On Judging

In The Sermon on the Mount Jesus indeed taught Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5 NKJV

Paul echos and expands upon this type of hypocrisy. Note the danger of, IMO, hell.

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
Romans 2:1-11 NKJV

(As an aside, this promise of God’s wrath for this kind of hypocrisy flies in the face of the Once Saved, Always Saved doctrine, since the book of Romans is clearly written to believers.)

Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Romans 1:6-8 KJV

So is Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged the whole story? In some ways I wish it was. Then I would never have to wonder whether God is prompting me to confront a fellow believer. “Jim, I know I’m not perfect, so I’m not judging. But I have been praying and I am very concerned about …” That’s a tough call, and I have almost never done it. I’m too aware of my own failings, and Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged is easy and comfortable to tell myself.

But Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged is not the whole story. In the same sermon as Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged, indeed recorded in the same chapter, Jesus tells us to use enough judgment to know when we are being lied to.

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

In this passage Jesus teaches us to judge!

57 Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? 58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”
Luke 12:57-59 NKJV

Paul writes that the church itself ought to be able to judge between believers in conflict.

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!
1 Corinthians 6:1-6 NKJV

(Paul continues with Scripture that in my understanding clearly refutes OSAS. 1 Corinthians is addressed to believers, not to the world. Why is this stern warning here if it isn’t real?)

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:7-11 NKJV

I believe the Bible teaches we are to use judgment to help each other overcome sin.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1-2 NKJV

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:12-13 NKJV

24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV

The last two verses of James are especially important. They say a believer can wander from the truth and be turned back, saving the soul from death. In verse 20 the Greek word for death is thanatos, which includes the possibility of hell.

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
James 5:19-20 NKJV

2288 thánatos (derived from 2348 /thnḗskō, “to die”) – physical or spiritual death; (figuratively) separation from the life (salvation) of God forever by dying without first experiencing death to self to receive His gift of salvation.

But using judgment without judging is a very narrow path!

11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
James 4:11-12 NKJV

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:

As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
Romans 14:10-13 NKJV

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged clearly applies to self-righteous hypocrisy, but it is not the answer to all situations. I am still learning about this.

21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
John 7:21-24 NKJV

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 NKJV

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

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