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JUDGING OTHERS

 

 

 
SCRIPTURE

Titus 2:11-15


For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 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. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.


INTRODUCTION

 

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 lead in our 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?

 


 

Luke 6 Verses 36-38


36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

 

From the reading in Luke 6, we are not to say that we have to hold our tongue when there is something that needs to be corrected.   We must do it lovingly, humbly and honestly at the lowest possible level.

 

I will tell you that as a church, as Christians we are to call sin – sin. But sin is an action not a person. And in doing so we are to do it one on one, lovingly and honestly.


Judging one another is Satan’s trick to get Christ’s soldiers to destroy themselves. With what fatal frequency have great guns of the church, which might have battered down the citadel of Satan been misdirected against the Christian brethren!

 

Why We Judge

 

¨      Let me share with you several reasons why we judge others.

 

1.      In my mind, I can make judgments about you and who is to say that I am wrong. I like to judge because it is one area of my life in which I feel I can always be right.

Luke 18:10-12 Two men went up to the temple to pray one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God, I thank you that I am not like other men...

 

  1.  I can make my own conclusions about you and no one can say I am wrong because I am the judge and jury. It all takes place in my mind. No one is going to come along and say I am wrong.

 

B.     I judge because I like the power that judging you gives me.

 

2.      Judging you can make me look better.

Luke 18:10... God, I thank you I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this tax collector.

 

A.     If you look hard enough, you can find someone out there that is worse than you. And I can comfort myself by saying that I am not like them. I am better than they are.


 

B.     There is a sense by which we both love and hate to see our Christian leaders fall.  There is a sense by which I am saddened by it but there is also a sense by which I can say to myself, “I knew that they couldn’t be that good. They could not be that perfect. They are just like me.”

 

3.      I enjoy judging you because I can set the standard by which you will be judged.


Luke 18:12- I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

 

A.     The robber and the adulterer certainly would not be interested in fasting and tithing; the Pharisee could make the case that he is better. In that area, he probably is better but that is not the only area in which to be judged.

 

B.     We don’t like it when people set a certain standard to judge us, but we don’t mind setting our standard to judge them.

 

C.    A lot of people have a problem with God because He has set the standard by which He will judge us. If we know the Son then we have eternal life and if we don’t know the Son then eternal damnation. On the Judgment Day people are going to be saying, “we say we want to be judged by a different standard.” I want to be judged by my attendance at church; or whether I am good or bad; or if I didn’t hurt anybody.

 

¨      I want to share with you four things I must do-- not to have a judgmental attitude.


1. I need to practice giving people the benefit of doubt.


Luke 6, verse 36- Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

A.     When I judge someone else I generally do not cut him or her any slack. God tells me to cut other people some slack. Look with me at verse 34-35.
And if you lend to those from whom you expect payment, what credit is that to you...

 

B.     If you think about it, we are generally hard on the people around us. Families end up in battlegrounds because no one is willing to cut the other any slack. In churches, wars erupt because we say some judgmental comment about another church member.

 

 

C.    I hear all the time churches complain because their preachor who preaches past his time or he does not dress like they think he should. They need to learn to give him some slack. In other areas, he may be much better than they are.



 



 

2.       I need to practice more self-examination.


Luke 6 vs. 37- Do not judge, and you will not be judged.

 

A.     I am reminded of the story about the woman that the people wanted to stone because of adultery. And Jesus told the people, He who is without sin throw the first stone. And it says that the people left and Jesus told the woman go and sin no more. Jesus was directing the people to shift from examine others and to focus their attention on some good self-examination.

 

B.     If I examine myself, I realize that in some areas of my life, I don’t stand sinless. So how can I judge you being guilty myself?  The truth is that I can’t.

 

 

3.      I cannot be judgmental against those who I forgive. Practice forgiveness.

Vs. 37- Forgive and you will be forgiven.

 

A.     When I am practicing forgiveness, it destroys the power of a judgmental attitude. How can I judge you if I have forgiven you? The answer is simply, I can’t.

 

B.     But if I don’t forgive you, I may feel even justified in judging you. After all, you hurt me.

 

4.      Practice being faithful to the things that God has asked me to do in my life.

 

Vs. 38- Give and it will be given to you.

 

A.     If I am doing what God has asked me to do my eyes are on my relationship with Him. If my eyes are on my relationship with him how can they be upon you? The answer is simply that they cannot be on you.

 

B.     When I am judging you, it should be a good indicator that I am not where I need to be with God. My spiritual life has gone amiss.

 

 

Is It Right To Judge?

 

Let’s look at the verses that most people use to say we are not to judge.

