God Judges everyone: a non-Christian can judge no one

Christians believe that Jesus came to Earth 2,000 years ago in order to die on the cross for the sins of mankind. Fully God and fully man, He proved His deity by being born of a virgin and by performing thousands of miracles in public over the course of several years. He died for wickedness that He did not commit and was raised from the dead on the third day. After this He ascended into heaven, leaving His followers with explicit orders to preach “repentance and remission of sins… in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47).

The glorious message of the gospel, which all true Christians are required to communicate to a lost world, emphasizes the abundant grace of God to forgive all the sins of those who come to Him with a submissive heart. But this forgiveness demands extreme humility from the would-be believer. Those who wish to experience God’s grace must admit that they are sinners, and that they alone bear the fault for their sins. They must have faith in Him alone to save their souls, admitting that they can not earn their salvation through good works. They must live out their repentance by changing their ways and embrace a new, selfless life in Christ, treating other people as greater than themselves. Those who truly repent with faith in the name of Christ will spend eternity with Him in glory. But those who refuse to repent of their sins and admit their fault will not be forgiven by God and will spend eternity in hell.

Many people today, including some who claim to be Christians, find this message extremely offensive. They do not necessarily mind the part of it that teaches that Jesus died on the cross to heal souls, but the part that puts responsibility on them to repent of their sins makes them angry. They do not want to admit that their sin is really their fault, or that they have to reject their selfish lifestyle and change their ways. That is why they are constantly looking for creative arguments that allow them to shirk their responsibility. Many of them claim that Jesus Himself is on their side, and that God finds no fault with them or anyone else who continues in sin. One of their most common strategies is to defend themselves by claiming that the real culprits in this world are the Christians who tell them that they are sinners on their way to hell. They do this by pointing out that Jesus told His followers not to judge others (Matthew 7:1-2, Luke 6:37), thus implying that the anti-judging argument negates the Lord’s command to repent.

One problem with this argument is that it contradicts itself by using such a broad interpretation of Jesus remarks. If no amount of criticism whatsoever is permissible, then they themselves are breaking their own rule by “judging” Christians to be judgmental. The simple fact of the matter is that their argument clearly ignores the context and scope of Jesus’ command not to judge. He is not telling His disciples here to refrain from communicating the judgments of God to fellow human beings, but rather He is warning them to apply the same judgments to themselves first (See Matthew 7:5 and Luke 6:42). A Christian does not have to “judge” a non-Christian in order to tell him that he is a sinner. The Bible itself judges the non-Christian by authoritatively stating that all humans, except for Christ who is also God, are sinners (Romans 3:23, Psalm 24:3). Therefore, a Christian already knows that each nonChristian he encounters is a sinner without looking inside his heart. There are no independent cases that demand an exception. Therefore the argument of “do not judge me” falls flat, because no judgment is needed. God has already pronounced judgment.

Those who take this stance forget that the same argument can be turned against them. The “do not judge” command actually condemns the unbeliever to hell. Every unbeliever judges people all the time whether he admits it or not. Every time someone hurts him without apparrant cause he gets angry and demands justice. But if “judging” is always wrong, then he has no right to become angry. Instead he should turn the other cheek and act like he does not really care. By getting angry he only incriminates himself. God sees this anger as proof that the unbeliever knows that sin exists and that he himself is a sinner. Therefore God becomes angry with the unbeliever for not repenting of his own sins, since all humans know how painful other people’s sins are to them. The Bible then condemns the unbeliever for rejecting God’s grace:

“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things… And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” (Romans 2:1,3-5).

According to this passage it is the non-Christian alone who has no right to accuse someone of sinning. After all, his accusations are hypocritical, since he himself has not repented of his own sins. But it is not wrong for the saved Christian to communicate God’s declared judgments because he has already admitted his own fault and he does not claim to be any better or less sinful than anyone else. Therefore those who believe in the gospel are not incriminating themselves when they notice that there is evil in the world around them. They would only be hypocrites if they thought that they themselves were righteous and that everyone else was a sinner (Luke 18:9-14). But since true Christians, by definition, have already admitted that they are horrible people, and are saved only by the grace of God, they are not condemned for recognizing sin for what it truly is.

To summarize, the only ones who have no right to make any kind of moral judgments are those who do not repent of their sins, since they practice the very things that they condemn. Those who are saved have the right to recognize sin, although they must still defer to God’s judgment in all things. No human being has the right to make up their own standard of right and wrong. God’s standard is all that will matter on the day of judgment.

If you are an unbeliever, and this offends you, I encourage you to take the time to think these things over. God wants to save you from your sins, not punish you in hell for eternity (II Peter 3:9). But He is just and He will do exactly that if you reject His offer (II Thessalonians 1:7-8). Therefore, come to God in faith and accept things His way. You may have to give up some of the pleasures that you enjoy in this life, but in doing so you will allow Him to save your soul, and in the end, that is what matters.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:1-3)”

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