By Grant Phillips
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” (Luke 6:37)
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)
When society is neck deep in sin and a Christian says, “This isn’t right,” the first thing you hear from someone is, “Judge not.” One homosexual sympathizer stated the other day on a social media site, “The Bible says we are supposed to be accepting of others and understanding.”
I have heard this tripe so much it wearies me. The world loves to take the verses above out of context and use them for their defense, and totally ignore everything else. The part that really wearies me though is when I hear this from those who claim to be a Christian while defending sins that are so blatant only an idiot could miss it.
When reading Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” has anyone taken the time to read the other verses that go along with it? Matthew 7:1 is referring to judging others with a hypocritical self-righteous attitude (read verses 2-5). In order to fulfill the commandments that follow throughout the remainder of the chapter one has to be able to judge what is holy, who are dogs, what are pearls, and who are swine.
In the sixteenth verse we read, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Then in verses seventeen through twenty Jesus speaks of good trees, bad trees, good fruit, and bad fruit. Don’t you think there might be some “judging” going on here? Of course there is. Notice verse twenty: “Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.”
It’s very clear to me that a Christian, when “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is able to identify good trees from bad trees and good fruit from bad fruit. In other words, I think we can accurately identify what is sin and what is not from God’s Word.
Let take a look at the third verse above. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) I like how John MacArthur states this: “While Jesus forbade harsh, censorious judgment that self-righteous legalism promotes (Matt. 7:1), He demanded the exercise of moral and theological discernment.”
If Christians can’t make a judgment call of what is right and wrong and who is right or wrong, we are no better off than a leaf being blown around in a strong wind. This is exactly where our society is today. Nothing is wrong and nothing is right. It’s just whatever you think is okay. However, the Bible doesn’t see it that way.
Someone may think the Bible is just an old outdated story book, but in reality the Bible is the very Word of Almighty God, and what is contained therein is Truth.
The world wants no absolutes, but the Bible is absolute in everything it says. If it says that something is a sin, the discussion is over. That’s it. It’s a sin. Period.
In the following verse Jesus told his disciples to judge people based on the reception they received.
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” (Mark 6:11)
If the word of the disciples was rejected, the people were condemned because of judgment that was pronounced against them by shaking the dust from under their feet. Whole cities were judged for refusing to hear the Truth.
The Apostle John judged those who forsook the Truth. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19)
In this passage, he was basically saying that these people claimed to be Christians, but they were not, because they turned their back from the Truth.
I wonder how many today are claiming to be Christians but are not, and the proof is in the fact that they have turned their back from the Truth. This is something we need to get serious about. If we think we are a Christian, but we walk hand in hand with what the world is saying today, we have a serious problem. This is a problem that could have eternal consequences, and needs to be dealt with immediately.
We are now living in a society that is calling down judgment upon its own head because of sin. It says “Judge not,” yet it is bringing down judgment upon us all as a nation. Our minds are so twisted and our souls so black, I am convinced that we have gone past the point of no return. The following verse is a snapshot of our darkened souls.
“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! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21)
Jesus makes it even clearer.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21)
This is exactly why we refuse to acknowledge our sins before God. We love the darkness and hate the light. When someone says that murdering babies is a sin, the world screams with anger. When someone says that homosexuality is a sin, the world wants to kills us. And these are only two of our blasphemies against God!
Our President, Congress, Supreme Court and lesser rulers in this country (with some exceptions) are corrupt to the bone. Many of our business leaders are corrupt. Most of Hollywood reeks. The sports world is eaten up with greed and corruption. And then there’s the religious crowd. Jesus said.
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16)
America’s churches (not to mention others around the world) make Jesus, God in the flesh, want to throw up. It is very difficult today to find a local church that rightly handles the Word of Truth.
The Apostle Peter said, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)
Folks, if we don’t start making some judgment calls based on God’s Word and stand tall for the Truth, judgment is coming. We can spout off about “Judge not” all we want, but our sins are still sins and judgment is still coming. We may pollute the Gospel by saying that we are to be understanding and sympathize with sin, but that is nothing but another lie from Satan’s repertoire.
Again, Matthew 7:20 states, “Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” That is judging. We had better be judging, or we will be judged.
Many times when I was young I picked apples from apple trees. I learned very quickly which ones were ripe, which were spoiling, and which were just rotten. I knew which to accept and which to reject. That’s called judging. Let us become fruit pickers, not self-righteously but morally and theologically.