“Judge Not?”

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We live in a day of unbelievable business marketing strategies. Anything can be sold by most anyone with some success, if a niche market is found and the appropriate marketing strategy is both properly applied and carefully managed. Thus, whenever a “Christian” book starts selling like hotcakes to both church-goers, as well as to those who are avowed unbelievers, I begin to be very concerned. Then, when that same book’s professing evangelical author begins to make the religious and secular talk-show circuit and his book’s sales hit the New York Times best-seller list, I then start to wonder if this popular title can pass the Biblical test. At this point, I usually go secure a copy of such a publication, hoping that for once this newly famous evangelical guru might follow the Bible. 

However, what I am always served by such writers is nothing but fuzzy, subjective, and therapeutic drivel. So, God is dishonored, and the world once again sees Christianity in the wrong light. One such author was interviewed years ago on the Larry King Show and was asked a few questions like: What if you’re a Jew or Muslim and you don’t accept Christ? He answered: You know, I am very careful about saying who would go to heaven, I don’t know where they would go … Then Larry asked the following question: If the Bible teaches that you must believe in Christ to go to heaven, then they’re wrong (i.e. the Jew and Muslim), aren’t they? He answered: Well I don’t know ... only God can judge a person’s heart. Dear friends, is the Bible that misty or nebulous about what is required to receive eternal life (James 4:5; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Romans 10:9-10, et al)? Taking the author’s second answer, there’s no doubt he’s an advocate of the well-known “Judge not” clan within Christendom. That well-known verse is taken right from Matthew 7 (verse 1), and is one of the most abused texts in Scripture today. It reads simply, “Judge not that you be not judged.” This text does not mean that we never make judgements, but rather that our Lord is saying that we must never judge one another with a hard, critical, fault-finding spirit. Further, it denounces the one who is always looking for fault in others with a bad heart-attitude. This is consistent then with what our Lord uttered elsewhere, “Do not judge, according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13). So, my dear brethren, this means, be very careful to always follow God’s Word, and not the imaginations of nice men. Our Lord Jesus said, in Matthew 7:2, “For with the judgment that you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure that you use it will be measured to you.” In conclusion, let us draw near to God, first, by taking heed to our heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our public Worship service, both through our praises and prayers to Him, with God’s people; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria! Happy Reformation Year 500!!

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