. Ultimately, built into this “tolerance” is the concept that truth is determined by each individual, not by God. This has led many people to conclude that making judgments on anyone (especially coming from Christians) is wrong because the Bible says ””judge not”” (Matthew 7:1). Interestingly enough, those who reject the notion of God or the credibility of the Bible often attempt to use God’s Word (e.g., by quoting verses out of context) to excuse their actions when they are presented with the gospel and the plight of sinners for rejecting it.
Scripture makes it very clear that there is one supreme Judge of all—the Lord God—and that He alone has the authority to determine right and wrong motives and behaviors.
Many Old Testament passages attest to the truth of God as Judge:
- “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11)
- “He shall judge the world in righteousness, and he shall administer judgments for the people in uprightness.” (Psalm 9:8)
- “Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God himself is Judge. Selah” (Psalm 50:6)
- “For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22)
- Then there are other passages such as, ““For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”” (John 5:22)
This passage any many others demonstrate that the Bible makes it clear that one day JESUS will rightly judge all humanity based on each individual’s faith or rejection of the Son of God.
For a world filled with people who believe in moral relativism—and for many professing Christians who practice morality in an attempt to earn righteousness—this day will be filled with fear and trepidation. The Judge of the universe has made a judgment about salvation, echoed by the Apostle Peter in Acts 4:12: “”Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”” There will be no time to debate whether the judgment is right or wrong because the ultimate Judge has decreed His justice through the Son.
When a Christian lovingly and graciously presents the gospel to unbelievers, a judgment is made regarding their standing with God. The Bible clearly declares that all men are sinners, have fallen short of the glory of God, and are in need of redemption from their sins (Romans 3:23). This judgment is not made from the opinion of the Christian who is presenting the gospel but rather by what the Bible clearly declares.
The claim that Christians are not to judge is often made when dealing with issues such as abortion, adultery, those living in unmarried sin, fornication, homosexual behavior, and same-sex marriage.
When a Christian says, for example, that homosexual behavior is a sin and that same-sex marriage is wrong, he or she is often met with objections like the following:
- “Who are you to judge two people who love each other?”
- “Who do you think you are, telling someone who they can and cannot love? You’re a sinner, too!”
- “Someone’s private life is none of your business. Don’t judge them.”
This is where they feebly quote Matthew 7:1. Again they will not have clue where that verse is, let alone what it is found in God’s Word. The verse is totally taken from the context to which it was intended in order to support their sin.
There are several problems that I would not call minor with that sort of logic.
Let’s have a look at Matthew 7:1 in its context shall we?
“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
I love God’s Word.
Now that we have read Matthew 7:1 in it’s entire God intended context we can draw some important conclusions:
Christ warns believers against making judgments in a hypocritical or condemning manor. Where do we see this type of judging in scripture? That’s right, During the ministry of Jesus He judged the pharisees.
Many people who misquote “”judge not”” from Matthew 7:1 fail to notice the command to judge in Matthew 7:5, when it says, “” then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.””
Jesus emphasizes that we must judge ourselves first before we make a judgement on others. The point Jesus emphasizes here is to judge yourself first before you make judgments about others. (Also, notice the discernment and judgment required in Matthew 7:15–16, 20.)
In the broader context, Jesus is telling believers to be discerning when it comes to false teaching and false prophets because they “look” Christian, but their goal is to lead the flock astray (Matthew 7:15–20; Luke 6:43–45).
I have heard claims from the pulpit in my 25+ years of salvation to not make judgments on other people. We need to be tolerant and accepting of our fellow man. I have heard TV preachers such as Joel Osteen, Billy Graham and others claim that there will be Muslims, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and even ATHEISTS in Heaven. Claiming that these are just many paths to the same god.
I SUBMIT TO YOU MY FRIEND…This makes me sick. This kind of thinking has crept in to the minds of believers all across this globe. Jesus said that He was the way! (John 14:6)
If there were no judgment…
All the prisons would be empty and thieves, serial killers, drug dealers, rapists, and murderers would be loose in your neighborhood.
You could not discipline your children and teach them not to steal, lie, do drugs, or give in to peer pressure.
School could not be mandated (by parents or govt) but if children did attend, they could not be evaluated as to their progress. Everyone should graduate regardless of their advance. Students could not be graded or disciplined.
You could not judge any false doctrine and would have to allow it to be taught from your church’s pulpit (“discerning” is the same thing as “judging”).
You should leave your children with anyone who said was qualified to be a baby-sitter. You should not bother to check his/her background. Later, you should not be upset if this baby-sitter turned out to be a child-molester, because “thou shalt not judge.”
You should marry anyone that asked. You shouldn’t worry about his/her character or beliefs. What if he beats you up? What if she runs around on you? You shouldn’t get so mad because “thou shalt not judge.”
Hopefully you can see the folly of such silly doctrine by now. The devil has been successful to push the church further and further into a corner, while everyone else comes out of the closet with their sins. Most often, those who tell you “not to judge” them do so because they are either hiding something or want to continue doing it without reaping negative effects for it. In the campuses where we have been, students say that we shouldn’t judge (form an opinion of) fornicators, drunkards, liars, homosexuals, or the like. However, they fail to realize that sin harms them and their neighbors. A caring, loving Christian will judge all situations according to the Word of God and call sinners to repentance.
