Judge Not: The Upshot of Carrying One’s Cross

         Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24]

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         Real Christians, like their Lord, always end up getting crucified. Let Him explain:

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

         Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]

         According to these difficult teachings of the Lord, the following are the real credentials of real believers:

(1) Real Christians will be persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

(2) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be insulted.

(3) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be persecuted.

(4) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be falsely accused of all kinds of evil.

         The Lord then taught that real believers are not to strike back in kind, but take the shots that come their way.

         This means that when one is insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused for being a real Christian, one is to take the insults, persecution, and false accusations without returning insults, persecution, and false accusations in kind. One must not throw another log on the fire, thus escalating the war of words, but pour water on it instead.

         This is certainly a form of crucifixion.

         Keep in mind that the Lord was even being insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused while He hung on the cross:

THE MATTHEW ACCOUNT:

         And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

         In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

         The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:39-44]

THE LUKE ACCOUNT:

         And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

         The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

         Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

         One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

         But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” [Luke 23:35-41]

         And there’s the point.

         If the Lord took all of that abuse while hanging on a rough wooden cross with spike nails in His hands and feet and suffering excruciating pain most of us will never know and still managed to say, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), then it is certainly possible to obey His teachings regarding insults and false accusations.

LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE

         We must know that He was insulted repeatedly all the live long day throughout His entire life and especially during His ministry. He had ample reason to strike back in kind but never did, not even from the cross.

         Did He have the ability? Most certainly. Could He have climbed down off the cross? Without doubt. Could He have whipped any of those accusing pansies in a fist fight? I have no doubt He could have.

         But He didn’t. And it takes a MUCH bigger man to take abuse without returning it. He took it all and never struck back because He had a MUCH higher goal than simply winning stupid arguments or defending one’s “honor” or reputation:

         He wanted to ransom the souls of humanity.

         “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:44-48]

         The Lord Jesus not only taught this truth, He lived it. And He commanded all of His followers to do exactly the same.

ANTI-DISCIPLES

         Yet, “Christians” are some of the most easily offended people on the planet. It does not take much for certain “Christians” to become extremely angry. There are those who insist they are Christians but are as judgmental and condemning as the day is long. Some will betray another in a heartbeat.

         For many of these there is simply no impulse control whatsoever. The devil can play them like a drum whenever he feels like it. They are ready to fight in a split second. What is more, such people are proud of their desire and ability to insult and accuse in kind, not knowing or apparently caring that they are doing the devil’s work, especially if they engage in the inevitable maiming and murdering that results from being offended.

         Others may exhibit great impulse control and give forth the appearance of godliness. That is, until they feel slighted in some way and then all hell breaks loose. As long as they are never challenged there is no reaction, though many such perceived “challenges” are never personal and have no bad intent.

        They may think they are defending the truth, but they are actually egregiously violating the Lord’s commands, especially the love commandment.

         But for the real Christian, when one is insulted and falsely accused, often by other Christians of course, one does not strike back in kind though one may certainly want to, and though one may certainly do so very effectively.

         Instead, one must allow himself or herself to be crucified.

         It is the picture of a crazed little runt poking a giant hibernating grizzly bear with a stick and continuing to do so since he is getting away with it. In time he grows ever more bold. But the day will come when the bear will wake up. At that point the little man better have an exit plan.

JUDGMENT LOOMS

         All those who rejected and insulted and made fun of the Messiah when He came found out forty years later that crucifying Him actually meant they were destroying themselves, and the same thing eventually happens to all who persecute the Lord’s children. It’s what happens when the cure is rejected.

         Better to judge ourselves than judge others:

         Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5]

         Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

         But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

         But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

         There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

         For there is no partiality with God. [Romans 2:1-11]

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         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” [John 12:47] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on January 20, 2015, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Some of the worst hurts in my life have come from Christians. It got to the point that I tended to avoid forming friendships because of what I felt was going to be the inevitable.
    But you know, these things really hurt at the time, but in a way, the pain is bittersweet when we feel the Lord Jesus pouring in the healing balm and comforting us.

    Like

    • Thanks Scarlett. There are a great many who agree with you and share similar experiences.

      The Lord Jesus kept teaching that He must be our King, our Shepherd, our Master, and our Teacher. He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father, and the Prince of Peace. Unreal Christianity has very successfully created substitutes that stand in His place that can never deliver what He can, or give what He can, or save like He can. He said we would know them by their fruits.

      But then they simply counterfeit the fruit of the Spirit by becoming actors following a well-designed script based on knowledge of how to deceive and influence people to do their bidding. Within this construct is a different paradigm based not on love but control. And within that, people are bound to be hurt and become disillusioned thinking they are doing the right thing but obviously not receiving the good they seek and need, but that which does not satisfy the soul and often does great harm to it.

