Is it a sin to judge other Christians?
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of Darkness, but rather reprove them.” —Ephesians 5:11
Judging that is forbidden in Scripture:
Matthew 7:1-2: “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.”
In this passage Jesus is saying that if you are in a sin of a certain kind, (i.e. gossip) you may not judge or criticize someone else who is a gossip. Read further…
Mathew 7: 3-5: “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.”
Nowhere in this passage is Jesus saying that you must never judge anyone for anything; what He said was that you must not judge if you are not pure yourself.
Romans 1: 28, 32: “And even as they did not like to retain God in theirknowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;” who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Romans 2:1- 3: “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?”
Notice in Romans 2:1 that Paul says the same thing Jesus did in Matthew.
Now we move to another area where we are instructed not to judge. This area is where another Christian may for instance eat pork, or drink wine, or watch TV, or have a tattoo etc. This is judging another person’s heart. We cannot know that person’s heart, only God can know and judge someone’s heart, and He will judge every man according to his own conscience.
Romans 14:3, 4: “Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.”
The Greek word kritikos is translated “judge” here, in all these verses are the same: It conveys the idea of deciding who is worthy and who is unworthy. (We get the words critic and criticize from this word.) It means separating people into categories and sentencing those we deem unworthy.
It is overriding God as judge. It is setting one-self up as judge over others.
This type of judgment is sinful and condemned by God. We cannot decide on the state of someone’s heart without using Scripture as our point of reference (1 Corinthians 6:1-8).
Judging that is which required and acceptable:
Romans 16:17-18: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
1 Corinthians 2:14-15: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them,because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
Proverbs 27:5: “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
Paul wrote, “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say” (1 Corinthians 10:15).
Again, Paul declared, “He that is spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15).
It is our assigned duty to judge:
John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Is it biblically correct to judge when it is needed?
Those who cling to “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” to condemn those who expose error should study what the Scripture actually says. Jesus said,“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing…”(Matthew 7:15).
How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? If we know the false prophets, how can we fail to exam the sheep of these “ravening wolves?”
All throughout the Bible we find that they should be identified and exposed.
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”(John 7:24).
Here our Lord commands that we are to “judge righteous judgment,” which is judgment based upon the Word of God. If judgment is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matthew 7:1.Webster’s Dictionary says that a judge is “one who declares the law. “ The faithful Christian must discern or judge on the basis of God’s inspired law— the Bible.
False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines today because there is a conspiracy of silence among many Bible believers. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many. Anyone who “dares” to point out that they are in error are labeled “Heresy Hunters.”
John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) “a generation of viper.” I wonder what he would have said of our modern day apostate church?
As a contender of the faith he no doubt he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian, a “Heresy Hunter.”
Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).
Too many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God. Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them: “hypocrites, blind guides, blind, whited sepulchres, serpents, ye generation of vipers (Matthew 23:23-34). Yet, we are told today that we are to remain silent and accept men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees.
John 2:13-17: “Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’ Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘zeal for your house has eaten me up.’”
Jesus is presented today as one who was meek, lowly, kind, and loving, all true. However it is only half the truth. When dealing with false teachers and false prophets, His words were sharp and He denounced all opposition to the Scriptures.
The Bible admonishes us to expose error:
We are to TRY them: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4: 1).
All doctrine and teachers are to be tried according to the Word of God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah. 8:20). Every message, messenger, and method is to be judged according to the Word of God.
The Church at Ephesus was commended because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”(Revelation 2:2). The church at Pergamos was rebuked because they tolerated those who held “the doctrine of Balaam,” and “the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Revelation 2:14,15).
It is never right to tolerate false teachers, but they are to be tried by the Word of God, and exposed. Of course those who want to disobey the Word of God will seek by every means to avoid this teaching.
We are to MARK and AVOID them:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them”(Romans 16:17).
Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God are to be marked and avoided. This requires discernment and judgment in the light of the Bible. Those who practice ecumenicalism, new evangelicals and compromising fundamentalists will resist any effort to obey this Scripture.They cannot be marked and avoided unless they are judged according to the Word of God.
We are to REBUKE them:
“Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1: 13).
This was written to Titus, because there were those going from house to house and subverting whole houses with false doctrine (vv10-16). What do you do if you see a bloated tick on your leg? You remove it quickly. The body of Christ has several bloated ticks attached to her and these parasites need to be exposed and removed from “bleeding” the children of the Most High God.
Benny Hinn, Robert Schuller, Mike Murdock, Kenneth Copeland, Jesse du Plantis and others are subverting whole houses with their false doctrines. They are obscenely bloated with ill gotten gain though fraudulent methods and lies. Are we to sit silently by, while they do this, without rebuking and admonishing people to avoid their teaching?
No, the faithful servant of the Lord is to be: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP with them:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
Reprove means to: censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?
We are to WITHDRAW from them:
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God. The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind, for he says, “If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).
Paul admonished Timothy to “withdraw thyself ” from those who “consent not to wholesome words …and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
We are to TURN AWAY from them:
Concerning the last days, he says that some will have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. from such turn away” (1 Timothy 3:5).
“…for such people are “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”(1 Timothy 3:7).
How can we turn away from them if we do not identify them, and this requires that their message be compared to the Word of God. It is the business of the true preacher to: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine “ (2 Timothy 4:2).
This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.
We are not to receive them into our houses:
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2 John 10-11).
There is no doubt about who John is speaking about, it is: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ…” (v 9). By radio, TV, music and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!
We are to reject heretics:
“A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3:10).
We should reject those who deny redemption by the blood of Christ. There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.
We are to look out for those who preach another gospel:
Paul warned about those who preached “another Jesus … another spirit … or another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4).
How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:13).
He explains in verses 14-15, that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan. Paul warned the Galatians about those who “pervert the gospel of Christ.” He also said, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (See Galatians 1:6-9.)
Multitudes today are preaching a perverted Laodicean gospel.
Those who teach salvation by baptism, or by works, are teaching a perverted gospel. Those who preach a salvation that you can lose are preaching a perverted gospel. The Charismatics, Catholics, many evangelicals, and many fundamentalists (?) are preaching a perverted gospel. Yet, we are supposed to cooperate with them in evangelism and Christian work, according to many today. If we fail to expose these false prophets, then we have betrayed Christ and His gospel.
We are to separate from them:
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
This makes it plain. God’s people are to come out of apostasy and religious error. How can any Bible believer remain in the National Council or World Council of Churches? How can they remain among compromising evangelicals and wishy-washy fundamentalists?
To be continued…