You're Judging Another Person's Salvation
"YOU'RE JUDGING ANOTHER PERSON'S SALVATION"
Joe R. Price
May we examine a person's personal belief about their salvation without "judging" them? More specifically, is it possible to identify an unbiblical view a person has about their salvation? Can we use the Scriptures to explain to a lost person he or she is lost? Or, are we judging that person by doing so?
Recently, a pastor of a megachurch told me I was judging another person's salvation. (I wasn't trying to condemn anyone. After all, sin condemns us.) My sin? I told him people who believe they were saved but have not yet been baptized into Christ are still lost (Gal. 3:27; 1 Pet. 3:21). To him, that made me guilty of judging their salvation. (When he tells a sinner he is lost, is he guilty of judging that person?) How could anyone ever teach the sinner he is lost under this definition of judging (Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38)? Yes, we can teach people who think they are saved that the Scriptures say they are lost without being guilty "judging" them.
The apostles told people on Pentecost who thought they were saved that they were lost. Many Jews confidently trusted in being sons of Abraham (they were God's chosen people). Yet, they had murdered Jesus, the Son of God. Were the apostles guilty of "judging" these people? No, God's word rendered the judgment, and they spoke God's judgment to the people (Acts 2:22-35, 36). About 3,000 souls were saved that day (Acts 2:37, 40-41).
Jesus and Ananias told a man who thought he was saved that he was lost. Saul of Tarsus boldly persecuted Christians, thinking he was serving God (Acts 22:20; 26:9-11). Would we accuse Jesus of unrighteously judging Saul? After Saul had prayed and fasted in blindness for three days, Ananias told him to "arise and be baptized, and wash away you sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Saul was still a sinner in need of cleansing from his sins by the blood of Jesus (Rom. 6:3). Shall we charge Ananias with "judging" Saul's salvation for telling him so?
Peter told a Christian he was lost because of his present sin. Simon had been saved by the gospel, but became caught up in sin (Acts 8:13, 18-24). Should we charge Peter with unrighteously "judging" Simon's salvation for rebuking his sin?
The truth is, we are not "judging" people when we let God's word speak, then make the application to their lives so they can see their sin and do God's will to be saved. We are sharing God's judgments, revealed to persuade sinners to believe and obey the truth of the gospel for the salvation of their souls (Heb. 5:8-9; Lk. 6:46).
David said of God's word, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Psa. 19:9). Jesus said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (Jno. 12:48). We do not sin when we speak God's judgments (from the Scriptures) to sinners to warn them. We are trying to warn them and bring them to salvation.
The charge of "judging" a person's salvation may be an attempt to evade the force of truth. God knows. Regardless, false charges against truth-tellers have certainly been used in the past to escape the strength of truth (Acts 6:9-11; 16:19-24; 17:5-9).
Let us always speak the truth in love and humility (Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:24-26). By doing so, we draw attention to God's judgments so the lost can believe, repent, and be saved.
Singing To Praise God
Do you enjoy sining praises to God? Every Christian should answer YES to that question. But yet there are times when we gather together for the worship assembly that I wonder if we really do enjoy singing. Sometimes the singing is powerful and strong as it should be and at other times it sounds weak with very little emotion. We should be concerned about our singing because singing is a required and important part of our worship to God. It is through the praises that we sing that we get the opportunity to teach and admonish one another. Paul wrote: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one other in psalms and gyms and spiritual songs, sining with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). When God’s Word dwells within us RICHLY, we will express our joy to God in the teaching ad admonishing of one another in song!
We know that we are not to entertain men with our sinning but rather we are commanded to sing to praise God. The Hebrew writer said: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” (Hebrews 2:12). When we sing to God we must sing with the spirit and understanding. Paul wrote to the Corinthian brethren and said to them: “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Cor. 14:15). We must also sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord (Col. 3:16).
Singing is a vital part of our worship to God. When we sing praises to God with the proper spirit and understanding with grace in our heart, then our song service will be joyful, meaning fun, and able to teach and admonish one another. But if we don’t have the proper attitude and prepare ourselves to sing to God, then our song service will be dull and not able to lift each other up. Let’s all strive to prepare ourselves to give God and each other our very best in our song service!