Setting the Record Straight

     The cry has been made time and time again. As soon as a preacher begins to point out the truths of the Scripture someone is bound to take offense as soon as the matter of sin is brought to the forefront. The offended one quickly blurts out that the preacher has no right to judge him or anyone else. The problem is multifaceted in nature but the heart of the problem is usually that the offended one does not want to conform to the Word of God. The fact of the matter is that anyone proclaiming the Gospel is not judging rather is doing the work ordained by God. In this the record is to be set straight in respect to judgment.

     A causal reading of I Corinthians 6:9-11 shows that there are certain that will not see Heaven. The text reads, “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, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” These acts are clearly displeasing to God and thus sin by that very reason.

     It is the job of the preacher (prophet) to warn the people of impending danger (Ezekiel 3:17-21). This warning is not judgment rather it is providing notice that actions deleterious to God’s Word will meet sure and sudden consequences. With this in mind it is evident that the one claiming to be offended by the preachers warning is ignorant of the meaning of “judge” as it is reflected in Matthew 7:1. Simply put “judge” as being discussed in Matthew has to do with condemning others. This is likely a legal term but to discuss etymology at this juncture would be fruitless. Still the fact is that judgment as Jesus was presenting it had to do with the condemning of others which was common practice of the Pharisees.    

     Setting the record straight means that those that proclaim the Gospel in keeping with its purpose are not condemning others rather seeking to prevent eternal damnation to their audiences. Remember the Word of God is an offense to some (Matthew 24:10) but offense and condemnation are far from the same. With this preachers are encouraged to be bold and be strong because the Lord our God is with you. We are charged to preach and teach the Gospel truths even without condemnation. Warning is necessary and has nothing to do with judgment.