Do not consume others by judging them
Psalms 35:7,8,9 -
For without cause have they hid for me their net [judgment] a pit, without cause they have digged [searched] for my soul. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net [judgment] that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
Yesterday I was discussing this topic with a sister and today I received this message to share with all.
Christianity splintered into denominations due to disagreement between Christians on understandings related to the Bible and how we complete the mission Christ came for.
We need to look at the Apostles in the book of Acts and emulate them for their testimony is an example for us. The book of Acts says in many places the Christians were one with one understanding yet we see even among the Apostles they had difference in understanding. Some were more mature than the others.
We Christians need to get this very important thing in our heads. We as Christians have 2 relationships one towards God and the other towards His people. The Apostles were very clear that certain factors were non compromise that is about who God is, who Christ is and the salvation that comes through His sacrifice and this salvation came to us due to grace and not due to our righteous works. No doubt after we are baptized in the Lord, the Lord leads and enables us to be righteous and to do the works of righteousness.
Paul is very clear in his letters who are the people who are termed heretic and who to put away from within us.
Heretic is a person who misleads others from God that means from the basic factors as I explained before. Even in the books of Moses the Lord calls a person a false prophet not if one of his prophecy not coming true but one who misleads people away from God. I am sure you will find many, many people who prophesied and at least one of their prophecies has not come true. This happens due to many reasons mainly due to lack of understanding of symbols that God uses to communicate with them and also due to their own presumptions of events of their time.
Understand things which are concerning God, God will judge us and things concerning people we need to judge our own brethren.
Let me explain by example. If a brother falls spiritually due to lack of control and sins against his own body which is a temple of God he is not to be put away but to be helped. He needs support and strengthened spiritually. But if that person due to lack of control of his lust starts to spiritually harm a sister/s (or anyone else) then such a person needs to be warned first privately, then in the company of 2 or 3 and then before a Church and if that person yet does not abide then that person needs to be treated as a heathen and put away from amongst us.
Things like Sabbath, what is clean to eat or not clean to eat, circumcision or not, how many time does not need to pray and how a person needs to pray etc. are things that concern that person and God. Such things we can guide a person if we have proper understanding in that matter but at no cost are we to judge that person, that Christ will do when that person stands before Him on Judgement Day.
Please, please understand we are all people growing in knowledge and understanding of the things that are of the Kingdom of God. Every day, every hour, every minute the Lord is revealing great hidden things of His Kingdom to His people, some of these things have not been heard by human ears. Even if some knew some of them, they did not reveal all unto others like Paul stated in his letters he hid certain things for others were not ready to receive them.
If we are all limited in our understanding and none of us is yet like Christ, then how can anyone of us judge any of our brethren when Christ Himself did not? But if we see a brethren harming another and causing the other to fall or to be consumed by their foolishness or deceitful hearts then it becomes our duty as Christian to interfere and stop that person first from harming others and then from harming him or her self.
Paul and Peter had difference in understanding on circumcision but we do not see Paul rebuking Peter the day Paul came to understand it better. But when Peter caused others to spiritually fall and lose their salvation due to his lack of understanding on this matter Paul rebuked him before the people. Peter realized his mistake and corrected himself; we see later Peter acknowledges Paul's spiritual knowledge being greater than his.
Today's message is telling us those who cause other souls to be consumed by their judging the spiritual lives of others will one day be consumed in their own nets (judgement) but those who trust in the Lord for their salvation and not in their doing or thinking will indeed receive their salvation and rejoice in Him.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, there are many who call themselves Christians, who believe in You but yet take your place in the lives of others. They judge things that You alone are to judge and thus cause souls to be consumed. Lord, we pray that You bring sense to such people and save them from themselves...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Acts 21:25 - As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
1 Corinthians 13:9-12
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
1 Corinthians 6:2-10
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?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man [unbeliever] and a publican [were looked upon as thieves and pickpockets, in other words fornicators].
2 Corinthians 6:14 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
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