Harvest Ministries Pastor Greg Laurie explained in a Sunday sermon entitled the "The Nonbeliever's Favorite Verse", that Matthew 7:1 exhortation to "judge not" does not mean that Christians should not try to judge the actions and intentions of others, rather, Christians must exercise judgment because there will be many false teachers as the End Times draw near.
Explaining that to judge is to make an evaluation, the California pastor said that Christians are called to make evaluation of other's actions for many reasons, including because there will be many false teachings in the last days.
"So yes, we do need to make judgments and why do we need to do that? Because one for the signs of the last days is that there will be false teachings; one of the signs of the last days will be apostasy," Laurie told the congregation.
He continued, "Yes, it's true one signs is that Israel will be re-gathered in their land and will be surrounded by enemies. Yes, it's true that there's going to be a shifting of the super powers and ultimately a figure known as the antichrist will emerge. But it is also true that one of the signs of the last days is people will fall away from the faith."
Laurie quoted I Timothy 4 to explain that in the last days many false teachers will appear to be religious but inside their conscience are dead. He said these false teachers will lead people away from the Christian faith.
He called on believers to judge and discern between the theologies. He warned those who would say, I don't care about doctrine, I just love Jesus, "If you don't care about doctrine … you may end up loving the wrong Jesus. You may end up loving a counterfeit Jesus."
Laurie expounded, "Here's the problem: some believers are just gullible and they're not paying attention and that's not how a believer should live. A believer should be discerning, a believer should be thoughtful; a believer should think biblically and run everything through the grid of scripture. A believer should listen [and] make judgments. A believer must judge."
His words harkened back to his Nov. 30 message in which he told the congregation that they are living in the last days and events involving Israel are ushering in the End Times when a new world order will emerge and Israel will stand alone against three powerful enemies from the north.
As Christians have judged the actions and teachings of others, Laurie said their goal should be to bring people back to the Christian faith.
He summed, "Our position as a Christian, our desire should always to be to restore not condemn a person who is living in sin."