“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”
For many in school, the thought of their report fills their minds with dread and anxiety. If you were allowed to fill out your own report card, what grades would it have had on it? Would you have graded honestly? Would you have judged yourself honestly? In school the teacher would grade us so that we would know where we stood according to what was expected of us. The grading (judging) helped us to improve, so that we would not fail at the end of the year.
If we grade (judge) ourselves in spiritual things God won’t have to at the end of our lives. By honestly judging ourselves we can improve so that we won’t be destroyed (condemned) at the end of this world.
I Corinthians 11:32 NKJV
“But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
At the end of the school year we either passed or failed. There were only two destinations for the next year. You were either accepted in the next grade or not. When we die we will either be accepted in to heaven or cast away into hell. We will either be blessed with spending eternity in the presence of God or be cursed with the torment of spending an eternity in the lake of fire, away from the presence of God.
In school our teacher told us one of two things. We either passed or failed. There were no “gray” areas. At the end of our life we will hear Jesus say one of two things. Either we are blessed or we are cursed. There will be no “gray” areas.
Matthew 25:34 NKJV
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Matthew 25:41 NKJV
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels”
In school we had behavior that was acceptable and behavior that was unacceptable. In the world that we live in there is a lot of behavior that is acceptable in the eyes of man, but not to God. God expects us to behave according to His standards, not the world’s standards. We have been specifically instructed not to behave like the world.
Romans 12:2 NKJV
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
In school it was important to study the books that the teacher gave you. By studying the books you learned more. You also understood what the teacher expected out of you. By studying the Bible you will learn more and you will understand what God expects out of you. As you do the things that God expects out of you, you will begin to behave like Jesus and not like the world.
School was made up of several grades where you prepared for your future here in this life. We must also take steps to prepare for our eternity. Each one of us must be ready for our next life at all times.
Matthew 24:36-44 NKJV
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
We do not know when we will die or when Jesus will return. We must not allow ourselves to get busy with the things of the world.
Mark 4:18-19 NKJV
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
In school our teachers examined us by giving us tests. We go through tests here on earth that will examine what is inside of us. God will allow tests to come into our lives. As we pass the tests that God allows, it will produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives. Our teachers in school expected us to grow in knowledge. God expects you to grow also.
The Bible tells us that Jesus grew in knowledge and wisdom. If you are a Christian, God expects you to grow spiritually and produce fruit.
Matthew 3:10 NKJV
“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Your regular attendance at school had an effect on the progress you made. It even had an effect on wither you passed or failed. You were expected to be at school so that you could learn. God expects you to regularly gather with other believers, where ever that may be.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Our attendance at school had an effect on us, and our gathering with other believers will have an effect on us.
We must prepare ourselves for eternity in our next life. There are four steps to prepare ourselves for eternity in the presence of God.
The first step – Admit that we personally have sinned against a holy God.
1 John 1:8 NKJV
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
The second step – Believe in Jesus and everything about Him. We must believe that He is the only way to God.
John 3:16 NKJV
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The third step – Confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us of our sins.
1 John 1:9 NKJV
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The fourth step-Turn away from our sins.
When we repent we recognize the wrong in what we have done and are sorry about it. The regret that we feel about our sin should lead us to change our ways or habits. We must cease to do what our sinful nature wants and do what God desires.
Isaiah 1:16 NKJV
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil”
When we are forgiven we must not turn back to our sins. The commitment that we make to Jesus when we accept Him as Lord of our life is serious. We must not allow the world to draw us away from God, making us unfit for His kingdom.
Luke 9:62 NKJV
“But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Once we have escaped the bondage of sin through salvation we must not allow ourselves to become entangled in sin again.
2 Peter 2:20-22 NKJV
“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
If God were to give you a spiritual report card, how would you score?
How would you judge yourself spiritually?
Help me to judge myself so that You won’t have to. By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to know where I need to improve. Help me to behave according to Your standards, not the world’s standards. As I study Your Word let me understand what You expect out of me, and cause me to behave like Jesus and not like the world. Thank-you for the opportunities that I have to gather with other believers – help me to never take this for granted.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.