Wednesday, July 19, 2017


                                        MATTHEW 7:1-6                                                               Pastor Rick Jackson

I would love to take credit for this message but I came across it in my files rather anonymously. It had none of my usual references as to who preached it (besides myself twice in the past) and yet I have the feeling it is not totally original with me. But then what really is original? Moody once said, "If a borrowed thought is better than an original one---use it!" I have heard so many preachers in the past that I know much of this information is from at least two to three different sources and so I put it out here with all the honesty of a borrower of knowledge with the hopes it may bless someone else as much as it has me.

There are three different kinds of criticism in this passage and at least one of them is totally justifiable and useful.


1. it Is Forbidden [v. 1]

This is a matter of trying to find something wrong in an area of the unseen. It is negative in every way and it is forbidden by the Lord Jesus. Judging motives violates this direct command of the Lord Jesus. We must be careful not to be guilty of this sin.

2. It Is Faulty - It purports to be able to judge motives which only God can do.

1 Samuel 16:7b ...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

This is like when some prideful pompous self-righteous Pharisee says, "Oh, you said a bad word, you must not be saved." Or some such nonsense. They would have had a field day when Peter cursed and swore and denied he know the Lord.

Lk. 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not...

3. It Is Foolish [v. 2]

It will turn the eye of God upon you and your sin. This sin often goes unconfessed because the pride of the individual doesn't see it as sin, though it is a stench in the nostrils of a thrice Holy God. [Pr. 24:17-18]

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease  him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

Dr. Lee Roberson used to say, "Critics are a dime a dozen. Any fool can criticize!" (and often does)


1. Removes Nothing [v. 3]

While he might want to help his brother remove a speck he's more liable to hurt his brother with the beam sticking out of his own eye. The only thing he seems to be able to remove is his own personal responsibility for the way he's living. That beams obscures his vision anyway. Note Jesus says "Why?" Why do you not look in the mirror of God's Word and look at yourself.

Ps. 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

2. Relies On Negativity [v. 4]

With his vision obscured the person given to deluded criticism overlooks the obvious and relies on negativity. They want to tell you what you have wrong in your life but don't see the glaring problems in their own life which ends up ruining their testimony in many cases.

3. Reveals Nature [v. 5]

Some people are "speck hunters" instead of humble servants of Christ. At my first church, we had several boys that were attending church faithfully for the first time in their lives. For some reason their mother, who claimed to be a Christian, started criticizing our church, and trying to get the boys to go to another church. The youngest boy was adamant that he wanted to come to our church, where he had been saved, where he had been baptized, where he was being taught the Word of God. She coyly turned him against us by emphasizing the church building wasn't a pretty red color like this other church. Eventually they all quit church.

"They sing too Loud" or "They don't sing loud enough"

"His sermons are too long" or "His sermons are too short"

"He preaches too many expository messages" or "He preaches too many topical messages"

"The people are too friendly" or "The people aren't friendly enough"

What is all this doing? It is revealing their nature. If you send a buzzard out flying over a beautiful landscape of blue lakes, flowering trees, green meadows, winding paths, etc. what will he tell you he saw? A dead deer with maggots! Why? Because his answer reveals his nature... he's a buzzard!

Don't look for specks. it reveals you have bigger problems yourself!

But there is a third kind of criticism in this passage and it isn't spoken against by the Lord. It is:


Today if you try to stand against sin and say something is wrong someone is almost sure to quote verse 1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged". We've already seen that verse 1 doesn't mean that. In verse 6 you must make 4 different judgements in order to follow the Lord's command. You must judge (1) what is holy, (2) who is a dog, (3) what is a pearl, and (4) who is a swine! In other words, you must make some discriminating judgements!

Example - 2 Cor. 6: 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

We have a clear command not to yoke up with an unbeliever so we have to make some judgement about what constitutes an unbeliever. What are the fundamentals of the faith, the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, the essential truths that you cannot deny and still have true Bible Christianity? The doctrines that if a person denies he is considered an unbeliever?

Think of it this way. Your vehicle has many things that aren't essential to it though they may be nice to have. The spare tire is not a fundamental. The sound system is not an essential. The air conditioning/heating system is not a fundamental and the same thing could be said about a few other things as well. Nice but not fundamentals. But the motor, the motor is a fundamental. The battery and the gas tank are fundamentals. It will not run without them. they are necessary.

In Christianity, there are certain doctrines which are fundamental. They are necessary. If a person denies them they are not a Christian no matter what they say, they are an unbeliever.

(1) the virgin birth of Christ is a fundamental. If He was born like us He has a sin nature and cannot be the Saviour. (Is. 7:14, Ps. 51:5)

(2) the substitionary death of Christ is a fundamental (II Cor. 5:21)

(3) the bodily resurrection of Christ is a fundamental (Rm. 10:9. I Cor. 15)

(4) the verbal inspiration of the Bible is a fundamental (II Tm. 3:16-17)

These are some of the fundamentals. You cannot deny these and still be considered a Bible Christian. Let me give you three principles.

1. Be Cautious [1 Jn. 4:1]

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The unbeliever may call himself a modernist or a liberal but remember, he is not ignorant of the truth, he denies the truth! He knows what it says but it rejects it as valid.

2. Be Charitable [1 Cor. 13:4-6]

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Jude 20-22 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Now I am an independent, fundamental, premillennial Baptist but I know others will be Heaven. I expect to see the Presbyterian Evangelist Billy Sunday, the Methodists John & Charles Wesley, and others there!

Dr. Roberson used to say, "I love Presbyterians. I'd like to baptize every one of them!"

"In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity."

You may disagree on some things but our first loyalty must be to Jesus not a church or a denomination.

3. Be Christlike [Hebrews 7:26]

For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

2 Cor. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

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