I believe I know the devil's favorite Bible verse. It is Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." The reason the devil loves this verse is because misapplying it has done more damage to the church, our society and the kingdom of heaven than any other misinterpreted verse. The devil is a master at skewing the scriptures and he has made many lost people very effective at doing the same thing. In addition, there are lot of church people who, when hearing this verse quoted, stop dead in their tracks, close their mouths and walk away with their tails between their legs.
The devil wants you to believe that Matthew 7:1 means you cannot voice your dislike or condemnation of other people's sin-filled lifestyle. In other words, the devil says that you cannot tell a pedophile that he is wrong to molest little children or make the statement that homosexuality is a sin because you are not a sinless person.
There are a number of things wrong with this approach to Matthew 7:1. First, that is not what the verse states. No where in the Bible are Christians directed to forgo good judgment. On the contrary -- the Bible states, " Judge a righteous judgement." (John 7:24), "Judgment must begin in the house of God." (1 Peter 4:17), "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more (can we judge) things that pertain to this life?" (1 Corinthians 6:3), "...set them to judge who are the least esteemed in the church." (1 Corinthians 6:4) and "if a man be overtaken in a fault (sin), ye which are spiritual, restore such a man... (which begins by praying for him, for wisdom and approaching him about his sin) (Galatians 6:1) and "...tell him his fault..." (Matthew 18:15). Parenthesis mine.
I find it interesting that in the same book (Matthew), the author states "Judge not" and "tell him his fault." This means "judge not" cannot mean "do to tell others their faults."
Matthew 7:1 speaks to the character-quality of the judge. Those involved in a lifestyle of moral-degradation are not highly-qualified to be critical of others, no matter the sin. The import of Matthew 7:1 is that Christians are to live lives that reflect a commitment to morality so when we speak against sinning, we have a credible standing to do so. That is much different from "you cannot tell me that homosexuality is a sin because you are not sinless." No one is sinless including the Apostle Paul and Moses who wrote that homosexuality is a sin.
The next time someone tells you that you cannot make any statement about sinfulness because the Bible states you cannot judge otherwise you will be judged, then say, "Hey, go ahead and pass judgment on me. What do you see in my life that disqualifies me from saying that the Bible condemns homosexuality (or whatever sin the person is trying to justify) or that I agree with the Bible?"
Matthew 7:1 is the devil's favorite verse because quoting it usually silences criticisms of sinful lifestyles and the devil loves those who live in habitual sin. Don't let the devil silence you with a Bible verse quoted out of context. Live a decent-moral life like a Christian is supposed to. Memorize the verses that expose sin and quote them to sinners who relish trying to shut you up my quoting the only verse in the Bible they know, Matthew 7:1. Challenge the person who is telling you not to judge others because you may be judged, to judge you! They will be silenced. Only ignorant people use Matthew 7:1 to justify sinful living. "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." (1 Peter 2:15).
Here is a verse the devil hates: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (sin), but rather reprove (expose) them (both the sin and the sinner). (Ephesians 5:11). It is one thing to struggle to live holy, fall short, repent and try to do better. It is another thing to call for the justification, toleration and acceptance of sinfulness on the basis that no one is perfect. The first is called maturing in Christ. The second case is called living in sin. For those who opt to promote sinful living as normal or acceptable in our society, we call the sin, sin and rebuke the sin promoter.
Rev. Joda Collins
I make no claim that my views are shared by anyone else.