Judge or not?
It is often stated that we should not judge. Recently someone told me how they knew a famous singer who had died a few years ago and was now in Hell. They did not know this person personally only through their songs and the media.
There are many who think this person was a Christian, and therefore has gone to be with Jesus in heaven. This person has a troubled past and had been involved in a lifestyle at one time that was far from what one would consider a Christian life. However, later in life this person began speaking about God, Jesus, and living a life that many felt was Christian.
So the question today is: Do or can we judge?
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1 Corinthians 6:1-2 NKJV
The answer is, yes, we are to judge. Here, Paul is saying that we are to judge one another within the Body of Christ, i.e. fellow Christians. We are not to take our matters to civil court.
How do we judge?
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:5 NKJV
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. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:16-20 NKJV
We are to first be pure in the area we are judging before we attempt to judge. Then when we do judge we must judge ones fruit. What is that fruit? Is it if they sin or do not sin? Or is it something else?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
Is it possible that the fruit we judge is the Fruit of the Spirit? Being a fruit inspector does not tell us if they are or are not saved.
Judge The Dead
But, do we judge those that have already died. Do we judge their salvation, especially after their death?
Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
1 Corinthians 6:3 NKJV
In the future, when we have passed from this life to the next, we judge the angels. It does not say we judge the living and the dead, i.e. the salvation of others.
They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1 Peter 4:5 NKJV
Who is “Him” except Jesus the Christ. It is no one else who judges the living and the dead.
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Revelation 20:12-13 NKJV
Salvation judgment is based on the Book of Life.
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15 NKJV
Who writes the name in the Book of Life? Who removes it from the Book of Life?
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Revelation 3:5 NKJV
Who Judges Salvation?
It is Jesus the Christ who removes the names from the Book of Life.
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Hebrews 12:23 NKJV
It is God who is the Judge of all in heaven.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Timothy 4:1 NKJV
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who judges the living and the dead, those that are saved or not saved. We are not the judge in this.