By Edwin Christiaan

Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. For the Lord will be displeased with you…

Proverbs 24:17-18 NLT

One time I was sitting in a restaurant in the company of a Christian female sect leader, her husband and one of her members and as I was giving my testimony of what God has done and was doing in my life, suddenly out of nowhere this one female sect member spitefully told me, “I wish you die.”

It became clear that this lady was inspired to speak those condemning words by her sect leader who did not like me at all, since I in the past have confronted her for controlling, manipulative and abusive behavior. Later I found out that these people were actually praying for God to kill me before a certain date. Sometime later when this member left the sect, she asked for my forgiveness for the wrong and sin she had committed toward me.

Did you ever wish somebody dead, condemn someone to hell, or cursed somebody? Do you enjoy it when something bad happens to your enemy?

This is what Jesus had to say about hating and condemning people:

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48 NLT

In other words, we are not supposed to go around being angry, hating, condemning, and vengefully wishing bad to happen to people. Here is more of what Jesus had to say about this subject:

You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

Matthew 5:21-22 NLT

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Luke 6:37 NLT

What is clear from the context of the above verse is that Jesus was talking about people making personal judgments against others and condemning them, when their own behavior was much more seriously compromised than the persons they were judging.

God condemns all of us as guilty, dirty, rotten, hell-deserving sinners. Our salvation solely rests in Jesus Christ’s righteousness, because of His blood that He gave out of His love for our sins, as is written in the book of Romans:

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Romans 3:23-25 NLT

Christians are often accused of being judgmental. However, what most people consider to be judgmental is merely telling others what the Bible says are unacceptable behaviors. We as Christians ought to tell others what God says in His Word, so that others also may lead morally godly lives. However, we are specifically commanded, as the scriptures indicate, not to judge the behavior of individuals for whom we do not have absolute certainty of the truth regarding their actions and certainly not condemn somebody to die and go to hell. That is flat-out evil. The Christian Church is to remove sin from within its own ranks first and foremost, before condemning the actions of outsiders.

It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside;

1. Corinthians 5:12-13 NLT

The way we please God and show that we are true believers in Jesus Christ is when we follow what His Word says:

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Mark 11:25 NLT

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Romans 12:17-21 NLT

Copyright©2011 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan