Saturday, October 13, 2007

Judge or not to Judge?

Without a doubt, I personally believe that the beginning of Mathew 7:1 is the most quoted scripture in the Bible. Atheist to Christians will quote it quickly and with equal reverence at the drop of a hat. Lately a wave of signs, t-shirts and license plate frames scream out, “Only God can judge me!” It should read, “God will judge each of us.” I am talking about the verse that begins: “Judge not.”

In my Bible it tells me that the original Greek word used in Mathew 7:1-2 is krino me, which can be translated as “Do not continually be engaged in judging.” That is a big difference from “Do not judge anyone.”

In Mathew 7:1-6 I understand it as a lesson on hypocrisy. And there is the rub. How many times have we heard that the church is filled with hypocrites? The Pharisees were the keepers of the law. Instead they became faultfinders. Always pointing out the faults of others in an effort to exalt their own status within their society to maintain their quest for power over others. In other words, continually engaged in judging of others. See Mathew 23:12.

Continuing into Mathew 7:6, correct me if I am wrong here, Jesus is comparing some people to dogs and pigs. That is judgmental is it not? It is a clear warning of what we should expect when we engage others of sin. Especially when witnessing to unbelievers and ourselves.

If I am engaged in a sinful act or start taking on an attitude that could easily turn into a sinful act I need my fellow Christian brothers and sisters to judge me now before it is too late. Bring to my attention that I am heading down the wrong road and need to turn it around before God now. Follow-up, encouragement and help from those same brothers and sisters is also required less we fall back again.

Sometimes we need to get into the middle of things to see both sides. You do not just knock on the door of a burning building. You might have to tear it down to save lives.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Who is a Christian?

I thought I might have answered this one. This week I was exposed to an unnerving statistic. Stating that 70% of those who attend church are not saved. It hurt, but it is understandable. In my Bible, Matthew 13:1-9 tells me that there will be true conversions and false conversions. Judas Iscariot was a false conversion. He was there. He was with Jesus. He witnessed the miracles. Do I remember what it was like before my eyes were open by Christ? Yes, and reveals how stubborn and self-centered I still am. How about you?

Backsliding, those who have professed their faith in Christ and have reverted back to their old way of life; statistics show 80% or more backslide. I have too, so I know first hand. Thank God for my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus for continuing to reach out to my family and I. See Ecclesiastes 4:10.

A major missionary organization states 4 out of 5 Americans do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. These are numbers you do not hear or wish too. Many will use these figures to argue that the church has no relevance to today’s society. Personally I think just the opposite. The numbers show that the need for salvation through Jesus Christ is needed more than ever. If Wal-mart were Witness-mart, we would look at today’s society and see an untapped market. See John 4:35-36.

The word witness can be defined in the dictionary as: (One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced.) Yet when you go to your local bookstore you will not find a witnessing section. Maybe you will find evangelistic or charismatic section. I would be hard pressed to find a local church teaching a witnessing class. A class specifically charged with learning and going out in public for Christ. So here is my mission. My purpose. Will you join me my brothers and sisters for Christ Jesus?

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