Scripture Reference: Romans 6:23
We’ve been talking the last couple messages about how judgmental we can be as Christians, and one of the main reasons I believe we do that is because we forget what we were like before we became whosoever’s who called upon the Lord for salvation. It’s easy to look at other’s when you don’t look in the mirror. If you don’t take time to reflect upon what God did in your life, and what He brought YOU out of…then it’s easy to look at someone else’s life in judgment. However, if we look in the mirror, and look back over our own shoulder it’s not too hard to see that we have absolutely no right to pass judgment upon anyone else’s lives.
So, let’s get back into this series, and see what the Holy Ghost would have to say to us today…Amen!?!
Today’s Message: “All of us are subject to God’s just condemnation.”
You know, I really have been taking stock of how I look at other people’s lives since I began doing this series because I have seen how judgmental I can be, and I have also been scolded by the Holy Ghost because He’s had to remind me that passing judgment isn’t my job. Whether as a Christian or a pastor…it’s not my job to judge your life…it’s my job to work out my own relationship with God…and when I look at your life in judgment…I am being disobedient…and therefore I have to make sure that my eyes are upon my own life…and not yours.
Let’s think for a moment about this statement:
“All of us are subject to God’s just condemnation.”
Does anyone else feel a little more conviction about trying to do God’s job? It’s the job of the Holy Ghost to convict people of what they’re doing in their lives that’s displeasing to God, but we think we need to help the Holy Ghost out…don’t we. We act like maybe God doesn’t know what so and so is doing, and therefore it’s our duty as “loving Christians” to speak the truth in love to our fellow Christian who is doing something that he or she ought to not be doing. Friends, there’s nothing loving about heaping condemnation upon someone, and let’s be clear…we’re not trying to convict them because it’s not our job to convict the world of sin or their need for Jesus. The Bible is clear that is the ministry of the Holy Ghost…not us.
I know, you’re going to try to tell me that the Lord speaks to you about so and so, and therefore that gives you the right to judge them or bring what the Lord is supposedly speaking to you about that person to them so they can deal with it. That, my friends, is a lie. I am a pastor, I know how the Lord works and speaks, and I can honestly tell you that the Lord has never gossiped to me about what a certain so and so is doing. Do you know why? Because it’s none of my business. He may put someone on my heart to pray for, but He has never ever told me anything about something someone else is doing for the purpose of me to point it out to them. He doesn’t even tell me what the reason is I need to pray…often He’ll just put someone on my heart, and I have no idea what for…but I know it’s because He wants me to pray for them.
Listen, you’re not ever going to convince me that God speaks to you about Bob’s life. He speaks to you about YOUR life. If He does speak to you about Bob’s life…it’s not so you can confront him, but it’s because God wants to confront something that Bob does that YOU do or shouldn’t do. He’s never…ever told me to go up to a certain so and so and tell them to stop doing what they’re doing because it’s disgusting and not very Christian of them to do whatever it is they’re doing. Instead, God will show me something Bob is doing, and then He will tell me the important part…I don’t want you doing that. That’s the extent of what God speaks to me about you…because usually it has something to do with what He want to remove in me.
We have all belittled the glory of God. How? By preferring other things above him. By our ingratitude, distrust and disobedience. So God is just in shutting us out from the enjoyment of his glory forever. “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
I don’t know about you, but when I read that…I’m again really made to understand that I have enough to work out in my own life with fear and trembling that I really don’t have the right, the time, or the ability to tell you what you need to work out in yours. Can you honestly read that we belittle the glory of God, and then tell me that you’re right to judge Bob or Susie’s life? Get real, friends. God hasn’t given any of us the duty of judging one another because that’s not our job…that position isn’t open and He’s not hiring for judges. Do you know why? That job belongs exclusively to HIM. Period. There’s no discussion on this fact, and it’s not open for debate. If you’re standing in judgment over people and their lives, the way they worship, the way they came to know Jesus, or the fact that they still do things that make them look like they’re not Christians…then you need to repent yourself and ask God to forgive you for being so prideful…and for dishonoring God by thinking you are qualified to judge that person’s life or lifestyle.
Listen, I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating. God is the only One Who knows the lives of every one of us that walk the face of this earth right now. He knows the beginning, He knows the middle, He knows the end, and He knows every thing. He knows what you’re doing right now. He knows that you’re rolling your eyes right now because there’s another pastor telling you that you have no right to be so judgmental because that job isn’t open…it’s already filled by the King of kings and Lord of lords, and you’re just as guilty and in need of repentance as that homosexual that you’re judging.
