PASSING JUDGEMENT ON OTHERS
Should we, in light of Biblical teaching, ignore those who make it their business to judge others?
Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.
Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.…
Is there any authority from scripture to pass judgement? I have found some use Matthew 20:16-20 as giving them authority to judge.
Matthew 7:. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So every good tree bears good fruits, but the rotten tree bears bad fruits. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruits, nor a bad tree to bear good fruits. 19 Every tree not bearing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire. 20 Then surely by their fruits you will recognize them.
When looking at Jesus words, we find He said ‘do not judge others’ in the same sermon in which He stated, “By their fruits you will know them.” Jesus was teaching the people how to recognize false prophets. Matthew 7 ESV
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
GOD IS OUR JUDGE
We need to know if a person is teaching a false doctrine or prophesying falsely, but we have no business passing judgement on the heart or faith of those around us. God will cut them down eventually. If we presume to do this, we will be in disobedience and Jesus said we will be judged with that same judgement. Now we should speak out against false teaching. We have a standard in the Bible and when it is abused or misused we are given the right to refuse to accept the teaching.
Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and obstacles that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Turn away from them.
1 Timothy 1:3 As I urged you on my departure to Macedonia, you should stay on at Ephesus to instruct certain men not to teach false doctrines 4 or devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculation rather than the stewardship of God’s work, which is by faith.…
We go too far, however, when we judge another person’s heart or question their testimony. That judgement belongs to God who knows the heart.
John 2: 24 But Jesus on His part did not did entrust Himself to them, because of His knowing all men, 25 and because He had no need that anyone should testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.
OUTSIDE VS INSIDE
What then do Christians do concerning those who are outside the body of Christ BUT claim to believe in Christ? What if they claim to believe, but reject the true gospel? Christ and scripture (the only two places described as Truth) tell us there are only two places to be: outside the body of Christ or inside the body (in Christ). We must believe the gospel of Jesus Christ or we are not believers. Christ knows who believes the gospel and who places their faith elsewhere. Only He can judge individual hearts. We cannot. At best we can judge outward appearance. This judgement is His, not ours.
CONDUCT OF OTHERS
The behavior of those not in the body of Christ is not our concern other than we need to pray for them and witness to them. Christ knows His own. We are told to pray for both the brethren and our enemies. The rest is up to Him. We can be sure that if we stay in the word, that if we do not add or subtract from the word, and that if we testify as instructed to do, Christ will be glorified and He will glorify the Father in heaven. All instructions are found within the Bible. We are to stay in the word.
LOOK TO THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE
2 Timothy 4:8 From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me in that day; but not only to me, but also to all those loving His appearing.