It’s Not Time

13 11 2013

A judge is separated from the people who come before him (or her). There’s a big desk, a lot of floor space, and tables behind which the prosecutor and defendant sit.

The judge does not personally know the people being tried; all he knows is what he’s been told and what he observes of the person while in his presence (and not in the best of circumstances, to be sure!).

He’s never spoken to them before. He knows nothing of their history, their character, or the intricacies of their relationships. He’s never had a meal with them, or seen them in a social setting of any sort.

He only has the “facts” as they have been presented to him by the attorneys – each with their own agenda, by the way.

When we judge people, don’t we do so in like manner?

I am as guilty as the next person of passing judgment on others. I judge by appearance, by my preference, by what I consider to be right and wrong, and based on what others tell me about the person.

Often, I know little or nothing of the person. I haven’t talked to them, eaten with them, or have any idea what they are like as a person.

I was stopped dead in my tracks by Jesus’ words in John 3:17:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world;

but that the world might be saved through Him.”

And this one, too:

“And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him;

for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

He who rejects me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him

– the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” John 12:47-48

Check these out:

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.

Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13.

If Jesus didn’t come to judge the world, but to save it…

…and we are His body…

…then He is still here…

…to save, not to judge.

That day is coming, but is not yet.

There are many evils taking place around us. Our propensity is to hop onto the judge’s bench, pass judgment, and sentence people to hell.

This isn’t Jesus’ heart in the matter. He came to save, not to condemn.

At the deaths of people like Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Ladin, and even Hitler, heaven did not rejoice. These were people that the Lord created. He loves them too. He wanted so much more for them.

It grieves His heart to have anyone choose hell as their final destination. 

If we are to be Ambassadors for Christ – accurate representatives of the King of kings and Lord of lords – we will need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Jesus set an example for us:

In Mark 2, Jesus is found eating in Levi’s house with tax collectors and sinners. The “good” people took exception with this and asked how He could do such a thing. Jesus heard them and said,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Verse 17)

Is it possible that we’ve gotten off track? I think perhaps we have.

I leave us with this:

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

keep yourselves in the love of God,

looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,

hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude 20-23

It’s not the “religious” folks who need the body of Christ. It’s the unlovely, the hopeless, the desperate. These are the ones who will respond.

They may not all look like street people, but instead more like politicians who know in their hearts that what they are doing is wrong…but can’t see a way out of where they are. They are prisoners of war, compelled to do the bidding of their captor.

Mercy will win far more hearts than condemnation ever will. Jesus needs a body here on earth to do His bidding…one who does justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with Him…not judges.

That day is coming…

…but now is not that time.

Faith, hope, love…

the greatest of these is

LOVE.

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12 responses

14 11 2013
vonhonnauldt

I appreciate what you’re saying, but how can we fulfill Jude 20, “making a distinction,” without some sort of “judging?”

14 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

I see Jude 22 as a call for discernment on our part. For some people we encounter, compassion will be effective, but others will need a more blunt approach.

The idea of judging from which we are to refrain is that of being judge, jury, and executioner. There are areas where we must evaluate a person…which seems like we pass a judgment, and in a way we do. The purpose is not to condemn them, however. Motive, I believe, is the key.

Paul did modeled this in many ways. Upon entering a town, he would judge where they were, then with the information he discerned, use an approach with the gospel that was best suited for their frame of mind.

His presentation of the “Unknown God” in Acts 17 is a great example of this.

The “judgment” he made was not for the purpose of damning them, but rather for the sake of reaching them in the best possible way.

Does that make sense?

\o/

14 11 2013
Ed

All I can say is “Amen!”

14 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

13 11 2013
Susan Irene Fox

Amen and amen, sister! So few of us offer an extended hand, yet God reaches for us with his strong right hand every day. So few of us offer grace, yet we receive it in such abundance. So few of us offer love, yet we receive it unconditionally, faithfully and forever.

13 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I need to get off my spiritual back side and get busy!

\o/

14 11 2013
Susan Irene Fox

It’s the everyday small things we do – a smile, a nod of encouragement, a “thank you,” that continue to build His kingdom. 🙂

14 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

13 11 2013
Mikey

Excellent blog, which I enjoyed very much. I like what Jeremiah said in 31:3 regarding love, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness”, and what the LORD tells us in Exodus 33:19 concerning mercy, “And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

May the Lord bless and keep you in His mighty care.

13 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for the additional verses; they are among my favorites!

\o/

13 11 2013
Pure Glory

All of us want mercy when we are in the hot seat, but are not always quick to give it. God raise our love levels so we can love like you!

13 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Amen!

\o/

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