by Steven Chan
The Bible tells us why Jesus came into this world. Luke 19:10: “For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” In his letter to the evangelist Timothy, the beloved apostle Paul declared that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief”
His mission was motivated by the love of God for man: John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.”
It would be sad indeed if people get the feeling that we are seeking to “judge” or to “condemn” them. That’s not what our Lord came to do. As His disciples, we should be careful not to give the impression that we are eager in condemning or judging sinners.
It is true that on the last day, Jesus will be the judge (Acts 17:31). But until then, He wants to be our Saviour. In John 12:47, Jesus said: “And if any man hear my sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
Paul was a most grateful recipient of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He testified as follows in I Tim 1:12-15:-
“I thank him that enabled me, even Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he counted me faithful, appointing me to his service; 13 though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief”
God’s marvellous grace can reach out to even a “blasphemer, persecutor and a violent man”. The good news is that God is willing to forgive what we have done in the past. He offers us the free gift of salvation if we are willing to believe in His Son, change our mind and turn away from the world and turn towards God, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins – made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
But Jesus also revealed what will judge us in the last day: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day. “(John 12:48)
The Bible says in Heb 9:26-28: “but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; 28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation.
But until then, it is not for any one of us to condemn another. In James 4:11 -12, the Bible says: “Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh against the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 One only is the lawgiver and judge, even he who is able to save and to destroy: but who art thou that judgest thy neighbor?”
We are to help save those who are ensnared by sin by showing disapproval for his conduct (I Cor 5:3-5,13; 2 Thess 3:14-15) and to “restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”(Gal 6:1). So, according to James 5:19-20: “My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.”
Let’s help save souls without an attitude of judging or condemning them.