The church has become intimidated by the opinions of the world as they scream, “You religious bigots, hatemongers, and intolerant people (which are judgments in themselves), do not judge me!” However, God clearly commands us to judge so we won’t be deceived. Why would the command to judge be so vehemently attacked in society? Obviously, if the church stops judging and using our common sense, we will no longer be able to distinguish good from evil, we will buy into the politically correct idea of moral relativism (what’s good for you may not be good for me), and we will bow down to the devil’s wishes to deceive us, our family, and our friends.
Even more disturbing is to see church leadership saying, “do not judge.” Many pastors lead their sheep astray and keep them under their manipulative control by telling them that they have a “critical spirit,” they are “prideful,” or “judgemental,” while all they are trying to do is to discern the truth. If you find yourself in such a church, FLEE for your (spiritual) life!
How Are We to Judge?
1. We are to judge righteously. Jesus commands in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
Judge by the Word of God and Its principles, not by someone’s skin color, whether they are tall or short (inherited physical traits), etc.
2. We are to judge without hypocrisy. “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:3)
Judge yourself first to see if you are guilty of that sin. Live what you preach. Only after you get your life cleaned up by turning from your sins and receiving pardon through repentance and faith in Jesus (i.e. you get saved) you can go and help others to be saved too.
If you are among the crowd that calls for tolerance or you beg for mercy by chanting “judge not” out of it’s God intended Biblical context you are not using sound thinking my friend. Calling for tolerance is impossible because as Christians, we are called to judge righteously, and judging between right and wrong is something we do every single day. This should be part of biblical discernment in every believer’s thinking. But it is God’s Word that makes the judgement on what is moral and what is truth, it is not my opinion or your opinion or our theories.
Is there a clear purpose for judging error in a biblical manor?
The church is to be built on the foundation of Christ and the authority of His Word. Is this a fair statement? I know that there is at least one of you that will disagree with me so I came with help.
Ephesians 2:20, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”
This means that believers should examine their own lives regularly. It is also clear that we should examine the lives of of other Christians in a loving manor.
Galatians 6:1 is helpful here:
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
We are indeed called to challenge Christian brothers and sisters who are in error or commit sin.
To do this, believers must be bold for Christ, but they also have to be humble, loving, and kind. I would encourage you to keep these things in mind as you strive daily to maintain unity in the truth of Christ (John 17:20–26).
One final thought. It would seem that everything time I publish a new article it is met with harsh criticism. Where men will create straw man arguments. Meaning, You misrepresented someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.
I will ALWAYS support what I am stating with scripture. I am human and I may not hit this goal 100%.
The scariest thing is the Bible says that men will call evil good and good evil.
“20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
Be careful my friend. Judge others with love and meekness. Be prepared to be judge by the same standard you have judged others.
What’s interesting is in Matthew 7:1…the most quoted and the most misquoted verse in the Bible whereby these tolerance seekers and mercy seekers hang their entire theory on…this same chapter is where we get the Fruits of the Spirit. Doesn’t it take judgment to see the fruit in a person’s life? This same chapter we have Jesus calling people dogs and pigs. Isn’t that judging?
Yes, we do have the right and the authority to judge the behavior of others as long as we honor and obey His Word in doing so. That Jesus is the only one who can judge is speaking to judging whether someone is or is not saved. Neither you nor I nor anyone else who ever draws a breath (except Jesus) has the authority to say whether another has or has not been saved. Only Jesus can make that judgment since only He can give Salvation. Nor may we who discern poor behavior based on His Word think of ourselves as “better than” the one whose behavior we judge as poor.
“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
This is another counterfeiting of the Scriptures many have tried to use to shame us for what we do in his name. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” is not speaking to judging. Let me explain.
Using the KJV, in John 8:1 – 11 scribes and Pharisees had caught a woman in the act of adultery (the woman commonly referred to as the prostitute) and told Jesus who was teaching in the temple that the Mosaic Law required she be stoned to death. Trying to make an opportunity of this to trick Jesus that they might accuse Him, they, with stones in hand, asked Jesus what He says about the Law. After Jesus tried to ignore their repeated questioning, He told them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” One by one each man dropped his stone and walked away.
Jesus was not arguing with the judgment. Nor was Jesus arguing the law nor the woman’s guilt. Jesus was arguing with our right to execute the woman. Once all the men had dropped their stones Jesus confronted the woman and asked her if any of the men were still there to condemn her. When she answered “No man, Lord”, Jesus told her that neither did He – He forgave her of her sin. He did not excuse the sin of adultery/prostitution, he forgave her of it. All behavior and thought that is sinful before forgiveness is still sinful after forgiveness. Not only was Jesus not afraid to call a sin a sin, He was not afraid to call a sinner a sinner. He even reminded her of the sin of adultery/prostitution by telling her “Go and sin no more.”
The point of this as applicable to this article? Jesus did not argue the act of judging the chosen behavior of the adulteress/prostitute.
And, as a FEW examples of His desire for us to judge,
1 Corinthians 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”
Proverbs 3:21,”My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:”
John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
Jeremiah 22:3, “Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.”
Philippines 1:10, “That ye may approve [judge] things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”
Philippians 1:7,“Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all [judge you], because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”