When Christ said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” Matthew 7:1, was He forbidding us to judge anyone at all who is in error?
He was giving us guidelines as to how we are to be discerning and not merely judgmental, particularly with regard to whether or not we or others are saved or lost. The standard that the Lord gave is “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)
He was telling us we must use a proper standard of judgment and not our own sinful standard, such as “I think”, or “Mom or Dad said”, or “the preacher said”. The ONLY standard of saved and lost is God’s revealed testimony in the Gospel. According to THE GOSPEL of God, only those are saved whom God the Father has chosen; and that God the Son has redeemed and the merits of His death imputed to them at the cross as their only righteousness; and whom the Spirit of God has made alive and converted to Christ in true repentance, 1 Peter 1:2.
You are no doubt judging what I have written at this very moment, or at least you should judge it based on God’s written testimony in the Scripture - “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test, examine, or judge) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” (1 John 4:1).
This is as much a commandment of our God as “thou shalt not kill or thou shalt not steal”. He commands us to judge lost and saved according to the standard of God’s Gospel and not according to outward appearance - “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” (John 7:24).
More than any other generation in history, our generation make their judgments of lost and saved based on outward character and conduct, i.e., based on morality, reformation, sincerity, or religious zeal. They are the first ones to tell you that “we shouldn’t judge whether someone is saved or lost because we can’t know their heart.”
What a PARADOX!
They rip Christ’s words out of their proper context, “Judge not, that you be not judged” and yet judge based on a standard of their own.
The Apostles all made judgment concerning their hearers’ state before God - (See Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:8-9; Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1-3; 2 John 1:1 - “The elect lady”.)
They made their judgments of saved and lost based on THE DOCTRINE of Christ - 2 Thessalonians 2:10 - “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” It’s not enough to say you believe the truth.
DO YOU LOVE IT?
We are bound by love to God and our love to all men to judge whether we or they are saved or lost based on God’s testimony, and to declare the Gospel of Christ and His imputed righteousness alone as the only ground of salvation, in hope that God will be pleased to open their hearts to the truth. God help us to willingly “Judge righteous judgments”.
By Richard Warmack