Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

The Nonbeliever's Favorite Verse | Should Christians Judge?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 28, 2022 3:00 am

The Nonbeliever's Favorite Verse | Should Christians Judge?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1654 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


November 28, 2022 3:00 am

The Lord tells us He’s not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Yes, God judges sinners but that’s not His desire. What’s our desire? When someone is in sin, do we reflect the Lord’s objective, that we should lovingly lead them back into fellowship with God? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to important counsel from the Sermon on the Mount—the Lord’s directives to His disciples on matters of faith, love and harmony.

Listen on harvest.org

---

Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org.

A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Our desire should always be to restore, not condemn a person in sin. The Lord tells us He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Yes, God judges sinners, but that's not His desire.

What's our desire? When someone is in sin, do we reflect the Lord's objective that we should lovingly lead them back into fellowship with God? Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to important counsel from the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's directives to His disciples on matters of faith, love, and harmony. You know, people sometimes ask me, what is your favorite verse from the Bible? That's hard for me to answer because I have a lot of favorite verses from the Bible.

A lot of it depends on what I'm going through in a given moment. And then I might say, oh, I really love this verse for this kind of a situation. And I love another verse for another kind of a situation. But according to Amazon.com, the verse most commonly highlighted in the Bible is Philippians 4. It says, don't worry about anything, but pray about everything.

And the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ. That verse would definitely make my top 10. But I wonder, what verse would you choose if you had to choose your favorite verse?

Well, I'll tell you this much. If you're talking to a nonbeliever, you're going to find out what their favorite verse is because basic nonbelievers may know two verses from the Bible that they like to quote. And the verse that you will often hear from a nonbeliever is, judge not lest you be judged.

Right? And when does this happen? This happens usually when we're talking to them about their need for Jesus Christ and telling them that maybe they need to turn from their sin and they get really indignant and they say, well, doesn't the Bible say judge not lest you be judged? In other words, will you please go away now? It's their verse that they quote to make you stop talking to them. And the second favorite verse of nonbelievers is, let him that is without sin cast the first stone.

Now the problem is they totally misinterpret what those verses mean. What is Jesus saying when He says, judge not lest you be judged? Is He actually saying that a Christian is never to judge anyone or anything? Is He saying that we should never make an evaluation of a situation or of a person's conduct? That we should never in any way, shape, or form use our discernment and just sort of accept everyone and everything?

No. That's not what He is saying. So let's read the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7 verse 1. Judge not lest you be judged for with what judgment you judge you will be judged and with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. Why do you look at this speck in your brother's eye and not consider the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, hey, let me remove the speck from your eye and look a plank is in your own eye hypocrite. First remove the plank from your own eye.

Then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Do not give that which is holy to the dogs or cast your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you in pieces. All right. So here are some takeaway truths from these verses.

Point number one if you are taking notes. As Christians we should be discerning but not condemning. Let me repeat that. As Christians we should be discerning but not condemning. Again verse 1. Judge not lest you be judged. Now before we tell you what it does mean let's find out what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean that a Christian loves and accepts everyone in as far as we never comment on their actions or their conduct or their lifestyle. Because the reality is if you really care for someone you need to tell them the truth. And sometimes you have to confront people about the sin that maybe they are in that is keeping them from God. The Bible even says speak the truth in love.

Now the problem is some will speak the truth but not in love. They use the Bible like a weapon to destroy. If the Bible is a sword and it is it is not given to decapitate people. It should be thought of as a scalpel to bring healing to people.

A scalpel in a surgeon's hands to help a person. But some people weaponize the Bible and they use truth like a sledgehammer. So it is all truth and no love. But then there are those that it is all love and no truth. They will just say oh that is ok. Oh I understand. It is ok with God if you keep doing that. And that is also incorrect.

So we have to find the right balance. I mean if you really care about someone you will tell them the truth. Say you are going out with one of your friends you know for dinner and they have a giant stain in the middle of their shirt. You might say did you want that giant stain in the middle of your shirt. Or by the way you have spinach in your teeth. Actually in all of your teeth.

They are covered in spinach. What happened you know. But you tell them for their own good because that is what friends do. Well if that is true should we not tell them if there is sin in their life? Proverbs 27 says, Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. If you have some friends that will tell you the truth those are true friends. Ok. Know that. Because a true friend will stab you in the front not in the back.

Does that make sense? See someone who is in your friend though to your face they will say you are awesome. You are great. Everything is cool.

