When Jesus said, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged,” He was warning against hypocritical judgment, not judgment itself.
Jesus said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
That’s an instruction to judge, and to judge in a certain way. What is righteous judgment? It is judgment in the Holy Spirit, discerning between truth and error according to sound doctrine.
Paul wrote, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Paul had a gift for speaking the truth in boldness. He had the mind of Christ.
He also said, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
So we have a difference of opinion between Jesus Christ and Bob Marley. Bible or Bob Marley, Bible or Bob Marley…? Tough choice, right? Rastafarianism is a self-glorifying pantheistic cult, a mix of false messiah worship and mysticism. But if you like smoking weed and just chilling out, maybe it appeals to you as superior wisdom to the Bible. The above passage continues,
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Practically, righteous judgment means I judge those who embrace mysticism as lost, and my judgment leads me to preach the word. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
For this the lost try to judge the one preaching as being judgmental, which is endlessly ironic. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. This verse bears repeating:
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1 Corinthians 2:15).
Jesus said, “Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19b-20).
That condemnation stings, but I didn’t say it. Jesus said it.
I once was lost, but now I’m found. God’s word comes on like a lightning strike and then stays with you like a lamp to your feet. That light illuminates the darkness and helps me to judge righteously, not from my own wisdom and righteousness, which is foolishness and filthy rags, but with the sound doctrine that comes from God’s word. There’s no better gift than this, and it’s free. None of us deserve the gift, but God offers it to everyone out of His boundless treasury of love and mercy.
Act now, because this free offer won’t last and supplies are limited (that’s a joke only a Calvinist would appreciate).