      The cure for all of this, as you note, is giving oneself wholly and completely to the Lord Jesus and never to any substitute or counterfeit. More and more people are doing just that every day after having been deceived and often hurt greatly by unreal Christianty, unreal Christians, and unreal Christian ministers.

      Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

      You might enjoy revisiting the following post: Cut Off at the Pass by the Religious Chucklehead Posse

      Great blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes we will and are being persecuted R.J and we may even be Martyred but we need to also remember that Jesus Got the Whip out and He spoke harshly more than once to those who said and did what was wrong so many like to water down Jesus’ responses and Paul’s and the other Disciples, we have God given emotions including anger and we need to express not suppress them or we will get sick. Jesus was also known as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, He was not Happy Clappy as Holywood likes to portray. God did not say don’t get angry, He said don’t sin in your anger, but we do need to resolve negative emotions and not let them lead to sin.

    When the Scriptures refer to judging others, this is referring to Carnal fleshy judging, we are told to rebuke those who sin in the Church, to do so we have to judge that their sinning but only by God’s Truth, it is not Love to let Satan get a foothold in their lives or to let God’s Church become polluted. We do not judge a persons Eternal Destiny, only God knows their heart, they may come to True repentance on their deathbed and we do not judge others weaknesses and shortcomings, we have our own.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

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    • Thanks Anne, for your perspective and for bringing up this issue.

      The issue of rebuking the incorrect is certainly a valid one, but I have seen it misused far too often. Of course, even that is a matter of perspective. When speaking of such rebukes it is different whether or not it is in the family. For example, the Lord had very powerful rebukes for the Pharisees, but never treated His own disciples like that, though He did bring relatively mild rebuke on occasion. It must be remember that before the Lord rebuked Peter, Peter had rebuked the Lord:

      Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” [Matthew 16:22-23]

      In the following passage, the Lord instructed His disciples to bring correction when it was called for but said it within the context of those who bring “stumbling blocks,” or traps, and followed it up with the importance of repentance and forgiveness:

      He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.
      Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
      [Luke 17:1-4]

      In the proper context, correction is principally misused in two ways:

      (1) The person doing the rebuking has not been anointed by God or placed in the correct place of authority to do such a thing and often does it without love or goes overboard. Think of someone who is not the parent of a child harshly disciplining said child.
      (2) The person doing the rebuking may have more light on a particular subject and feels confident and even arrogant to rebuke others with reference to it, but falls short in other areas (and often woefully short) that he or she does not see or acknowledge, requiring his or her own rebuke that may or may not come.

      The following verses explain this well, and illustrates the proper attitude ministers with much authority should have:

      For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU…” [Hebrews 5:1-5]

      In this passage the author explains that even the apparent best and most mature ministers in the highest of places are prone to error and weakness. This should cause them to be humble and non-effacing like the Lord, who greatly lowered Himself in attitude. Ministers are certainly supposed to correct and sometimes rebuke. It is part of the calling, but the New Testament teaches that all disciples are ministers. We are all in this together and the Lord intends we be one big happy family.

      This is not possible when some greatly overstep their bounds and say hateful things to others, often from the pulpit, thus violating the intention of the love commandment, which is obvious sin. Because of the false chain of command in many churches, there is no way to bring needed rebuke to preachers who step out of line. This is why the Lord spent so much time rebuking the Pharisees. They needed it but had created an atmosphere of such intimidation and a false hierarchical set-up that no one but the Lord had the courage to let ‘em have it.

      Now, for those who refuse to live correctly and take their discipleship seriously, Paul laid the groundwork for correction in his instructions to Timothy, but also said correction must take place without bias:

      Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.
      I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.
      Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin. No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
      The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.
      [1 Timothy 19:25]

      Let us all be thankful that the Lord Jesus is in charge and knows how to fix things and do things right, even to the point of correcting us when it is required. All real Christians have been to the woodshed on many occasions!

      Be blessed and keep up the good work.

      Like

      • I agree with you RJ we are not to judge in the flesh or are we to judge anyones weakness, faults and shortcomings, or we need to remove our own planks, we all have them and you can be sure I have more than most. We are also not to judge anyone’s eternal Destiny, they may repent on their deathbed through the good seeds that have been planted. We are to share God’s Truth with all Mankind but if rejected we shake the dust off our shoes and move on, in other words we do not take to heart their rejection as personal but we can’t even bless them because they reject God who blesses us but they do share in some.