Everything you are doing is wonderful. Even though they know it isn't. But a true friend will tell you to your face. You know what I love you man and I have got to warn you this could be your downfall. This could hurt you.

And because I care about you I am going to tell you the truth. Yes we have to make evaluations in judgments. So when someone says that Christians should never judge that is incorrect. You say but we just read judge not lest you be judged.

I will get to that in a moment. Because there are many verses that actually tell us as Christians to judge, to make evaluations, and to exercise discernment. Look at verse 6. Jesus says, don't give that which is holy to dogs. Now obviously He is saying that by a certain person's reaction they are like a dog. So that is an evaluation. I have to determine who a dog is.

And I will deal with this in a moment. Who is a dog? I mean what are we talking about here?

Someone wearing a flea collar. I don't know. So there is an evaluation. Then Jesus says in verse 13 beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing. Well how am I going to determine who a false prophet is unless I make some kind of a judgment.

You see. So there is a place for judgment. The Bible even says judgment begins in the house of God.

1 Peter 4 17 and 1 Corinthians 6 2. Don't you know the saints will judge the world. And if the world will be judged by you are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters. So yes I am to make evaluations and judgment.

It is very important. But having said that what does it mean when Jesus says judge not lest you be judged. A better translation clears this up quickly. The better way to translate the statement of Christ in Matthew 7 verse 1 is not judge not lest you be judged. But rather condemn not lest you be condemned.

There is a big difference. I am to make judgments. I am to make evaluations. I am to use my discernment. But having said that I am not to condemn a person. I judge for identification. Not for condemnation. I need to refrain from hypercritical condemning judgment. And there are people that love to just judge the whole planet.

And in their mind everyone's motives are always wrong and they are hypercritical of every person. I heard about an old guy who went over to the preacher's house to watch him fix his roof. And the preacher is up there hammering a shingle down and he looks down at the old cotger and says, what are you trying to pick up some tips on carpentry.

The old guy says, no I just want to know what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer. See that is just a guy waiting for you to slip up. And to be honest there are people waiting for you to slip up. Let me take it a step further. There are people that want you to slip up. You know they are watching. Hey man you are a hypocrite. You went one mile over the speed limit.

I saw you do it. You know they are looking for you to make a mistake that they can hang their doubt on. So the idea here is condemn not lest you be condemned. We should not be condemning other people.

I like a statement of old J. Verna McGee. You know he has been in heaven for years now. But he is still on the radio. And one thing I heard him say once was the only exercise some Christians get is jumping to conclusions and running down others. I thought that is pretty good. But he said the only exercise some Christians get is jumping to conclusions and running down others. My beloved let us get on the Bible bus. Really bad imitation of J. Verna. But I like him.

But that is true. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We are encouraged when we hear that Pastor Greg's teachings are making an impact on people's lives and health. I grew up as a Christian. I accepted Christ. I was six years old and I lived in a Christian family. And married my lifelong sweetheart.

And we have an incredible wonderful Christian marriage. In 2020 I came down with COVID. I am a healthy individual served 30 years in the military but this COVID hit me extremely hard. So bad that my wife finally ended up dropping me off at the hospital and we said goodbyes to each other. I thought I was a dead man. Through lots of prayer God brought me back to life and saved my life. Once I started down the road of recovery I analyzed my life. My spiritual, my mental and my physical.

My mental was fine. My physical needed a little bit of work as I wanted to lose some weight. And my spiritual definitely needed work. I started down this path with Pastor Greg and listened to his podcast every day that I worked out. Now two years later 50 pounds lighter and a spiritual health that includes a daily walk with Jesus. Listening to Greg's podcast and reading my Bible.

I am in so much of a better place. Thank you so much for your daily gift of the podcast from Pastor Greg. Well today Pastor Greg is offering important perspective from his salt and light series in Matthew chapter 7. It is a study called the non-believers favorite verse.

Point number two. Our desire should always be to restore not condemn a person in sin. Let me say that again. Our desire should always be to restore not condemn a person in sin.

We want to restore them. Here is what Paul says in Galatians 6 one about someone who has fallen spiritually. Brother if someone is caught in sin you who are spiritual should kick them while they are down and tell as many people as possible. Have you ever read that verse? No you haven't because it is not in the Bible. I just made it up.

But by the actions of some you would think it is in the Bible. Someone stumbles. Hey kick them when they are down. And tell everybody about their fault.