 

1.      Let’s read: Matt 7:1-2


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.  (NIV)

 

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.

 

 

2.      We learn more about this in the book of Luke.


Let’s read: Luke 17:1-4


1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.  It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.  So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ’I repent,’ forgive him."  (NIV)


Here Jesus is telling us to rebuke a brother that sins. To determine if that brother did sin, we must make a judgment. We are to judge our brothers’ actions. In the first verses that we read, we were told to encourage our brothers and now we are being told to forgive our brother if he repents. Even if he sins against you seven times in one day and he comes to you for forgiveness, then you are to forgive him each time. We cannot judge someone’s heart, we can only judge someone’s actions or as the Bible says by their fruits. Now if he doesn’t repent, the Bible gives the procedure to follow in that case, but I don’t want to get into that in this sermon, because that isn’t the point of this sermon.

 

3.      Let’s read: 2 Tim 4:1-5


1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-- with great patience and careful instruction.   For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  (NIV)



 


 

Here again we are told to correct, rebuke and encourage with patience and careful instruction. To correct and rebuke, we have to judge a person’s actions.

 

4.      Let’s read: Matt 7:16-23


16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  "Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’  (NIV)


In these verses we are referred to as fruit tress, producing fruit. If we are producing good fruit, then we are doing God’s will in our lives. If we are not producing good fruit then we are out of God’s will. These verses also tell us that not everyone that sits in a pew in a church will enter the kingdom of heaven. There are some that may think that they are saved and are trying to enter into the kingdom by doing good works, but Jesus says that He never knew them. We are saved by grace through faith and not by works. Many may have walked the isle and been baptize by water, but unless they believe with their hearts that Jesus is the one and only Son of God and that He is their Savior and Lord, then they may not be saved. Only you and God know your heart.

 

 

¨      Here are a couple thoughts about criticism, which goes hand in hand with judging others.

 

One of Aesop’s fables tells of an old man and his son bringing a donkey to the market. Passing some people on the way, they hear one remark, “Look at that silly pair—walking when they could be riding comfortably.”


The idea seemed sensible to the old man, so he and the boy mounted the donkey and continued on their way. Soon they passed another group. “Look at that lazy pair,” said a voice, “breaking the back of that poor donkey, tiring him so that no one will buy him.”


The old man slid off, but soon they heard another criticism from a passerby: “What a terrible thing, this old man walking while the boy gets to ride.”


They changed places, but soon heard people whispering, “What a terrible thing, the big strong man riding and making the little boy walk.”


The old man and the boy pondered the situation and finally continued their journey in yet another manner, carrying the donkey on a pole between them.  As they crossed the bridge, the donkey broke loose, fell into the river, and drowned.
Aesop’s moral: You can’t please everyone.

Here’s an alternative moral to the fable: Destructive criticism never helps.

We hear criticism all the time. People criticize their boss, their preacher, and of course, the government. George Burns once said, “Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.”

Criticizing another person will be called into account at the judgement seat of Christ. We should not be wasting our time by criticizing others. If we turn the searchlight within our own hearts, we will find plenty to keep us humble before the Lord without being occupied with other people. We will have enough to do at the judgement seat of Christ answering for our own behavior without worrying about the actions of others.

If you don’t want to be judged by others, then don’t judge others.  If you want heavenly rewards, judge yourself.

 

Don’t JUDGE others – be concerned with what YOU ARE doing. Honestly, you should be so busy simply trying to do what you’re supposed to be doing that you don’t have time to judge. If you have time to bad mouth and judge others then there is probably something that you’re not obeying yourself. Basically that if you are going to point a finger at someone else you had better make sure that there isn’t something in your own life that needs cleaning…

So you should be more concerned with what you ‘re doing than about what someone else isn’t.

 

INVITATION

 

Are you here today and have never confessed that Jesus is Lord? Maybe you have confessed that Jesus is Lord when you were a child, but you have never really believed that God raised him from the dead, then you need to make a commitment tonight.

 

We talked about judging people today, but there will be one that will judge everyone and His judgment will be true and just. Jesus will judge all people, those still alive when He returns and those that have already died. Everyone that has ever lived will be judged. When you accept Christ as your Savior, your name is in the Book of Life. During the judgment, if your name is not found in the Book of Life, then you will spend eternity in a true, physical hell, where you will be tormented for eternity.

 

If you have truly accepted Christ has your Savior, then you will spend eternity in His presence in a very real Heaven. A perfect place, with no pain, no sorrows, and no hurts. A place that is so perfect, that it is hard to even imagine what it will be like. It is your choice, your future.

 

 

 

 

 

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