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HERE COMES THE JUDGE) SCRIPTURE - Mt 7:1 - 2, Jo 7:24                                             JUNE, 1998

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

SUBJECT - HERE COMES THE JUDGE

Take a look at the two scriptures above. Compare them to each other. What conclusion do you come up with??? If your conclusion is, that they contradict each other, then I would say you are right, if you are using conventional wisdom. However, if you say that they compliment each other, then you are right, and using the wisdom that comes from knowing God. And, herein lies the problem.

Last month, I dealt with a scripture that is misunderstood widely by saved and unsaved people alike. Well, here is another one to add to that list.

At first glance, they do appear to be contradictory. First we are told, by Jesus, none the less, to not judge. He then goes on to say that, however harshly we judge someone, we shall be judged by that same harshness. That means, that if we go around judging people based on our own whims of morality, then, we shall be judged by that same criteria, by others. It's like that old saying, 'what goes around, comes around.'

First. Let's get a clear understanding of what judging, according to the bible, means.

The word judge, as stated in the dictionary means, 1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises 2: to sit in judgment on: try 3: to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation 4: to form an estimate or evaluation of; esp: to form a negative opinion about <shouldn't ~ him because of his accent> 6: to hold as an opinion: guess, think <I ~ she knew what she was doing> ~ vi 1: to form an opinion 2: to decide as a judge.

Notice, in some of the definitions, it is referring to forming opinions about people or situations, based on a certain criteria, that presents facts, either pro or con, that either support or refute your claims.

Using myself as an example, most of you know my stance on going to bars an such. Well, one day, while driving home, my car broke down, and I had to find a phone. Well, the closest one, happened to be in a bar. So, I went in and asked to use the phone, and they told me where it was. Now, let's say, you happened to be driving by, just as I was going in to the bar, and you said to yourself, 'well, well, well, look at that. That preacher, gives us lectures on staying out of bars, and he's heading in to one. Hypocrite!! Going in there to see them dancers. Wait till I see the guys at work. Man, that is the last time I will ever listen to anything he has to say!!'

What's wrong with this picture?? You were forming an opinion based on what you saw, and that is all. This, my friends, is what Jesus was referring to, when He was addressing the act of judging.

Far too many of us, fall in to this category. We see something, and automatically form an opinion that may be totally erroneous, and while this is not that bad, acting on that opinion, is. We begin to act towards a person differently, based on that opinion, and even cause others to do the same thing, by telling them what we think is the truth. That is where the real problems arise. People have been hurt, and even killed, based on someone else's faulty judgment about them.

A long time ago, there was a movie called 'The Ox Bow Incident" which brought out this fact. It dealt with three men, accused of killing a cattleman, and stealing his cattle. The accusations, came from a man, who claimed to have heard that this man's cattle were stolen, and he was killed. Well a posse went out and happened on these men, while they were resting. The evidence against them, was that they had some of this man's cattle in their herd. After hearing the accusations, they produced a receipt with a signature on it, from the man. But, one of the posse told the others, it was not the man's signature. After that, they lynched all three of them.

After congratulating themselves on their great work, and heading home, they ran in to the sheriff, and told them what they had done. The sheriff, in disbelief, told them they had lynched three innocent men. He said they caught the men who stole the rancher's cattle, and that the man, was not dead, but just wounded. One of the men, the leader of the group, went back to his office, and killed himself.

All of this, based on faulty information. Hearsay, is nothing to judge anybody on. If you do it to someone, it will be done to you, believe me. This is why in courts, judges don't allow hearsay, or in some cases circumstantial evidence to be admitted in to trial. But, out here, we have all of the wrong things going, and people are paying for it.

However, the other scripture, gives us a clearer picture of what Jesus means when He says, Judge righteous judgment.

He is saying, if you are going to judge someone, do it, according to all of the facts. That means, you might have to delay acting on an opinion. You might suspect, but don't act as if you know. If, you had seen me going in to that bar, and formed an opinion about it, the best thing you should have done, is stop, get out of your car, and come in to the bar, to see what I was doing, and then go tell it, if that is what I was doing. That way, you have the right, to tell what I was doing, and there would be nothing that I could say.

Now, righteous judgment, also, carries with it, the idea of forming opinions about someone, based, not on man's opinions, which change day by day, but on God's, which never change. This is what Christians need to be doing.

