Summary: Are we permitted to judge others? In this 6th sermon of the series "Taking Up Your Cross in Today’s World" we will examine what the Bible teaches on this. Bel Aire Baptist Church 2/17/02
Is it Right to Judge?
6th in series of
"Taking Up Your Cross in Today’s World"
The Holy Spirit has been convicting me to preach a sermon on what does it mean to judge and to rebuke. This has been a difficult sermon to prepare, because many may not agree with what I have to say, but I feel it needs to be said. To those whom the gift of discernment has been given by the Holy Spirit, may understand better what I will be trying to get across. There is a lot of evil in today’s world and some of it may even be masquerading as goodness in our churches. We must be able to test the spirits and determine the good from the bad. Thus we must be able to judge the fruits of a person’s works.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13 while we wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
In the passage that we just read we are told to say "No" to all ungodliness and worldly passions. We should not be involved in anything that is sin and evil. Today there are so many groups out there in the world that are trying to convince us that their views are good and best for our nation. There are the pro-abortion groups that tells us that the taking the life of an unborn baby is OK, because it is just a glob of tissue and the woman has a right to do with her body what she wishes. There are the homosexual groups that are trying to convince people that their lifestyle is normal and acceptable and that they should have all the rights of a traditional married couple and even to pastor churches. There are the sex-crazed groups that are telling us that pornography and sex with children is acceptable. There are the cult groups telling us that Islam is a peaceful religion that worships the same God that Christians worships. There are groups telling us that witchcraft is acceptable to teach to our children. There are groups telling us that we Christian are bad because we are intolerant to all of the above groups of people. Jesus was never tolerant to evil or sin. He rebuked the sinful person and if that person repented, then He forgave and encouraged that person.
In the verses that we read, we are told that while we wait for Christ’s return, we are to do what is good, and also teach, encourage and rebuke with all authority. To be able to say "No" to all ungodliness and to rebuke others, we must be able to make judgments on what is good and what is evil. I have been told so many times that we are not to judge, but if we are not allowed to judge then how can we determine the difference between righteousness and sin?
Let’s look at the verses that most people uses to say we are not to judge.
1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4 How can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Are these verses really telling us not to judge anyone? I don’t think so. It is telling us not to form a habit of judging hastily, harshly and without an allowance for circumstances. We are to be just and compassionate in our judgments because in the same way that we judge, God will judge us. We cannot judge or rebuke someone else, if we are involved in the same sin. That is why Jesus said first remove the plank out of your own eye, and then you will be able to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. If we are involved in sin and we rebuke a brother for committing that same sin, then Jesus calls us hypocrites. We are first to be sure that we do not have that sin in our lives, then we can rebuke our brother that is committing that sin. So the above verses are not telling us not to judge, but they are telling us to be sure our lives are right with God and then to rebuke our brother justly and with compassion, encouraging him on turning his life around.