“Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned with the measure you use to deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.” Matthew 7: 1-2 AMP
“But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No} you must not so much as eat with such a person. What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]? God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside.” I Corinthians 5: 11-13 AMP
I see two sides of the coin of judgment. First, if you judge, criticize and condemn others you are going to get the same in return. There is a law in the Kingdom of God called, “The law of Sowing and Reaping.” What you give out will come back to you. Secondly, according to the Apostle Paul, you must discern and judge what you are seeing and hearing so that you will not be deceived.
Scripture tells us that in the last days there will be great deception, to the point that even the very elect of God will be tempted to believe the deception. Matthew 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonder; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Are the above scriptures the end of this matter of judging and discerning? By no means. There is much that the Word of God has to say about this subject. My purpose in bringing the subject to this venue is this: To warn whoever reads this that deception has been unleashed in greater measure, and Christian people are to be warned that they might be aware and beware as well.
I am a Watchman and therefore I am accountable for what I see. According to the Word of God, I must be watching for the approach of the enemy of the Kingdom and I must warn when I see him coming. I see him coming!
James 4:11-12 (AMP) tells us, “[My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law and judging the Law, But if you judge the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but a censor and judge [of it} One only is the Lawgiver and Judge Who is able to save and to destroy [the One Who has the absolute power of life and death]. [But you] who are you that [you presume to] pass judgment on your neighbor?”
Since Life and Death are in the power of the tongue, (Proverbs 18:21 AMP) and “they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]” and since Matthew 12:36-37 (AMP) says that “men will give an account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.”, and since these words are true, then it would be well for each of us to be very careful what we have to say. Words do matter.
Having said all of that and having pointed you to the scripture regarding the subject of judgment, criticism and condemning others I want to bring forth something that I have seen so that you can discern for yourself whether these things be of God or not.
Very recently, a major Christian “Star”, took a stand with and for uniting with another professed Christian whose beliefs differ starkly in contrast to his own and to the Scripture. Paul declared: “What harmony can there be between Christ and a wicked, worthless person? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” II Corinthians 6:15 (AMP)
When we hear of situations like the above, we must discern not judge if this be of God or not. Discernment is done not by emotion or affection for a person or ministry, nor does it fall into the category of rationalization, rather, it is your human spirit led by the Holy Spirit that will discern if this is the work of God, the work of man, or even possibly the work of the enemy of God.
Another major incident has occurred. This one is very controversial and being batted about on many venues. The lead player of a very famous rock music group declared that he is now a believer in Jesus, having been freed from his sinful lifestyle, it was killing him; it killed the mother of his child and he realized was setting a bad example for the child.
The problem that some have with this scenario is that he believes he heard from Jesus that he should go back into the rock world and bring the band and the people who attend their concerts the gospel, and then when this is done they are to sing the same old songs about sin.
It has been pointed out that before the concert the band, who are now all “saved”, go into the crowd and lead the people to Jesus and people are also getting healed physically. Are these conversions genuine? Are these healings genuine? God knows.
I suggest that you might want to read II Thessalonians 7-12, it is too long to put here. The jist of the passage is that deception is at work in the world and to prevent being deceived you must have a love of the truth. (verse 10)
The kingdom of the enemy will be active against the Kingdom of God until Jesus comes, there will be miracles and signs and wonders done by people who belong to the kingdom of darkness, the Word of God says there will. Darkness and Light, two kingdoms competing for the souls of men.
Jesus warned, “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or lo, he is there; believe him not.” Mark 13:21 “Then” in this passage refers to the time at the end of the age when false Christs and false prophets will be sent, by the enemy of God and His Kingdom, into the world to deceive; with the purpose of taking as many as possible to eternal damnation.
In past years I have heard from various sources that a great harvest of souls will come into the Kingdom of God just prior to the removal of the Bride of Christ. I have heard that this time will not be like it has been in the years past and that the church must be ready to receive those who are not at the same place “we” are.
Is there any doubt that we are close to the end of the age? Is there any doubt that it is getting darker as each day goes by in the kingdoms of this world? Is there any doubt that God is moving in power upon people and sometimes quite sovreignly through visions and dreams to bring them into His Kingdom? I don’t think so. It is widely reported that God is healing unbelievers as well. I believe to get their attention and bring them into the Kingdom of God.
What is the fruit produced by someone who claims to be a Christian? It can be those whom he has brought to Christ. There is much in the Word of God concerning fruit that would require much study. But, in regard to the subject of judgment and discernment, the fruit of the person, his work, is what will be judged by God when we all stand before Him, according to I Corinthians 3:13. Will the fruit that you have produced remain?
Those who have turned many to righteousness shall shine like the stars according to Daniel 12:3.
I personally know a man who was touched at a “Christian” concert, who “accepted Christ”, yet later confessed that he no longer believed in God. Decisions and choices are made that will affect the final outcome, for it is crossing the finish line that matters in the end.
It is my opinion that many so called conversions are produced at the height of emotion; not being genuine the attendee very quickly goes back to his old lifestyle. It should also be noted that if a person is not mentored after their conversion, there will not be a much change in lifestyle.
Ignorance is not bliss and sometimes it leads to destruction. Jesus parable of the seed, the sower and the ground in Mark chapter 4 shows a picture of what can happen when good seed falls into bad ground and good ground.
It is written in Luke 6:43-44 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.” “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16
Times have changed and are changing rapidly. The world, our country and even our own little worlds are very different than five years ago. It appears that everything in this world is getting darker by the day, and yet, it appears as though the Kingdom of God is getting brighter and brighter. Isaiah 60:1-3 speaks of this very thing.
The end of the age will naturally and spiritually bring a harvest, because everything comes to fulness at harvest time, the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness will both produce fruit. It will be a harvest of righteousness and a harvest of unrighteousness, fulness in both areas.
Your choice will determine whether you are in darkness or light, what you do with Jesus is the determining factor. When harvest is over some will enter into life eternal in Heaven and some will enter into life eternal in Hell. Your choice…here and now…determines destination. Don’t put off a decision for Heaven, Jesus is the door, there is no other.
Jesus, talking about the last days said, “Go into the highways and byways and compel them to come in that my house may be full.” Luke 14:23 When they come from the highways and byways they will not be clean, they will have the taint of an evil world upon them because that is where they have lived in the darkness of sin. It is here that the church of Jesus Christ must discern and not judge. May the Lord grant us His huge compassionate heart for those who don’t know Him and His love, so that we will see as He sees and love as He loves. This is my prayer for all of us.
Jesus and I love you,