Thursday, September 16, 2021
“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17 NLT).
I’ve come to realize that nonbelievers have a favorite verse: “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1 NKJV). They always default to that, which is their way of saying, “Go away. I want to keep doing what I’m doing, and I don’t want to listen to you.”
However, people misunderstand this verse. What it actually means is “condemn not, that you be not condemned.” I would never condemn anyone. I would never say to another person, “I condemn you. You don’t know God, and you’re going to Hell.” That’s because I don’t know this about someone. Only God does.
On the other hand, “to judge” means “to evaluate.” The Bible tells us, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17 NKJV). It doesn’t mean that we condemn one another. Rather, it means that we make evaluations.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re doing something that contradicts what the Bible says. Another Christian brings it to your attention, and you say, “Hey, don’t judge me.”
“Sorry, but I will judge you,” they say, “because I don’t want to see your life wrecked by sin.”
If it’s something you’re struggling with and want to repent of, that’s one thing. But if you can continue in a sin without any desire to change or any belief that it’s wrong, despite what the Bible says, it would say to me that you don’t know God.
Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:16-17 NLT).
Even if someone carries a Bible or has a Christian bumper sticker on their car, if they can habitually commit sin without any sense of conviction or remorse, it would be a clear indication to me that they don’t know God.
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