Two Kinds of "Judging"

Robert Wayne La Coste
Hereford, Texas

The word "Judge" is a popular one in the denominational world. It can usually be heard in a religious discussion of some type, when all of a sudden a person will say, "Hey, you are judging me." Many times this accusation is made unjustly, especially if the person getting the accusation is simply reading or quoting God's word.

In Matthew 7: 1 we find, "Judge not that ye be not judged." From this simple statement, we know of a certainty that we have not the ability to make unbiased judgment. On the other hand, this same Jesus said in John 7:24, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment!" Did the Savior contradict himself here? Did he make a mistake and then try to correct himself? No, I think not!

In this same gospel, Jesus said that His Father's word was the only truth. (John 17:17) This being so, this is the ONLY way to make righteous judgment, according to that ONLY divine standard of truth -- the Bible! It is then God's word, when rightly used by His children (2 Tim. 2:15), that performs righteous judgment. When using it to save ourselves and all those that will hear us (I Tim. 4: 16), it judges us also. So when you tell someone that unless they repent and are baptized they will be lost, and they tell you, "Why, you are judging me", let them readily know that God has already made that judgment and it will judge us in the last day as well. (John 12:48) When we then stand before God, God will take this word that He gave us and will appropriate us a place in comfort or torment. (2 Tim. 4:8)

There then is a way to perform righteous judgment or one may render unrighteous judgment. He and His precepts are righteous (Psalms 119:137). We have no judgment, unless by and through His word!!

June 3, 1971