When I was a boy, I remember seeing people hold signs at baseball games that said John 3:16 on them. Years ago, that was the most well known verse in America. It has been replaced. Can you guess what has become the most popular verse in America? You probably can. “Judge not,” which comes from Matthew 7:1.
It was not until God saved me, removing the veil from my eyes, that I began to see the truth. I used to look at abortion as a woman’s right and homosexuality as something people could not help; all religions were the same and no one had any business saying otherwise. I thought murderers and rapists were bad, but my sin was OK because God knew my heart. God’s word began to show me otherwise. I realized that God did know my heart, and that inside of it was all kinds of evil. When I surrendered to Christ, he took care of that wicked heart of mine. I then fell in love with the Word of God, and began reading it daily. Therefore, I began to understand that I was called to make judgments; and my eyes had been opened to my responsibility to preach the Word of God to a lost and dying world.
Though these things began to become clear to me, I still struggled with what the Bible said about judging. Should we, or should we not judge? That was the question with which I struggled. I wonder if you have struggled with this as well. Have you ever wondered what the Bible really says about judging? It seems clear that Matthew 7:1 teaches not to judge, but then Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2:15, said that a spiritual man judges all things. What’s the deal with that?! Were Paul and Jesus teaching two different things?
Let us now read Matthew 7:1-5, where we will see that Jesus laid down the parameters for judging.
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.
Main idea of the text: God has called you to judge, but you had better remember that He is the judge. Not you. You are only relaying His message in order to help your brother.
Let’s say that I am ministering at an abortion clinic. A woman is walking into the clinic with the intention of doing away with her unwanted pregnancy. In other words, she intends to murder her unborn child. So, I say, “Please ma’am! Don’t do this! You will regret it for the rest of your life. Come talk with me. I’m here to help. This child has done nothing deserving death. Please. This is murder...” In this case, a majority of Americans might pull me aside and say, “Hey man! Who are you to judge?”
Now, in this case of the woman paying a doctor to put her unborn child to death, many would say it’s “a woman’s right.”
I have a responsibility to speak the truth in love. I know that I will have to answer, not only for the things I do, but also for the things I do not do. I am not the judge, but I must declare what the Judge has already said.
My prayer is that God would cut all of us to the heart. I doubt that anyone who has read this today, can say that they have always made right judgments. May God put His finger on the specific sins in all of us. And may the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s conviction be the response of His people, leading to the wonderful gift of repentance and restoration. May God restore the truth about judging in His church. May it start here and now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
David Nowak is a resident of Weatherford.