No the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins. I want to help you get back up on your feet. Remember that commercial that is still out there now. And I am not making fun. Well a little. But I am making fun of that person that plays the role of an older person who has fallen. She is like I have fallen and I can't get up. It is like I am not laughing at anyone who has fallen. I am just saying the way she said it is you know.

Anyway. And so they have this device that you wear right. And you push the little red button which you know you have to walk around with that device or the red button which is yeah I am that person that falls a lot right. But you know I am now seriously there are people who have fallen and they can't get up. They don't know how to get up. They don't know how to get out of the pit they are in. They don't know how to break free from the addiction they are in.

They don't know how to leave the lifestyle they are in. That is where you come in. That is where I come in as a Christian. You who are spiritual restore them. So it doesn't say if someone is overtaken in a fault kick them when they are down.

Here is what it does say. If a brother or a sister is caught in a sin you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself or you may also be tempted.

Carry each other's burdens and this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. By the way this phrase caught in a sin implies it was not premeditated. It is a person who lowered their guard and they were caught like an animal in a trap. It wasn't intentional but yeah they messed up and it is our job to restore them. How? Gently. In fact the word restore means to set a broken bone or put a dislocated limb back in place. So if you have broken your arm I am not going to manhandle you and twist it back into its proper place. I am going to probably try to get you to a hospital as quickly as possible. Have a professional help you. But I want to assist you.

See this is what we want to do. Restore. The classic example of this is the woman caught in the act of adultery. She is grabbed by other religious leaders who are setting a trap for Jesus. They throw her down at His feet and they say, the law says she should be stoned.

What do you say? Jesus looks around and He says, well and He bends down and He writes something in the sand. Then He stands up and says, let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone.

The Bible says they left from the oldest to the youngest. So there is some connection between what He wrote in the sand and them leaving from the oldest to the youngest. What do you think He wrote in the sand? I guess He may have written the name of one of the people and maybe the sin they were committing. Maybe their so-called secret sin that they thought nobody knew about.

Whatever it was it cleared the house out quickly. So all these self-righteous religious hypocrites leave and Jesus turns to the woman and says, woman where are your accusers? He uses an interesting word for woman.

It is a word of respect. Like ma'am. Lady.

She had probably never been called that before. Ma'am where are your accusers? She says, I have none Lord. He says, neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. See that is what you do when someone has fallen. Your objective is to restore them again.

Number three. I cannot see a speck in my friend's eye if I have a telephone pole in mine. By the way I think Jesus is using humor here. I think Jesus used humor all the time. And I think Jesus smiled a lot and laughed a lot.

Well can you prove that biblically? Well I know children were drawn to Him. And I see humor in many of His teachings. Now the Bible does say He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. But that is not speaking of His general demeanor all the time. That is specifically talking about that moment or period of time when He was headed to the cross of Calvary as the weight of the world was on His shoulders. But in general I think Jesus was quick to smile and He would use humor to make a point. Certainly a camel going through the eye of a needle was a humorous illustration.

And this is as well. Matthew 7 verse 3. Why do you look at a speck in your brother's eye and not consider the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, oh let me remove the speck from your eye and look a plank is in your own eye. Now by the way the word that is used here for plank is a very large piece of wood. And the word used for speck would be like a piece of sawdust.

So let me update this translation. Why are you looking through a tiny piece of sawdust in your friend's eye when you have a telephone pole in your eye? And I think the people probably chuckled.

Yeah we get it. And so He is making a point that we are so quick to go after minutia in one Christian's life when we are guilty of a lot worse in our own life. You show me a condemning hyperjudgmental person and I don't think that is a sign of spirituality. I think that is a sign of possible sin in their life. And it is interesting because the word that is used here would imply that the reason I am so quick to see it in your life is because I have a lot more of it in mine.

Ok. So careful what you are always criticizing people for. Maybe that is your issue. Maybe you are projecting your sin on them. Well you know that person is so proud. Maybe it is you.

Maybe you are describing yourself actually. And maybe the reason you are so quick to see it in someone else's life is because you are so familiar with it in your own life. You see. And so that is what Jesus is saying here is don't be that person. So first remove the plank from your eye.

Verse 5. And so the idea here is not that I should not try to help somebody who has some sawdust in their eye or a sin in their life. But before I can do it I have to get it out of my own life.

He says first remove the plank. First confess your sin. You know forgiven people should be forgiving people. And if you are so quick to judge others here is my question for you. Are you prepared to be judged with the same type of judgment you give to others? Because that is exactly what Jesus says. Verse 2. With the judgment you judge you will be judged.

