Text: Luke 6:37-42 | Listen to Message
The Gospel For Judgmental People
Nobody likes to be judged but it sure is easy to judge others, isn’t it? Somehow, we’re just certain we’re right and others are wrong. We’re intellectual and they’re ignorant. We’re compassionate and they’re hateful. We’re unselfish and open-minded; they’re self-interested bigots. They’re the problem and we are the solution. We’re just fortunate to have the wisdom to see what’s really going on, that way we know what sins to condemn (others’) and what sins to condone (our own).
Let’s cut through the fog of self-righteousness and get real: we judge because it feels good to judge. As the great philosopher Stephen Colbert said, “You take a little bit of [the poison] so you can hate the other side. And it tastes kinda good. And you like how it feels. And there’s a gentle high to the condemnation.” (Live monologue, Nov. 8, 2016) We feel a catharsis when we give voice to the venom that’s inside our hearts. Best of all, our likeminded peers congratulate us for laying down sick burns.
Unfortunately, the joy of judgmentalism is short-lived – for Jesus himself says judgmental people live under the judgment of God. [Insert record-scratching sound here.] That’s right. If you want to waste your life gracelessly judging and condemning fellow sinners for their flaws, it’s a telltale sign that your own flawed heart has not experienced God’s grace.
But here’s the Gospel for judgmental people:
God is a perfectly righteous and omniscient Judge. He sees everything you do (and fail to do). He hears everything you say (and fail to say). He even knows everything you think (and fail to think). With 100% accuracy, he knows exactly why you do everything you do. And at the end of time, you will only be punished for the wrongs you actually did. No false accusations or misunderstood motives here!
Okay, okay, so it doesn’t sound good does it? If God judges us for only the sins we’ve actually committed, there will be hell to pay. And that’s the bad news.
But here’s the Good News. God knew we were judged and condemned. He knew we were hopeless. So he sent his Son into the world to take away our guilt. How? By condemning Jesus in our place. That’s what the Cross is all about: God judged God “guilty” so that he could declare us “not guilty” on all charges.
If we get justice for our sin, we will die. But Jesus died and rose again to offer us forgiveness and mercy. And he lives forever to assure us that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
The only reasonable response to this Good News is that we would turn from our sin – and keep on turning. That we would hope in this Jesus – and keep on hoping. Let him empty your bucket of condemnation and fill it with his own forgiveness and grace!