December 18, 2017

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged (3)

Bob Jones

Originally published in Faith for the Family, July/August, 1973. Used by permission.

Part OnePart TwoThis is Part Three ♦ Part Four

In Part One, Dr. Jones dealt with the preceding context of Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged…” and discussed the meaning of the word, ‘judge,’ noting that the kind of judgment that is prohibited is judgment based on selfish desires.

In Part Two, Dr. Jones wrote about the context following our text, showing that Jesus qualifies what he means in the midst of the sermon itself, in fact calling for judgment of a different kind, not prohibiting all judgment altogether.

Figs are good, wholesome fruit. They are full of vitamins, rich in nourishment, and in the Middle East were used as medicine. But you do not find figs growing on thorn bushes. Figs grow on fig trees. When you look up at a tree and see on it a fig, you say, “That is a fig tree.” You can judge the life of a man in the same faith-for-the-familymanner. God expects you to make that kind of judgment. God does not want you to look at an evil man and exclaim, “My, isn’t he a nice man?” No matter how personable a person may be, if he is disobeying God’s Word, if his life is full of sin, God expects you to recognize that man’s wrongdoing. It is not your prerogative to say that he is on his way to Hell or that he ought to be in Hell. That may be true. In the world today there is such a debauchery and sin and corruption and filth that you cannot help wondering how the mercy of God is extended to hold the perpetrators out of Hell. But it is not your business to “sit in judgment” and condemn to Hell any man. Your business is to try to give men the Gospel so that they may be turned from their wicked ways and may come to know Christ and thereby become heirs of Heaven by God’s grace. But the judgment as to where a man will spend eternity is in God’s Hand.

Let me call to your attention, parenthetically, that God never has anything good to say about sin or evil, and that He never says anything evil about that which is good. God gives to each thing its right value. By nature, man is a sinner; and in His description of a sinner, God will not try to “cover up” for the sake of sparing someone’s feelings and making him feel good. Some preachers are more concerned about the feelings of the ones to whom they preach than they are about the condition of the souls of those people. There are preachers who will stand before a congregation of unconverted, wicked men and women; and because these men and women are church members, these preachers deal with them as if they are children of God. That is one of the curses of our day. Our churches are full of unconverted people whose fruit is the fruit of evil, whose nature is the nature of swine, and who are lost and undone; and instead of telling them what they need to hear — that they are lost and undone and nothing can save them but the mercy of God the preachers “pat them on the back” and treat them as saints. When Christians and so-called “shepherds of the flock” fail to preach the truth of God’s Word; when they do not cut asunder, as the Word like a sharp two-edged sword cuts asunder, truth from error, righteousness from sin, and saints from sinners, their ministry is not a faithful ministry; it is not in line with the Word of God. Every Christian is to judge every man on the basis of his works. That is the way God Himself judges, and it is the way He commands us to judge.

God’s judgment, however, goes beyond this. His judgment goes straight through, beyond the appearance, to the heart of the matter — a man’s obedience! Jesus Christ said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22). But the Lord will say to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (v. 23).

In the first place, the men who make these claims to Jesus are liars. They may be self-deceived, but they are liars nonetheless. Such men bring forth their works as an evidence of their knowledge of Jesus Christ; and on the surface, to those who do not have the discernment that God intends them to have, these works may seem to be good works. Liberals preach in the Name of Jesus Christ. Agnostics and unbelieving preachers stand up and talk “pious.” They take a text from the Sermon on the Mount, pull it apart from its context, and apply it to unconverted men — to everybody in the world. They claim to be preaching in the Name of the Lord; but they are unconverted. Their hearts have never been cleansed by the Blood, and they have never bowed the knee in faith to Jesus Christ. The Lord does not know them.

In this world they deny His Deity; but there is coming a day when they will call Him “Lord.” God’s Word says they will call Him Lord. Turn to Philippians 2:9-11. It says: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” They will have to call Him Lord then. He will be seated on the Throne, surrounded by the glory of eternity. About Him will be cherubim and seraphim. Gathered on each side, as an army, will be the hosts of the redeemed of all ages. Then all who have denied Him on earth will be forced to bow their knees and to admit the thing they deny now (Revelation 13:8). But God will say, “It is too late to call me Lord. Depart from Me. I never knew you.” They will say, “But we have preached in Your Name.” God will answer, “You did not hesitate to say ‘Jesus-said,’ or ‘The Great-Teacher said.’ But that is not prophesying in My Name.”

Some men will even claim to have cast out demons in His Name. Notice how modernism works — how this whole liberal, so-called “social gospel” works. They say, “We are going to remove all that mars our government. We are going to build a ‘Great Society’ and make America perfect by removing evils which make men’ unhappy. We ‘are going to destroy slums and poverty and racial differences. We are going to bring everything to a low level of mediocrity,” This they call “casting’ out demons.” They talk about the demon of poverty and the demon of ignorance. Poverty and ignorance are not demons; they are the results of Satan’s conquest of Adam, the result of the fall of man and of Satan’s dominion over man. This type preacher does not even believe in personal demons. A man who wants to build a world church can claim to be anointed of the Holy Spirit and to have the gift of tongues. But the man who seeks to build a world church is not a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. It does not matter how much “good” a person may pretend to do; if that “good” is not Scriptural, it is not good. Only that is good which God calls good; and whatever God condemns — no matter how good it looks to man — is forever evil. “In that day I will say to them, ‘Get away from Me. I have never known you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’”

Author’s bio as it originally appeared when published: Bob Jones, Litt.D., L.H.D., LL.D., D.D., is chancellor and chairman of the board of trustees at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, and editor of FAITH for the Family. When Dr. Jones was sixteen, his father, the late Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., founded the school that bears the family name. Five years later the son was named acting president; and in 1947 he succeeded his father as presidenta position he held until 1971 when he passed the reins of that office to his son Dr. Bob Jones, III, and stepped into the newly created position of chancellor.

Dr. Jones passed away November 12, 1997.

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