“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” – James 4:12 (NIV)
At a place I know, there used to be a coke machine that was frequently out of order. This machine (designed to take sixty cents and give someone the soft drink of their choice) seemed to have a mind of its own. Sometimes it would take a whole dollar and give nothing. Other times, it would give you the beverage of its choice… not yours. It was frustrating and there was a great demand by all to get that machine back in order.
One day, the skilled technician showed up. He opened up the machine and began to look at all that was inside. His knowledge of how things were supposed to work was compared to all he examined. He judged each part to be either “in order” or “out of order.” At the conclusion of his work, all that was “out of order” was removed, new parts were installed, and the machine worked as it was designed. There was great rejoicing in the place I know.
In the beginning, God created all we know and it was perfectly “in order.” This order was disrupted and continues to be disrupted by the choice of all people to seek after their own agendas rather than the agenda of God. God has declared that one day He will come and set all things back “in order” permanently. This day necessitates a day of judgment, where the only One who knows what perfect order looks like removes all that is “out of order.”
We can be found “in order” by being found in Jesus Christ…
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.” – John 3:16-19 (NLT)
Only God can judge because only God is perfect holiness, righteousness, and order. Our job is not to judge, but to trust each and every word of the One who will judge all things, and to share His words with everyone we can so that they might make the choice to choose Jesus and be found in order on judgment day.
How about you? Do the people you know see you more of a judge or as someone who intimately know the One who will judge it all? Ask God to help you know Him and through your life and words communicate the gracious truth of how someone can be found “in order” on judgment day.