Ginx asked me to do a post on Christians who sin. He did so because some Christians wear expensive suits and this really irritates him. Because we Christians sin so persistently, one post just won’t do. The first post in this series was: "My Favourite Commandment"
If people were to go by my behaviours, they would probably say that Rod’s favourite sin is judging. Anger would be a close second and they both mix together rather nicely to form a potent combination of nasty. While Jesus has brought me a long, long way, my willingness to flirt with anger and judging is far too common. I’ve harmed more relationships with these two behaviours than any of the other crap that I’ve pulled over the years.
Atheists who throw Mt.7:1-5 at Christians do so for no other reason than to deflect criticism of their own behaviours. They misunderstand the message completely and not so innocently.
Nevertheless, my own judging of others is completely out of line.
“THEREFORE YOU have no excuse or defence or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practising the very same things [that you censure and denounce]. [But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things. And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God's judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent.” Romans 2:1- 4
When it comes to judgment day, I’d much rather be accused of being too forgiving than too judging. I want to be too forgiving, but instead, I’m someone else. Luckily for me, we are living in the age of forgiveness. God is persistently refusing to give up on wayward people such as myself. The day of justice will come, but it is not now.
Here’s the thing about judging. Judging is the opposite of mercy. Our Creator is a working definition of Mercy - Our God IS Mercy.
A couple days ago, I heard an atheist say that if Jesus hasn’t come by now, He isn’t ever coming back. Gee, that’s original. 2nd Peter 3:2-15. Rather than thinking that this amount of time is a long time to wait, we should be blown away by God’s mercy. I don’t like to wait for thirty seconds for my kids to obey me and God waited for thirty years for me to come onside. God will not cut short the days He has planned for Creation until every last person who is going to be saved, is saved.
That is one of the things that is wrong with judging others and trying to change others. There is nothing in God’s plan about “fixing the world,” prior to Jesus' return. During this stage, sinners don’t get fixed. We get saved.
Once I’m saved, it is not my job to go out and fix others. My job is to point others toward the same salvation that was offered to me. As is oft said, evangelism is one beggar telling other beggars where to find food. As Christians, we don’t leave the realm of the sinner. As Christians we are merely given the tools that allow us to interact in a different relationship to sin, our sin.
Just a few important facts:
Both heaven and hell will be filled with sinners.
Heaven is for sinners who have accepted their state of sinfulness and accepted forgiveness.
Hell is for sinners who have refused to accept their state of sinfulness, and refused forgiveness.
Both heaven and hell will be filled with people who don’t think they deserve to be there.