And with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. So be careful. Point number 4. Some people just don't want our help.

Some people just don't want our help. Verse 6. Don't give what is holy to dogs nor cast your pearls before a swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

Casting a pearl before a swine is giving something valuable to someone who does not care. Pigs like to live in slop and filth. That is how pigs roll. The reason they live in the slop is that is actually how they cool themselves off. And that is where they are comfortable. So you go up to your pig and a number of years ago not so much today but pigs were very popular as pets. Remember that some of you? People would get these little pot bellied pigs. And it was a really great idea when they were little. Then one day you wake up and you have like this giant hog running up and down your hallway. But if I give a pearl to a pig a pig is not going to appreciate a pearl.

I give him some fresh garbage. Now we are talking, right? So that is the point. Casting your pearls before a swine is sharing the gospel to someone who does not want to hear it. Pastor Greg Laurie has more to come in this message called The Non-Believer's Favorite Verse.

It is practical counsel from the Lord's Sermon on the Mount today here on A New Beginning. Well Pastor Greg we are so excited that your new film, an evangelistic documentary is about to come out, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. Now in your book on Johnny Cash you write, The story of Johnny Cash is a road map for every conflicted soul for whom redemption too often seems a destination far off the beaten path. There are a lot of conflicted souls who would find great hope in Johnny's story, wouldn't they?

Absolutely. You know Johnny Cash was an American original. He was authentic. He was real.

He was touchable. Let me contrast Johnny Cash with Elvis Presley. There was a movie that came out recently about Elvis and showed the rise and fall of Elvis who tragically died in his forties. Him and Johnny had similar careers. They started out around the same time.

They were both recorded originally by Sam Phillips at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. They both had huge careers. Elvis became the king of rock and roll. Johnny effectively became the king of country music. They both dabbled in drugs.

They both had struggles with amphetamines initially to keep them going on the road but of course Elvis's struggles ended up taking his life at an early age. Johnny continued with the struggles but ultimately in the end returned to the Lord. And so we made a brand new documentary film called Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. It's been produced and directed by the Irwin brothers who are best known for their films Woodlawn, I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, and the soon to be released Jesus Revolution.

That's going to happen next year. We'll tell you more about that later. But this brand new documentary film, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon is done with the support of the Johnny Cash estate. You'll hear interviews of Johnny's sister, Joanne Cash-Yates, as well as his son, John Carter Cash, and country superstars that admired him like Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Winona Judd, and many others. So this is a powerful film. It's kind of a behind the scenes look at the struggles of this man who really, when it was all said and done, was a man of God. You see, the Christians thought he was too secular, and the secular people thought he was too Christian. Johnny often straddled two worlds and had these struggles, but in the end, he turned to the Lord.

He never denied his faith, and he grew very strong in his faith, especially toward the end of his life, and also did some of the best recordings of his career toward the end of his life. So this is all shown in this brand new film, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, and it's coming to a theater near you. It's going to be what is called a Fathom Event. Fathom is an organization that will purchase theaters on select nights where you can go and see special films. That's how you're going to be able to see Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. So Dave, tell them how they can get tickets.

Sure, and we should say time is of the essence here. Tickets are going fast, so make arrangements at our website right away, Harvest.org. We're making tickets available to our Harvest partners and other friends who recognize the effectiveness of Harvest Ministries in reaching out with the gospel, and they want to help with a generous donation. It's a Fathom Event, and the dates are coming up soon.

You'll find the dates at Harvest.org, or call us at 1-800-821-3300. Again that's 1-800-821-3300, and you can reach us anytime 24-7. Well Pastor Greg, tomorrow is a notable day, although some may not be thinking about it right now. It's called Giving Tuesday, and we hope our listeners are open to God's leading in that direction. Isn't that right?

Yeah, that's right Dave. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, and what a great opportunity to think about investing in things that matter. And I'll tell you, I can't think of anything that matters more than the salvation of men and women. And you know us here at Harvest, you know that we believe in preaching the gospel, you know that we give opportunities for people to come to Christ, and every year thousands and thousands of people do pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into their lives. So on Giving Tuesday tomorrow, would you prayerfully consider making an investment in getting the gospel to our nation. Give a gift to Harvest Ministries. We'll put it to good use. And let me just say in advance, thank you for that and God bless you.

How do we respond when someone doesn't want to hear the good news and is outright hostile? Well, Pastor Greg has some important perspective on that from the Sermon on the Mount next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-28 05:27:48 / 2022-11-28 05:38:12 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime