Matthew 7:1-3: “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
I find myself sharing the gospel daily and it is easily the favorite part of my day. The Lord blesses me by continually opening the door to share His word with whomever He has placed in front of me. But, some days are better than others.
One Sunday afternoon I was prompted by the Lord through a Facebook post to share the truth of Christ with a friend. What lead me to share is not necessarily important to the over arching context of the story It is sufficient to say that based on the social media post I saw, I shared the gospel with this person in a private Facebook message.
After drafting my message complete with scripture references, I was surprised to receive an almost immediate response. The not simply said, “Larry, thanks for the note. I accepted Jesus many years ago. I may not act perfect but I do believe.”
I was so happy! I responded with a bit of encouragement, or so I thought, “Good, remember, it is not about being perfect. It’s about accepting the truth and allowing it to change your life.” This thought always encourages me. Every follower of Christ understands this. Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. From the moment we humble ourselves, accept Jesus as Lord and savior of our lives We are changed from the inside. We are not changed by our own efforts, nor by our own decisions. No, from the point of accepting that we cannot live life in this broken place on our own; from that moment Jesus, through the Holy Spirit changes us!
my friend was not as encouraged as I’d hoped. Before I could put my phone away I received an abrupt response: “Oh, so you think I need to change my life?”
From there things went down hill fast, after being made the subject of a venom filled public post,and being told that with friends like me who needs enemies; my friend posted Matthew 7 as the counter argument; not open for discussion, more as their final statement on the matter. Needless to say this person is no longer associated with my social media feeds.
This encounter raised a few interesting questions: first, how do followers of Christ react when faced with such opposition? Second, should Christians judge the actions of others? The answer to the first question is: Christians should react in love and the second is absolutely!
Matthew 5:44: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
The first thing to understand when someone you’ve shared the gospel with turns on you is they are not rejecting you. What they are doing is rejecting God, which is far worse. Hebrews 9:27-28: 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Jesus’ death and resurrection is payment once and for all for every present and future sin ever committed by anyone who would accept the gift of salvation. Those that do not accept salvation will be judged. I know this is not politically correct but the truth rarely is. When someone turns on you as I was turned on you must not react with anything but the love of Christ. That is what he taught us: Luke 23:24: Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
The second question: should Christians Judge, seems to fly in the face of Jesus himself. Rest assured, it does not. The Greek translation sheds light on the true meaning of the passage. The Greek word for judge is Krino. It means to condemn or damn. So, “Condemn not lest you be condemned.” Or Damn not lest you be damned.” Christians are not to cast final judgment; God is mans judge period.
No where in this scripture does it say that we are not to point out when a brother or a sister has fallen short. Scripture tells us to speak the truth. not man’s truth but God’s truth in the Holy Spirit and to do it with the love of Jesus. Ephesians 4:15: but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. The key words her are grow up.When followers of Christ gather in fellowship we are to encourage and teach one another Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
In closing, there is a necessity for followers of Jesus to love people into the kingdom. There is no argument we can win that will save another soul. Let the word of the Lord speak for itself do not speak for it but allow it to speak through you. What happens after that is between God and the other person. There is a big difference between a believer in Jesus and a Follower of Christ. Remember that the demons knew who Jesus was. that in no way means that they followed him. To be a follower of Jesus indicates a personal relationship with Him. This is a relationship that will be reflected for others to see.
Grace and Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*