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Monday, August 15, 2011

Judging and Loving

My husband preached last night and I thought I would share part of his sermon with you.

imageProbably the memory verse most people in the world can quote is “Judge not lest you be judged.” Does this say we are never to “judge” sinful behavior? Can loving people ever judge others, ever point out wrong doing? We sometimes are guilty of jumping to conclusions too quickly and that is what is being condemned by Jesus. We have heard it said, “Hate the sin and love the sinner.” The world today says, “Ignore the sin and love the sinner.”

I recently read a book based on Matt. 22:35-40. I read this book because of the cover. It said: Everything you thought and knew about Christianity will be turned upside down. When you find out how to really serve God, it will rock your world. When I read the blurb on the cover, I wondered what in the world this guy was going to talk about. He based his book on Matthew 22:35-40.

And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The author said that Jesus focused on these two commandments. And that’s true, definitely true. Yet the author goes on to say that as long as we are doing it in love, we are free to live any way that we want to. That unconditional love for our fellow man means we never see faults, never point them out, and basically allow people to live any way they choose. This even extends to all sorts of sins: euthanasia, abortion, and sexual immorality. As long as it’s done in the name of love.

Yet notice something in these verses. Verse 40 says “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. All the Law. Love did not destroy the Law of the Old Testament during the life of Jesus. These verses tell us that the Law depended on Love.

Here are some more verses worldly people love to use when they say do not judge:

They said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 4:8-11

Worldly people say “see, Jesus didn’t judge.” But is that true? He told the woman—“from now on sin no more.” He recognized the sin. He didn’t have to point it out—that was done for him. But he did not condone the sinfulness of this woman.

To truly love like God, we must know God. How do we know God? By knowing his word.

As Christians, we are to discern between good and evil. That is our job—to warn others and to save them before it’s too late. Are we doing our job?

 

2 comments:

  1. Very insightful post into a wide spread dilemma in our world today - tolerance, too much tolerance for things not of God. I do not recommend reverting to condemnation with burning crosses and persecution, but you are right, we shouldn't condone what is un-Godly or sinful. Yes, reproach, out of love - not hate. This was great, Sheila, a question all of us have asked.

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  2. Thanks, Marie! My husband was filling in for our out-of-town preacher. He did a great job!

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Thanks for sitting a spell and chatting!