I have heard a few questions this week on the subject of our responsibility as believers to share what God has to say about some of the decisions we make in this life of ours. As should be expected, the world often reacts in a negative way to the message of God yet we should not let that discourage us from fulfilling our responsibility to share the gospel and all that it says. This is a post from a few years back that discusses the subject of the response we most often get from the world, and some thoughts on what our attitude should be.
"Don't judge me." "You're judging me." "The Bible says judge not lest
you be judged." Have you ever heard those words directed to you? I
know I have, yet many are unaware of the simple fact that if you do hear
those words, it probably means you are busy doing what God asks of us.
No, not judging others, but informing others of what God has said in
His word concerning what He requires of us.
When I have taught
about this in the past, I always like to use this example. Have you
ever been pulled over by a policeman? Do you remember what it felt like
when you saw the car pull up behind you? Not me! I wasn't doing
anything wrong! Then the lights go on and he motions for you to pull
over. You look in your mirror and watch as he slowly gets out of his
car, adjusts his black robe and picks up his gavel before slowly walking
to your car. Gotcha didn't I? Of course that's not what he looked
like, because he is a law enforcement officer, not the judge. It is
simply his job to tell you he observed you breaking the law. It is the
judge you face in the courtroom who has the power to pass the sentence,
and in reality, it is he alone that "judges" you.
Last week we
discussed our responsibility to speak out about what we see happening in
the world around us, and the fact that just like the prophets of old,
we are in essence warning of God's coming judgment. The thought occurs
to me that the Old Testament prophets probably heard "you're judging me"
a whole lot. Of course, that did not stop them from doing what they
were told by God to do, and neither should we. There is, of course, a
more acceptable way of doing that and I believe we need to be sure we
warn people with and attitude of love, and not with an attitude that
could be interpreted as "judgmental". I'm sure we all have a passage or
two in scripture that means something special to us, or one we seem to
feel applies to us more than another. One of my very favorites is the
following passage from the book of Psalms.
law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the
LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD [are]
right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD [is] pure,
enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring
forever; The judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous
altogether. More to be desired [are they] than gold, Yea, than much fine
gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your
servant is warned, [And] in keeping them [there is] great reward.
Psalms 19:7-11 NKJV
I liked this Psalm so much
that I memorized the whole chapter, and have tried to remind myself to
quote it every day. One of the first things I noticed about this Psalm
is how much David is saying he loves God's laws. Now just like anyone
else, I would rather people not tell me what to do, so I wanted to
discover why David was so desiring of knowing God's laws. What came to
mind as I read this Psalm is that David concentrates on the positive
results of following God's laws rather than the judgment that comes from
disobeying. Not to say we are not warned of what could happen if we
don't, but as we would say in this day and age, he concentrates on the
I look at this as a clue as to how we should approach
fulfilling our obligation to speak out about what we see around us
today. Accentuate the positive aspects of obeying God's laws, without
minimizing the judgment that God says will certainly come. I have said
before that when I encounter something unusual or out of the ordinary
when studying scripture, it is Gods' way of making a point. Consider
the following as an example. There occurs an unusual verse in the book
of Zephaniah I want you to read. Why unusual? It is the only time in
the entire Bible where every letter of the Hebrew alphabet is contained
in just one verse. Guess what the subject of that verse is? That's
right; Gods' coming judgment of this world.
wait for Me," says the LORD, "Until the day I rise up for plunder; [fn]
My determination [is] to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms,
To pour on them My indignation, All My fierce anger; All the earth
shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy.
Zephaniah 3:8 NKJV
you think it's possible God is trying to make a point here? Is it
possible this verse is His way of emphasizing that a decision to reject
Him and His laws has only one result? We know that the time where all
the nations of the world will be gathered is during the Tribulation.
The Bible also makes it abundantly clear what the scope of that coming
day [is] a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of
devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of
clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and alarm Against the
fortified cities And against the high towers "I will bring distress upon
men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned
against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their
flesh like refuse." Neither their silver nor their gold Shall be able to
deliver them In the day of the LORD's wrath; But the whole land shall
be devoured By the fire of His jealousy, For He will make speedy
riddance Of all those who dwell in the land.
Zephaniah 1:14-18 NKJV
see the signs of that coming time all around us today, and as the Bible
tells us, when you see the signs you know He is near. Standing up as
believers and speaking out about what we see, and using that as an
opportunity to affirm Gods' laws and expectations of His people will
most certainly occasion a response accusing us of judging others. But
we are not the judges because we only speak out about what we see. The
responsibility to judge and pass sentence is Gods' alone and He has
promised He will certainly fulfill that duty.
The good news is
that God is a forgiving God, and has promised to deliver anyone from
that coming judgment by simply accepting His free gift of salvation and
striving to follow His laws. May we be bold to share that good news
with others in a spirit of love and forgiveness as we see the day
( Originally posted November 15, 2009 )