Jesus commanded Christians to share the gospel with all nations of the world, but Christians are also instructed to “encourage one another” a mission that is often lost on some who condemn others.
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
– Mark 16:50
Jesus commanded his disciples and followers to spread the good news of the gospel of salvation to the entire world. Christianity was a universal faith meant for everyone. Here was a Jew preaching the gospel for the Gentiles and bringing the gospel message to all, universally to humanity.
Although all are condemned to death from sin through the law, the gospel preached that there was salvation and eternal life through faith in God and his son Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16
Christians can get too caught up in identifying and condemning sin. As a result, some Christians can fall in the trap of being too judgmental. That is not what Christ intended in spreading the gospel.
The apostle Paul gives a warning against this.
“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
– Romans 8:34
In the above verse, Paul reminds us that Jesus died to save sinners, not to condemn them. Paul also says:
“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
– Romans 4:25
It is not the job of the Christian to judge. Jesus made this clear.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
Jesus is the only one appointed by God to judge. Jesus said:
“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,”
– John 5:22
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
The one thing all Christians share, regardless of particular religious denominations is faith in Jesus Christ.
It’s very similar to when the Pharisees tried to accuse Jesus of being in league with Satan and casting out demons by Beelzebub…
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.'”
– Luke 11:17
In the above verse, Jesus was saying if Satan was casting out his own devils he would be defeating himself. It is similarly true that a kingdom of Christians divided against itself will also fall. That is, Christians condemning Christians will only serve to take down Christianity. This is a real danger to the Christian church today.
One should not nitpick and condemn the beliefs or practices that differ from one Christian denomination to another, but consider the bigger picture – the words of the gospel itself. Rather than focusing on differences, we should come together around the things all Christians agree on.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
– 2 Timothy 3:16
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
–1 Thessalonians 5:11
Besides the mission of Christians to spread the gospel to all of creation, the other mission is to encourage one another – all of humanity. We should not only be focused on our own needs and goals, but that of helping others, particularly our fellow Christians and those interested in the faith.
It is not easy sometimes living the Christian life in terms of pressure from the outside world. There is pressure to conform to a secular lifestyle, as well as having to deal with the scorn and persecution dished out against Christian beliefs.
As Christians, we need to encourage one another.
“And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds.”
– Hebrews 10:24
Christians need the support and encouragement from other Christians – not condemnation. Sometimes it is the criticism of other Christians that causes people to leave the faith. They see hypocrisy in the behavior of professing Christians which go against what Scripture teaches. Such people think they are doing good, but their misguided actions are actually driving others away from God.
“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. “
– Romans 14:13
The Takeaway: Always be loving and encouraging to everyone, refraining from the judgment and condemnation of others. Leave judgment to Jesus who has been appointed judge by the father God. Spread the good news of the gospel to everyone, always loving others and treating them as you would treat yourself.