Judge Not that ye be not Judged?

 

Matthew 7:1-2 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.

 

This passage has probably been more misused and misunderstood by Liberals and Christians alike than any other passage in the Bible, other than the so-called “Lord’s prayer.”  Many Christians misunderstand this passage because they take it completely out of context.  They believe that this passage teaches that we should not judge other people.  In many cases it is not their fault that they believe so; they have been TAUGHT wrongly.  Pastors, teachers, and even friends have explained it erroneously.  Or, they have read it in a corrupted bible that has been passed off to be God’s word, when it is not.

 

They are not alone in their error. If the world doesn’t know anything at all about the Bible, it certainly know this passage.  This is testament to the fact that it is one of Satan’s favorite passages, along with Acts 2:38. He has used these passages to “trip up” thousands upon thousands of Christians.

 

By constant repetition of the passage, False teachers have intimidated Christians into not speaking out against anything or anybody doing wickedly.  These same false teachers have even gone so far as to use these verses to teach that you can’t tell whether anyone is saved or not.  That way you have no business dealing with them personally about their soul’s salvation.  Now that’s pretty bad!  That’s not the only result of their false teaching though; they use these verses to teach Christians they must be tolerant of others beliefs and accept all forms of sin, especially if it can fall into any “lifestyle” category.  But, nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Christians are commanded by God to: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”(John 7:24). Christians are commanded to judge things and people, but when they do, they are commanded to judge “righteous judgment.”  I know this may be a shock to you, especially if you have been taught otherwise, but just open the Bible and read it.  If you are of the world, then this just goes to show how ignorant you are of Christianity; probably because your only exposure to it has been the news media.

 

The vital command in Matthew 7:1 to “Judge not” has to be reconciled with:

 

  • “He that is spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Cor. 2:15),
  • “Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Luke 12:57),
  • “We shall judge angels” (1 Cor. 6:3).

 

Of course, if you are a Bible reader and believer you know the Liberal overlooks these texts.  Every time that someone uses “Judge not that ye be not judged” to try to make you feel “un-Christian” about not tolerating their sin, in your mind you know they are just ignorant.  Or, like the Devil, they are using bits and pieces of God’s word to justify themselves.

 

At times you will hear from the uninformed Christian that this passage in Matthew concerns judging wether someone is going to hell or not.  There is no mention of “Hell,” in the passage at all.  Think for a moment!  If the issue is judging a man to be lost, no one has to judge that, for the man is already judged and condemned.  Consider the following verses:

 

  • 1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
  • John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

This “righteous judgment” has something to do with the way we suffer for Christ in this life, and for the rewards we will receive in the Kingdom.  2 Thessalonians 1:5 says: “Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:”  It means to judge in a manner that keeps man’s relationship with God right.  Therefore, A Christian who is tolerant of sin when exposed to it, is affecting their relationship with Christ.

 

A Christians motive for judging should never be based on what judgment will be placed on him/her later along life’s pathway.  The correct motive for judging should always be based on how to please God and NOT how to please self or how to be tolerant of sin.  If a Christians motive and focus is truly on how to please God, then the Christian will naturally be doing right by others as would expected.

 

Here are some examples of misguided judgment as a result of not interpreting Matthew 7:1-6 properly:

 

  • I should not tell anyone about Jesus because I don’t want them to tell me about their religion.
  • I should not condemn sin because I don’t want anyone to condemn my sin.
  • What goes around comes around.
  • If I do good to others then others will do good to me.
  • I’ll give money to the church so that God will give money to me, (maybe I’ll win the lottery).
  • I’ll help someone, (be their friend), so that in the future they can help me.

