Discern & Judge – We Need it Again

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ray-gano-med1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Ever hear something and it just didn’t quite sound right?

Chances are that you discerned that what you saw, heard, or read was not proper, when it comes to God’s Word.

So what did you do?

Did you ignore that “gut” feeling and just go on with your day?

Or did you take action, turn and get away from what was in error?

To discern means to judge, evaluate and distinguish.

“Oh but Ray, we are not to judge.”

Ok… so when you are sick and you reach into the medicine cabinet to find some pills that might help, do you grab just any bottle and pop some pills in your mouth?

What happens if someone put a bottle of poison pills in that medicine cabinet? Would you still reach in and take the first bottle?

No, that is insane.

You discern from the poison and the medicine. You then discern which medicine you should take and then you look to the instructions to ensure that you take the proper dosage so that you do not end up killing yourself.

What you were doing at that moment was being discerning with your health.

So why are we not discerning when it comes to our spiritual health?

When you discern something you are potentially protecting both yourself and others from certain danger.

So if there is error being preached from the pulpit, TV or radio, why do so many people just let it go and say “Don’t judge”?

Folks, poison is poison; no matter what, it kills. Sometimes it kills slowly, sometimes it kills quickly. Sometimes with little pain, but most times with a lot of pain.

Real poison kills just like spiritual poison kills.

It is sad that in today’s world those who have discernment are often seen as judgmental, critical and therefore: unloving, not caring, not tolerant, etc.

We live in the digital age where ideas are spread globally at literally the speed of light.

New Age Anti-Christ religions, Cultists, and Charismatic swindlers have reveled in this technological phenomenon. They have leveraged this to spread their poison and so many people have bought into it.

Now more than ever, Christians need discernment.

Christ has especially gifted us with the ability to discern what is in accordance with His Word. It is the Holy Spirit that illuminates that to us.

This is why we need to be in His Word daily so that we learn more about Him. This way we know what is in error, and what is not.

In other words, we are learning how to reason and judge.

Yet the majority of Christians today think any kind of judgment is wrong. After all, didn’t Jesus said do not judge (Matthew 7:1).

This in and of itself is a perfect example.

When we truly read the scriptures and hold on to that which is good, we are judging.

As much as all the wolves in sheep’s clothing want us to believe, we are NOT to follow blindly.

Over and over again we are told to judge things in light of God’s Word. Probably the most famous of the discerning verses is Acts 17:11.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

When we start digging into scripture we start realizing that there are three types of judging found in Scripture.

1. Final Judgment – the exclusive prerogative of Almighty God where the saved are finally redeemed and the rebellious are forever damned.

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

2. Moral Judgment – is the consideration of what constitutes right, good, and wise conduct. Christians are commanded to make this kind of judgment and to live accordingly

1 Corinthians 11:13a Judge in yourselves…

It also involves church leadership forming a moral judgment about a member’s conduct for church discipline issues

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

3. Discerning Judgment – is where a teaching is evaluated for its Scriptural accord. Believers are commanded to make this kind of judgment in First Corinthians 14:29

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Since the last two types of judgment are actually commanded in Scripture it is common sense that Christ was referring to the first type of judgment, that being the “Final Judgement.”

We are not God, so we do not have the right to be the final judge.

I know that at times it is difficult though for some people to judge a person’s teaching. But we need to work on ourselves so that we can get better.

Here is a truth.

Back before all the fancy money that now contains color changing ink, ID strips, holograms and other counterfeiting preventing security money contains, all our money had was a special paper and a special ink.

Treasury agents who worked in counterfeiting spent days, months, years just studying the dollar.

discernmentAfter all this study, they knew how a dollar felt, smelled, even tasted. They knew the dollar bill backwards and forwards. In fact, most of you do as well.

Have you ever gotten a well-worn dollar and it just does not feel “right”?

The treasury agents are the same way, but to a more heightened level.

They have studied the original for so long that the moment they were handed a counterfeit bill, they just “knew” that it was a fake.

They discerned that the bill was in error and was not an actual dollar bill.

Sure it looked the same and it might have a lot of the same characteristics, but it was still fake.

They just knew it.

Why did they know this?

Because they have studied the original for so long that the truth was ingrained in them, and they could spot a fake in a heartbeat.

So how can we get better at being discerning?

We study God’s Word, backwards, forwards, up, down, till His Word is ingrained in us. Then when any sort of error presents itself, we will know the lie.

Sometimes we will know it because it is as plain and the nose on our face.

But there will be times when we “just know” that what is being taught is wrong. It will be the Holy Spirit that pricks us and gets our attention. That is because it is His Word that is buried in our hearts.

Today many Christians lack serious discernment.

They have bought the false teacher’s lie of “don’t ask questions and stop being judgemental.”

So most Christians today have become mind numb robots taking in the false teaching (poison) of the likes of Rick Warren, Joel Osteen as well as just about any TV minister who is on TBN.

Why?

Because they do not know God’s Word.

Here is a scriptural fact that is taking place today, right before our very eyes.

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Most people know the first part of this verse, but most do not know the part about God’s rejection.

Conservatively speaking 80% of Christians today fall into Hosea 4:6. Sad to say that it is probably more like 94%.

We no longer study God’s Word, and that is why we are where we are today.

We have forgotten God and His Word. So He will do as His Word states and forget us and our children.

How do we correct this?

Deuteronomy 6 :4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

5 and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Wake up and become discerning again.

Cleave onto His Word and bury it deep within your hearts.

Heaven knows that in the coming days we will need it.

By anchoring ourselves to Him and His Word, we will be able to discern the truth from the lie. This will help us survive the coming storm. A great sifting and shaking is coming, we will then see who are the bible believing Christians and who are the C.I.N.Os.

By Ray Gano

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