God, has no problems with us judging individuals, based on certain facts. After all, He set up the office of judge, back in the old testament, and gave the criteria for how to judge, and execute punishment.

The problem we have, is that we either go to one side, or the other. There are some of us, that refuse to be on juries, because we say that it is wrong to judge someone. Where would we be, if everyone took that attitude??? Criminals would be running the streets, and there would be no way to stop them. Police might arrest them, and they might go to court, but, there would be no one to determine their guilt or innocence. After all, there would be no judges.

Let me ask you parents this. If you saw a young person, standing on the corner, running up to cars, and handing things to the people inside, and getting money for it, would you let your kids go around with this person??? Or how about letting them go to a house, where cars are stopping by, all hours of the day and night??? I wouldn't, and I hope you wouldn't either. Why?? Because these have all the appearances of drug dealers. Now, until you learn different, you have to tell your kid(s), who they can, and can't play with.

Everyday, we have to judge people and situations, to protect ourselves and families. So judging, is not the problem. In fact, in one scripture, Jesus says, [Jo 13:35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. He is saying that people will know who they are, by what they are doing. This means judging them.

Well, let's look at what the bible says about sin, and its consequences. [Rev 21:8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. [Ga 5:19-21] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. [Jo 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.

Look at all of the underlined portions of the above scriptures. Each refers to persons that are, or are not doing something, that will cause them to go to hell. Therefore, if you are a fornicator (having sex, and you are not married to the one you are having it with) you, are a fornicator, and are going to hell, if you don't repent. What if you are unsaved?? You are going to hell. No question about it. What if you are an alcoholic?? The same thing. You are a drunkard, and are going to hell. Just because man changed the name, and called it a disease, doesn't matter.

When I tell you, you are going to hell, I am not judging you. You have already been judged and found guilty, by God, I am merely reading, or rather, quoting the sentence to you.

If you have ever been in a jury trial, you know, that the jury determines a person's guilt or innocence. Some times, the jury foreman reads the verdict. Other times, a court officer, will get the note from the jury, and read the verdict. And some times the judge gets the note, and reads the verdict. Well, it's the same way with God, and His people. God has judged us, and found us guilty. I am just a representative of God's, delivering the verdict to you.

Now that you have a clear understanding about it, what do you intend to do??? Ignore the warning, and tell me not to judge you??? Or, if you fit in one of those categories mentioned earlier, in the underlined scriptures, are you going to repent, and get right? That's the beautiful thing about this Judge [God]. All you have to do, is repent, and get saved, and you will have your sentence thrown out. For He says, [1Jo 1:9-10] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

This message is entitled the way it is, because it is true, the Judge is coming. He is coming to receive His own unto Himself. After that, punishment will be inflicted on all of those that have rejected Him and His Word. Will you be one of those that are called away before this time comes, or will you be left here, to experience things so terrible, that they make what's happening today, in the world, seem like a Sunday school picnic? Maybe death will claim you before this happens, and you think you will escape. You are wrong. When you draw your last breath, you will be judged then [He 9:27] And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:, and either be with Jesus, [2Co 5:8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord., or cast in to hell.

Unlike what a lot of people think, there is no place of purgatory. No place to go, where you will have a chance to get it right. No coming back in another form, to start all over again. No just plain ending, where nothing happens. No, my friend, if you don't get it right before either one of the two events mentioned above occurs, you are in for hell, literally. And if that isn't bad enough, the bible says, [Rev 20:14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. That's right, hell, the place where you are going, will itself, be cast in to the lake of fire and brimstone. That means what you are going through in hell, will be nothing like what happens when you end up in the lake. Is that where you want to end up?? The choice is yours.

All you have to do, is ask God to forgive you, and receive Jesus as your Lord and saviour. If you are already saved, and have doubts about judging people, I hope this message clarifies the fact that judging, when done according to God's way, is something you should be doing. In fact, you should be doing it, to help render a fairer verdict, in cases of being on a jury. Too many times, juries, are made up of people who act strictly on emotion, or even racial criteria, and innocent people have been sent to jail, and criminals have been set loose, because of it. Don't be afraid to judge any person, only do it, as Jesus says, righteously.
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