Saturday, March 23, 2013


The Lord Jesus told His disciples (which, BTW, we count ourselves His disciples if we say we believe in Him) in Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Since I became a Christian in 1965 I have tried to be obedient to the Lord and not judge my brother or sister because of Jesus' admonition. (BTW Matthew 7:1 was my first introduction to this subject as I had never read the New Testament previously. At my conversion, the Lord told me to read His Word and to start in Matthew.) Sometimes we are accused of being legalistic by those who reject our message of repentance, baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. (See Acts 2:38)And sometimes we are accused of being judgmental by those who have received the above message but who have decided that they don't have to live a restricted lifestyle to please their Saviour.

Let me say that I am a United Pentecostal Church minister. The United Pentecostal Church is indeed the only church I have ever been associated with. (I was not raised in church and gave my life to Jesus at age 23.) Having said that, I can truly say that I have never tried to preach from the UPCI's manual, nor been told by anyone that I had to, but have tried to preach strictly from the Word of God. In fact, when I first received my local license from the United Pentecostal Church in 1968, a question was asked on the application, would I commit to continue to uphold the position of the United Pentecostal Church'es teachings? I remember I answered the question very sincerely with a "qualified yes." I was only about 27 years old at the time and those men on the Washington/British Columbia district board were much my seniors. They had lived for God for may years and had been around the block several times, so to speak, while I had not been around the block once. Some of them with intense (and perhaps resentful) stares asked me, "what do you mean, a qualified yes?" I proceeded to answer that as long as the United Pentecostal Church stayed doctrinally true to the Bible, I would stay true to the mandates of the manual. But if the United Pentecostal Church ever went away from the doctrines of the Bible, I would no longer continue to be be a member. Apparently they felt the same way for they approved my application and gave me local license to preach as a United Pentecostal Church minister.

What then is judgmentalism? The Bible says in Romans 14:4, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." The Apostle Paul was dealing with the eating of meats and/or the keeping of holy days, etc. But I think this is a principle to live by. Later on in Romans 14:22 the apostle asked, "Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." Again Paul's subject was about the eating of meat, etc. So what about the statement of Paul in 1st Corinthians 11:31, "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." Paul's subject here is regarding the Lord's Supper and follows somewhat on the heels of the admonition in verse 28, "...let a man examine himself..." (You will need to read the entire text to fully understand the subject matter. Someone, I don't know who, has said "a text taken out of context is a pretext.") So we are not to judge our brother (or sister) but are to judge ouselves. Although Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 4:1-5, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. (emphasis mine) For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 

So Paul wrote that he did not judge himself. He also said to, "judge nothing before the time..."  What is a minister of the gospel to do when the Bible clearly tells him in 2nd Timothy 4:2 to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." The preacher is to reprove and rebuke people? Apparently! How is he to do this without making a judgment? I think that Ezekiel give some insight here. In Ezekiel 33:7-9, the Bible says, "So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." (No wonder Paul said in 1st Corinthians 9:16, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!") Sometimes the preacher has to make judgments according to the Word of God, and as the old saying goes to, "let the chips fall where they may."

The Lord Jesus said  to the Jews in John 12:47-48 and to us by extension, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (emphasis mine) No one will say to God at that day, "well God knows my heart." If they fall short at that day they will be like the man in Jesus' parable found in Matthew 22:11-13, "And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." There is another old song we used to sing in church, one verse goes  something like this;
        Judgment is coming, all will be there
        Each one receiving justly his due
        Hide in the saving, sin cleansing blood,
        And I will pass, will pass over you

How about it friend, have you hidden in the saving, sin cleansing blood of Jesus? He came into the world to seek and to save you and I for we are lost without Him. (See Luke 19:10) Turn from your sinful ways and turn to God putting your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus. That is what repentance is. Find someone to baptize you in the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ to have your sins remitted,  and let God fill you to overflowing with His Holy Spirit. (Again, see Acts 2:38) I promise you, the Lord Jesus will never give you a reason to be sorry. I am praying for you.

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