        Scripture clearly tells us all RJ to rebuke sin and not just by those who are in Authority in the Church but if the person will not listen as Scripture confirms we take it to those who are in Authority and if they don’t listen to them, they than take it to the Church and if they still don’t repent, we don’t fellowship with them.

        But correction must always be done in Love and for Love and not with the attitude we are better, we were all saved by grace but we don’t correct with a fleshy agenda but with God’s Truth. We are not to condone sin by our apathy or because of fear of rejection or we are sinning too.

        When I fell into sin because of an Addiction but not away as I did not reject Jesus, two of my friends in the Church rebuked me in Love but for sure I was not impressed, later I thanked them for caring enough to do so, I turned back to God at the point of suicide. We are all responsible for keeping the Church pure starting with ourselves but sadly we can see that sin is overlooked today in a lot of Churches and so we see much decay in the Body of Christ, which you shared about RJ in your other response to me.

        I went to a Church where two men were practicing Homosexuality openly and had been for years, when I asked the Minister why they were not rebuked, he said we are to Love everybody but it is not Love to see Satan at work in the Church and to look the other way.

        Blessings – Anne

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  3. Hard truths are often hard to accept.

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  4. Thank you so much for this today. I have been struggling with this very thing I have prayed and prayed (even the others and asked for all of us to be forgiven and forgive each other) and felt very isolated and my pity party turned to a very deep shade of blue yesterday and I felt that I would not go on much further and almost bowed out of a meeting with a friend at her church last night – praise God that I didn’t – for through the suffering and for what I learned through it – I don’t have to fight this anymore, in fact – I will thank him for it – in fact per your piece I will allow myself to be…knowing that I have to surrender to it – and not throw stumbling blocks in front of God to do what he needs to do through it….Today is day one! (again) and again and again – of mercy’s new – and strength and hope and inspiration – if I am to go through it – I will share it – and be thankful he gave me something to share….

    Like

    • Thank you for the good word.

      Another great thing about the Lord and being a real disciple is that the suffering we go through according to His will has a purpose. It produces fruit. It also has a reward. We know that the Lord surrendered to the cross. It was His destiny.

      He began His ministry at thirty years of age. Most experts believe He had a public ministry of three and a half years. He spent less than one day from the time of His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane until His death. He spent about six hours on the cross.

      What we must always remember to gather from this is that, yes, purposeful suffering must take place in a Christian’s life, but according to the above scenario, it lasts a relatively short time, especially in terms of eternity. That the Lord was a Man of sorrows is true, but He was also a Man who shared great Life and Joy. In fact, Scripture tells us that He allowed Himself to be crucified so a great event could happen as a result, an event that would result in great JOY both for Him and all those who follow Him:

      Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:1-2]

      Be strong. The Lord will continue to make a Way! Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you – and I have written about the journey here – part that I shared with you….I believe it is so important to share our stories – even the struggles – so that we can show other’s how God moved and continues to move in our lives – and you showed me —confirmed again – that there was purpose – great purpose in suffering….yet there is a purpose in moving through it and not getting stuck… God Bless you….

        Like

        • Amen to that. We must go through it—with the Lord.

          With Him as our Guide, He will not only show us the way, but heal us and teach us along the way. Getting through it means it has not defeated us. More importantly, it means we have achieved something very significant. Completing the course means we can pass on the great knowledge of all we have gained to others who often desperately need help and answers. Doing that through our stories lets others see that we are dealing not just in concepts but experience toward victory and overcoming. Thanks again. Keep sharing and blessing others.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. ….and thank you for reading and liking “34 Things”…it’s day 3 and I’m still pressing on>>God Bless you…

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  6. I think this is one of the hardest things to do in life. When someone you love accuses you falsely, it is a pain that cannot be described. Psalms 6:10 says “Let my enemies be ashamed and very confused. Let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” I have claimed this verse many times in my life. Claim it, stand on it, believe it, abide with it and you will have peace. 🙂

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    • I agree, Debbie. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

      The Lord promised rewards for doing the very difficult things required of Him for high spiritual purposes, such as loving those who hate us and forgiving them, and not violating the Golden Rule.

      No one had ever lived an entire life free from sin before or since, for example. That’s a tad difficult. Whoever accomplished this would not be held by death and would open up a door into eternal life, which is exactly what He achieved for us all. His reward was the resurrection. His reward can become our reward also if we do as He did.

      His reward was in becoming the first in all things after the world had obviously made Him last (and still does). He that was last became first. In the Book of Revelation the Lord Jesus refers to Himself as the First and the Last, exactly as YHWH claimed in the Book of Isaiah.

      He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]

      Blessings to you. Onward.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. For by Him were all things created!!! I LOVE this passage!!!

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