|Unrighteous Judgment - Great Commission #43 - Rick Joyner|
Unrighteous Judgment -
The Great Commission, #43
Week 43, 2014
This week we will briefly cover an issue that has many Christians in confusion and has been a major stumbling block to keep them from fulfilling the purpose of God in their lives. In Luke 6:37 the Lord said, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned." From this text, believers and non-believers have assumed that Jesus told us not to judge others, but that is not what He said or meant.
In Luke 6:37, the Greek word translated "judge" is krinete. This could more literally be translated "to distinguish as in putting into a category." It could actually read, "Do not stereotype." Not to judge others is not only a wrong translation, but it is not possible. When someone challenges you for judging, they are in fact judging you by saying this. We all judge others, which is necessary to have any kind of relationship with others. Judgment is not always negative, but when we say good things about others, we're judging them too. We're just judging them as good.
Literally translated, nowhere does The Bible tell us not to judge others. In a number of places, we are actually told to do this. Where we are told in Scripture to judge, it is almost always with a redemptive purpose. For example, the Lord said that when a brother is in sin to go to them (see Matthew 18:15). You can't know they are in sin without judging. However, we are not told to go to them to condemn them, but to help them repent. It is to help them.
We must be discerning. We are told to know others after the spirit and not just the flesh, or appearances, which requires judging (see II Corinthians 5:16). What we are told to do is not to condemn others. Even if our judgment of someone is negative, we should look for a way to help redeem or restore them.
It is also a misunderstanding to think that, in this same chapter in Luke, the Lord is saying not to take the speck out of someone else's eye. He actually is telling us to do this, but not to do it hypocritically. He is saying to get the logs out of our own eyes before trying to help others in this way (see Luke 6:41-42).
As the Lord says here, the good tree (or person) will bring forth good fruit, and the bad tree (or person) brings forth bad fruit (see Luke 6:43), such as judging unrighteously and causing problems and divisions with their judgments instead of help and redemption. When we judge righteously, we can, and often must, show people the error of their ways. When we do it with a redemptive purpose and not a morally superior one, it becomes far easier for those we are judging to see the judgments as true and be helped by them, not wounded by our judgment. We must judge, but we must do it in the right spirit.
I am addressing this because possibly the main factor keeping the church from becoming what it is called to be, and keeping Christians from seeing God's redemptive purpose with Israel, is unrighteous judgment. This is mostly the result of so little being taught about righteous judgment. The twelve apostles were told that they would sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the Lord's kingdom. We are told that we will not only judge nations, but also angels in the age to come. This age is about "training for reigning" for those who will rule and reign with the Lord in His kingdom, and this is something we must learn now.
As we are told, "righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne" (see Psalm 97:2). As a whole, the church is not doing too well with righteousness, and almost no teaching is ever heard on justice. We will cover this in a bit more depth before going on because it is foundational to fulfilling the Great Commission and our purpose as the church.