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From the Pastor's Desk

In our culture, the ideas of "judge" and "judgment" have negative associations. People love to quote, "Judge not, that you be not judged" (Mt. 7:1). When studied in its context, Jesus did not forbid criticism, opinions, or the condemnation of wrongdoing. What He did forbid is a spirit of fault-finding that overlooks one's own shortcomings while assuming the role of judge in regard to the sins of others.

In Hebrew culture, the idea of "judgment" was not negative. In fact, history has been so characterized by injustice, that they saw it as a positive. Judgment is the balance, ethics, and wisdom, which, if present in a ruler's mind, enables him to govern fairly and keep the land free from injustice. Judgment, when used of God, is that divine faculty whereby He runs the universe righteously, handing down decisions that will maintain or bring about a right state of affairs. Abraham described God as the judge of the Whole Earth (Gen. 18:25).

People in former communist countries will often tell you that while things are better, in many cases all they did was exchange one group of corrupt officials for another as the government shifted. We all desire to be treated fairly. While a spirit of lawlessness is presently running rampant in America, we should all be looking to God, the Judge of the Whole Earth. He is the One we depend on to bring about a right state of affairs.

People today only want to see God as a God of love. He is equally a God of justice. Justice always demands a price for wrongdoing. Jesus paid the price Himself, and we found mercy!

Pastors Mark and Jennifer

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