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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Judgment of Ungodly Christians

Most people think of going to a bar if they don't want to be judged and to a church if they, for some unforeseen reason, would like to be judged. That isn't the way it should be.

The people in the church should know God's grace. They should know that they have sinned and have no right to condemn another person. They should never condemn a person by what the person has done. It is like saying, "God, you don't have enough strength to change that person. I, therefore, condemn them to be like they have always been."

A person's condemnation comes from the devil. He stands before God as each person's accuser. Those who condemn others are agreeing with him. They are asking to be judged in the same manner as he will be judged. It is very dangerous to condemn another person.

That doesn't mean we are not to judge in order to bring someone to repentance. The Bible clearly states that we should call sin what it is. It clearly states that we should judge those people within the church in order to bring them back into the fellowship. It does not tell us to condemn them to be out of fellowship forever. It does not allow us to consider them worthless. It admonishes us to treat sin seriously. It tells us to restore them gently. It makes us responsible for each other.

Condemnation is throwing someone in the trash. It is saying that you have no use for them. It is putting yourself in front of those you condemn.

This means there is punishment for sin. There are consequences for sin. Privileges are suspended. Trust is lost. Yes, but this is for a period of time. It is not condemnation. It is restoration. It takes time. Those who repent will appreciate the time of punishment for it will help them to remember who they are and to whom they belong. Those who are not repentant will resent any type of restriction. The repentant will come back into fellowship. The non-repentant will look for a new opportunity for sin. 

Determining whether a person will ever be faithful is not left to the judgment of Christians. Christians should love, forgive, give grace and do those things necessary for repentance. They should allow the person to rebuild trust. Trust will not be given without faithfulness. However, this is not a condemnation from the Christians. It is an opportunity for the repentant to come fully back to the community of believers.

God does not look favorably on those who judge others unjustly. He will return to them what they have done.

Matthew 7:2 (NIV)
 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

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