Pro Life: Two Kinds of Judgment

posted Oct 12, 2011, 10:24 AM by St. Joseph Cheyenne
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). In Luke 12:57 Jesus asks, “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” And St Paul tells us, “I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying” (1 Corinthians 10:15). How can we judge and not judge? There are two different kinds of judgments. First, judging a person’s eternal salvation, and second, judging what is right and wrong. We are never to judge or condemn people as eternally damned, for there is always hope of repentance and eternal salvation while people live. But this is neither a means to keep the people of God quiet when they rebuke sin or rebuke those who persist in sin because we can judge what is right and wrong. We can judge a tree by the fruit it bears (Luke 6:43-44), but not the tree's eternal destination (that judgment belongs to God). Saint Paul tells us, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear” (1 Timothy 5:20). And also, “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13). When we condemn anyone as eternally damned then we condemn ourselves as damned (Luke 6:37), but when we hold out hope for others then we have hope ourselves. We should be forever forgiving of people, but never condoning of sin. Therefore we can judge when people do something
wrong, but we cannot judge a person’s eternal destination.