God loves you deeply. He is love. He is Righteous. He is the Judge.
There are many issues being talked about today which involve activities and lifestyles which God finds abhorrent. It leads to many discussions which sadly are more often arguments, heated debates, and hateful tirades than actual conversations. It makes the world see God has hateful because they see those who claim to be His as hateful. But as believers we are not supposed to judge the world; God will do that. We can’t judge them for their sin, they are lost, they are sinners, and they do not know any better.
It is not our job to judge them. It is not our job to coerce them to believe. It is our job to love them, lead them to Christ, make disciples of them, and teach them obedience after they have believed. Whoever came to Christ because they were called detestable? It is love that saves. Verses 1-5 read,
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
Believer, you know you still sin, you are forgiven not perfect. Those of us who act so pious are probably sinning more than the people we accuse of being so wicked. We point our fingers at the lost, the murderers and the adulterers so that God won’t look at us and see our hate and lust (Read Matthew 5:21-30 to see why they are the same thing). We do know better! We were called to a higher standard and we were given God’s Holy Spirit to transform us and make us able to follow Jesus and become like Him. The lost don’t have Him, they are not able to walk by the Spirit, they live by the flesh (sin nature) because they only have a sin nature.
They will suffer God’s wrath if they don’t believe. God doesn’t want them to suffer that, but He is righteousness and anyone who isn’t covered by Jesus’ blood will incur His wrath. Anyone who doesn’t believe now, will believe then when it is too late. Verses 6-16 read,
He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.
12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
We don’t have to be taught the law to live by it, it is written on the heart. People know the difference between good and bad and most try to be good. But Believer, you and I know that being good, following the law cannot save anyone. The lost don’t know that! How can we ask them to be good, to follow the law, when we know it is impossible? If you expect Joe to follow the law, you better do so yourself and you’d better do it perfectly because just like Joe you will be judged and condemned by the law you could not keep. In Luke 6:37-38 Jesus said it this way,
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Verses 17-29 read,
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
If we call ourselves Christians it doesn’t make it so. We can call ourselves Christians and we can teach many people to follow the rules and rituals of Christianity and never teach them the Gospel. Christianity is not a list of dos and don’ts. It is not about the music we listen to, the t-shirt we wear, or the Facebook posts we share. It is a relationship with God through faith in Jesus as our Savior the Christ. If we are telling people the way to salvation is by being good then we are as blind as they are, leading them to the pit of hell. When Jesus taught us not to judge unless we wanted to be judged by the same criterion he followed it up with a parable. Luke 6:39-42 read,
He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.”
If we teach lies, our students will learn lies and teach them too. If we teach that following the law will earn salvation then our students will follow us as we follow the law straight to Hell. We have to get it right first before we teach. We have to follow Christ in order to ask anyone to follow us and even then we ought to be mature in Him. Our students cannot be expected to surpass us. If we teach while we are infants, while we are learning from the stumbling blocks and still gaining understanding of the truth our students will learn misinformation and they won’t get the whole picture. They won’t be able to mature and experience the fullness of God. Let’s trust God to provide them the Counselor and teachers. There is an example of this happening in Acts 19:1-7.
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
Pointing our fingers at people and telling them God hates them because of their lifestyle is a lie that a person who does not know the love of God will spread. God loves you so much! He adores you! He loves the person you are calling a sinner deeply as well. He doesn’t hate them. He wants them to know how much He loves them. Be the instrument of His love.
I want to add a quick warning against the popular Christianese adage “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” This is just an excuse to judge the sins of the lost, which we are not supposed to do. If you love, then love. Love the sinner, full stop. Love one another as Jesus loved you, full stop. If you are to hate anyone’s sin, hate your own. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).