The word “hell” is used in the New Testament fourteen times, twelve times by Jesus himself. It is not a myth created by dismal and angry preachers. It is a solemn warning from the Son of God who died to deliver sinners from its curse. We ignore it at great risk.
I know that we are all sad about the enormous amount of people who are on their way to hell, and I know because of that sadness we want to point out what they’re doing. I know that we think we’re doing them a favor by pointing out what they’re doing or not doing, and how they are going to go to hell if they don’t stop. Which brings me to my next point, and it’s always in context of the thief on the Cross that had the sense to call Jesus Lord before they died.
My favorite story in all the Bible is actually the short, but very important encounter this thief had with Jesus. Friends, the thief on the cross next to Jesus didn’t have time to clean up his life, he didn’t have time to get down off the cross, make amends for what he did, get baptized, and then get back up on the cross, and we know this because as soon as the encounter was over…death had come.
The reason I love this encounter so much is because it should serve as a slap in the face of all of us who think we’re so much better than the sinner. We’re no better than anyone because we all must do the same thing in order to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior…and therefore also receive the assurance of eternal life.
You know, if Jesus was like us, can you imagine how that conversation would’ve gone? I can. The thief would’ve said what he did. “Lord, remember me when you enter into thy Kingdom.”, and if Jesus were like we are He probably would’ve said something like this. “You stole from so many people. If you want to enter into My Kingdom, then you need to make restitution to every one you stole from, and then you need to clean up your life, get baptized, and prove to me those things are done…and then I will think about allowing you to enter into My Kingdom.”
But Jesus didn’t say anything like that at all did He? Jesus said. “Most assuredly, I say to you this day you will be with Me in Paradise.” Friends, I don’t know about you, but when I get to Heaven…I expect to see that thief there to great me just like Paul, Peter, Abraham, King David, and everyone else who died with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Hell is a very real place, but that doesn’t give us permission to judge people who are headed there, and it also doesn’t give us the right to judge our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. I can’t say this enough, but I guess I have to. It’s not our job. The Bible told us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. It doesn’t say anything about making sure that Bob or Susie are working out their salvation, and it doesn’t say that we’re to work out their salvation for them. Our job is to pray for them, encourage them, and try to help them to know what the Word of God has to say about their lives. It’s God’s job to take care of cleaning up the inside of their lives, their hearts, and their minds…not yours or mine.
If the Bible stopped here in its analysis of the human condition, we would be doomed to a hopeless future. However, this is not where it stops…
All of us need to remember that the wages of our own lives both before and after we became Christians is death. I don’t know about anyone else, but even after I became a child of God I have missed God frequently. I make mistakes. I sin. I fall short of God’s glory on a regular basis. I deserve the wages of death even now, but because of God’s grace, mercy, love, and the blood of Jesus…I am redeemed, I am saved, I am sanctified, I am washed, and I am not going to receive what I deserve, but what Jesus died and rose again to give me.
Because I haven’t forgotten where I came from before I came to know Jesus. Because I know that still today, my life is deserving of death…that keeps me from pointing a judgmental finger at your life because of what you’re doing that’s worthy of death. It keeps my focus squarely upon my own life, and that means I’m not standing in judgment of yours. Why? Because I deserve the same penalty and punishment for my own life…and therefore I need to keep that in the foremost part of my mind…and when I’m tempted to judge your life…God is quick to remind me of how easily you could judge mine…and furthermore…He reminds me of just how I am worthy of death and judgment myself.
Friends, let’s take more time to look inward, and realize that we’re just as deserving of the punishment that person we’re judging is. After all, it’s not our job, and the position isn’t open. It belongs to God…and God alone. Amen!?!
In this series, we’re supposed to be talking about the quest for joy, but it’s turned into a series about how judgmental we are…and it’s been a series rebuking us for being so judgmental. I had no idea this series was going to take the turn it has, but that’s why I rely upon the Holy Ghost for the content of these messages. I would rather write about how this relates to us finding joy, but I have yet to get passed the judgmental topic. I’m not going to apologize…I’m thrilled that God is speaking this through me, and as long as He wants to talk about this…this is exactly what we’re going to talk about.
So, I hope you’re enjoying this series, and I will post another message tomorrow…as we work to wrap up this series within the next day or so.
Blessings & Grace to you.
Pastor Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:24)