 

On the other hand, a Christian does not have some special “duty” to seek out people to judge.  What other people do is their business.  But if the things they are doing somehow affect a Christian so that the Christian has to make a decision or judgment, then the Christian is to judge righteously in a manner that will be pleasing to God, regardless of how it will affect self or others.  Some Christians feel that they have a free license to stick their nose into other people’s business because the Bible teaches them that they are to judge the righteous judgment.  This is not true and they are confused because they neglect to realize that God told them what kind of judgment they are to judge by;  They are to judge a “righteous” judgment.  This is the judgment that pleases God.  It does not please God when Christians go around looking for something to judge, but when a Christian is faced with a judgment to make and judges righteously so as to please God it does this very thing: pleases God!

 

Why then does Jesus mention this matter of judgment?

 

Because He is speaking to them about how things will be in the kingdom of heaven (or, the Millinium).  During that dispensation (time period), the judgment that He will impart to a person will be based on how they judged other people.  Therefore, He encourages them to make sure that their own relationship and life is right before they make any decisions or judgment upon others.  He teaches them to examine themselves first before they make any decisions so that they won’t be hypocrite’s.  He encourages them to do right, but their motive for doing right is concerning obedience to their Jewish king, otherwise they will suffer the consequences and be judged in the same manner that they judged others.  So, the rule for judgment in Matthew is a general rule concerning rules of conduct between Jewish saints, with a direct reference to the Kingdom-age.

 

For the Christian, the judgment that God imparts to us is primarily our acceptance of His Son: Jesus Christ.  We are encouraged to: judging righteously and consider our relationship with God and what pleases Him.  Therefore, our motive for judgment is not so much one of obedience, but of love; a love that expresses thankfulness to God for the grace that we received from Him.  The Christian does not judge in order to receive something or to give something.  The Christian judges righteously in order to demonstrate his love toward God so that God will be pleased.

 

Unlike the idea of those who say, “Christians should not to preach against anything or anyone, and be tolerant of everything,” Christians are to  judge and discern.  The Bible clearly teaches that Christians should:

 

  1. Judge things in their own life and the lives of others

 

  • 1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
  • 1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
  • 1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
  • 1 Corinthians 6:2 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?
  • 1 Corinthians 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

 

  1. Not judge a brother as unsaved if that brother disagrees with him on MINOR doctrinal points of practice.

 

  • Romans 14:1-10 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
  • Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

 

  1. Not judge anything hastily, when not required, unmercifully or from an unscriptural standpoint.
  2. Identify and avoid preachers and teachers who do not believe the word of God, or who profess to believe it but, practically, deny it by their preaching and teaching.

 

  • Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
  • Philippians 3:18-19 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
  • Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

  1. Judge the “fruit” quickly and accurately by the standard of absolute truth.

 

  • John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 

The Liberal teaching that we are not to judge whether or not a doctrine is true is nothing but a Satanic snare for those who are too lazy to “search the scriptures.”  The problem is that it works in many cases.  Christians buy the world’s teaching over the Bible all too often.  This is why they stick with this tactic.  This is why apostate “Christians” are given a hearing over Bible believing Christians any day, but when one person crosses a Bible believer and begins to hear the truth’s of God’s word, they are refreshed and curious.  The Devil just has to get Bible believers to keep quiet.

 

Practical Lessons

 

There are a lot of practical things however, that we can learn from this passage of Scripture to help us Christians.  It is good for us to consider ourselves before making a judgment of righteousness so that we can identify with a person.  If we do so we will often see an avenue for dispensing mercy.  “Mercy” is when a person does not receive something that they rightly deserve.  “Grace” is when a person receives something that they do not rightly deserve.  If a Christian considers and examines his own life first he will certainly be reminded that he has received not only mercy from God but grace also.  This can only influence the Christian to judge righteously in a manner that God would judge using mercy and grace rightly.  Otherwise the Christian runs the danger of judging in a corrupt manner that would please self or some other man.  It is also very practical for the Christian to remember that he too is a sinner and that he deserves the harsh judgment of God for his sin, and if he judges the sin of others without remembering this he is a hypocrite.  When the Christian acts in a hypocritical manner it does nothing more than to push people away from Jesus Christ.

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