Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
There are many Christians today that insist that we are not to judge others. They come to this conclusion by quoting Matthew 7:1 without looking at the context.
Let us read the whole context, shall we…
Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
These verses do not tell us not to judge, rather they give us a rule to go by before judging. The rule is to judge yourself before judging another person.
In fact, the Bible tells us that men who are spiritual and have wisdom will judge others.
1 Corinthians 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” KJV
Psalms 37:28 "For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."
Paul even rebukes the Corinthians for NOT judging in the below verses. Paul clearly tells them to judge people and even that one day we will judge angels at the White Throne Judgment.
1 Corinthians 6:2 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”
One of the reasons there is no peace today is because people do not judge things, others or themselves.
Isaiah 59:8 “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”
When we judge, we are to judge by scripture and scripture alone, not by opinion or tradition. Think about it, if someone judges you by what the Bible says then really the person who is judging you is God himself by His word.
Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Let us be honest here. Almost all of us have been in the position where we want to quote Matthew 7:1 because when we are judged it hurts our PRIDE. As Christians, we should take rebuke when it is backed up by scripture and throw our pride and feelings out the window.
Proverbs 10:17 “He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.”
If you hate scriptural reproof you are brutish, which means you are ignorant.
Proverbs 12:1 “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.”
Proverbs 13:18 “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.”
Want understanding? Accept reproof. To hear rebuke is wise.
Proverbs 15:32 “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.”
Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools."
We are called to rebuke people with the scripture.
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Titus 1:13 “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;”
When we judge we should judge with love and meekness in our heart.
Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
2 Timothy 2:25 “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”
The whole point for judging Christians is not to prove them wrong or yourself right, rather so that they can face the Judgment Seat of Christ in better standing. It is better to take a strong rebuke here on earth from a brother in Christ, rather than from the Lord God Almighty at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If a Christian gets right now, then they will not have to experience the terror of the Lord for their bad work.
2 Corinthians 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."
If we spent more time judging ourselves and confessing our sins and short comings then we would spend less time getting judged by others.
1 Corinthians 11:30 "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."
We our commanded not to hate our brother, but to rebuke him when he sins. If we do not rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ then we are showing hate by allowing them to stay in their sin without saying a word. Sin destroys people and we should warn them before it goes too far. When they repent we should show our love by forgiving them and not holding a grudge.
Leviticus 19:17 "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."
It is scriptural to call heretics out by their name and tell others to beware of them.
2 Timothy 4:14 "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words."
3 John 1:9 "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
In conclusion, I will quote two of my favorite verses from the Bible.
Proverbs 27:5 “Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
When you find a friend that will rebuke you when you are wrong, you have found a true friend that cares about you. Anyone that would let someone go to Hell or let someone destroy their life with sin or false doctrine is not a true friend. Do not hate someone just because they told you the truth about yourself or something.
Galatians 4:16 "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"