Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Nonbeliever's Favorite Verse
For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God's household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God's Good News? |
—1 Peter 4:17
Do you know what the nonbeliever's favorite verse is? It is Matthew 7:1: "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged." This verse is usually quoted after we say something like, "Well you know what? I don't think that is right."
This verse, however, is not telling us that we should not make judgments, because in other passages we read that as believers, we are indeed to make evaluations, to be discerning, and yes— to even make judgments. In fact, the Bible asks, "Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves?" (1 Corinthians 6:2). We are also told in Scripture that "judgment must begin with God's household" (1 Peter 4:17).
We are to judge, but we are not to condemn. In fact, a better translation of Matthew 7:1 would be: "Do not condemn others, and you will not be condemned." I am in no position to condemn a person. But I am in a position to make judgments about things, situations, viewpoints, and even about people to some degree.
"Don't judge!" is said by people who don't like it when we dare to have a Christian worldview. In fact, I have found that the most narrow-minded people are those who claim to be the most broad-minded. Those who claim to be the most accepting are often the least accepting. Because when a Christian has an opinion, a nonbeliever will say, "How dare you say that! Who are you to judge?"
There is a living God, and He has revealed himself in the pages of Scripture. Therefore, as believers, we accept the fact that we have absolute truth from God. And we develop our worldview from what the Bible teaches.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.
In this new study Bible, I sought to have the reader feel as though I am right here with them as they work their way through the New Testament …and together we are going through the basics of the Christian life. I wanted to give them a sense that I am alongside them trying to anticipate their questions and providing clear answers. That is what the Start! Bible is all about. --Greg Laurie
The Start! Bible has been created to help you to understand what it means to be a Christian and to apply the Word of God to your life in an effective manner.