The Judgment free zone
There is a place that calls itself the judgment free zone because no one is permitted to judge others, be prideful, or feel ostracized (everyone is welcome, everyone belongs)
Sounds like a church you might want to attend
It is called “Planet Fitness”
The goal and their purpose is to make everyone feel like they belong that is not easy.
I hear it, there are clicks in churches what is ironic is most of the time those that say there are clicks are in a click themselves of those who feel they are not in someone else’s click
They are so judgmental in that church and while I understand there are churches that are judgmental sometimes the claim of judgmentalness is based on that fact that the church wants people to live the Christ-filled life rather than allowing sin to destroy them.
All of us have our prejudices and insecurities
We battle how we feel about ourselves and the way we feel about others
We are each a work in progress and I would like to challenge each of us today to become Planet Fitness Christians and live in a judgment free zone
We have two main challenges to living in the judgment free zone
1) Judgment of others
2) Judgment of ourselves
I want us to have a base line this morning of two passages of scripture
1 John 4:17,18
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
– One price
At Planet Fitness everyone basically pays the same price
Their fee is either 10/month or 20/month depending on the services each person wants.
Young, old, all races, backgrounds, rich, poor, heavily educated, limited in their education all are essentially one price, so the cost is equal for everyone and you can’t tell the differences of education, wealth, background are not really known. They can all work along side each other comfortably because everyone is welcomed
One price has been paid for us all there is no one who more special to God than another
From a judging others stand point–
– we all are on the same playing field
– all equally loved by God…
– for any of us to look at someone and judge them from the point of their position as a child of the King violates God’s love for them.
The scripture from 1 John says we have a boldness on the day of judgment because we have loved perfectly in a mature manner, the best way we knew how…not looking at anything on the outside to make a judgment.
Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Yes the people who walk through our doors may be sinners, the person sitting next to you may be a sinner but we tend to look on the outward appearance …we never know what is going on in someone’s heart.
If we are going to reach people where they are, they need to feel loved first and we will “teach them to observe all things” later.
In the next verse Jesus response is… “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”
If we are not a judgment free zone those who are sick, in need of spiritual healing will only feel condemned how can they know the love of God if we don’t show it to them
– judgment of ourselves
how can we walk free of judgment if we feel condemned ourselves?…we need to understand only those who are condemned already should feel condemned…do you sin?
Well let me ask that another way…who has not had a bad attitude, a bad thought or done anything that violates God’s word that’s sins of commission we have committed who here has seen a person in need, or someone hurting and in need of prayer, saw someone you knew needed Jesus and did not share with them who Jesus is to you and what He has done for you…those are sins of omission….we all battle sin but Christ died for all of our sin
We may feel others are judging us that they must know our sin but they don’t! God is looking at our hearts too…how do you think David was a man after God’s own heart with all he did…Every major figure except for Jesus failed…
God is looking at your heart so don’t live under guilt and condemnation
– repent of what you need to
– ask forgiveness
– walk in freedom
we are a judgment free zone especially when we live…
1 Corinthians 11:31,32
But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
If you simply check your heart on a regular basis you will live in a judgment free zone. If you feel the Lord is judging you, it is because he wants you to look at yourself and he loves you enough to bring conviction. So unless you feel the Lord putting his hand on something in your life walk in freedom in a judgment free zone
Like planet Fitness, one price has been paid for us all so we might live judgment free sinner or saint so we would all know and live the love of God
2nd thing about a planet Fitness is everywhere you look in their gym it states…”YOU BELONG”
– You Belong
John writes this in 1:12
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Notice nowhere does it say you have to be completely mature, have all your ducks in a row, be sin free, be perfect or even be just like me
We will work on that the whole maturity thing in time, but for now regardless of where in life someone is…if they have made a commitment to Christ they are part of the family…..if they are not we want them to feel so loved by each of us that they want to become part of the family
If someone is walking through our church doors they should feel that it is a safe place a judgment free zone where they can feel the presence of God, and see His love in the people around. They may be the exact opposite of someone we would easily accept as a friend but we have to trust that the Holy Spirit brought them through our door…if they know Him they will grow if they don’t our love for them will draw them in…we can’t sit in the seat of judgment
God didn’t send his son to condemn the world but that the world might be saved…how will that happen if all they feel is judgment.
What this means for you is that you belong regardless of this weeks failures, regardless of what others may say or infer…you are part of the family and God keeps His promises
Long ago the Lord said:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
Am I preaching a sloppy grace this morning an easy believism?
No, I am focusing in on what Jesus did with the woman caught in the act of adultery or Zacchaeus
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
The first thing Jesus did was love the woman, poured grace and mercy on her…she was guilty, a sinner, broken, not necessarily repentant until….Jesus… the love of Jesus touched this woman’s heart she no longer felt condemned she felt love and knowing that very real love she knew she belonged and he was able to reach her and say “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more…repentance complete, love won, sinner turned saint…outwardly still dressed the same but inwardly changed by love
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
What did Jesus say to this sinner, this thief, liar, hypocrite, scum of the earth, traitor to his own people and race….remember a past sermon where I shared the meaning of I will be a guest in your home?
It meant Jesus was saying to him, I want to engage in a deep friendship with you, I love you!
Zacchaeus response…verse 8
Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
How are we to find the lost..to actively seek them…so they might be saved if we are judging them or they see us constantly judging one another
No one here is perfect I am not asking us to ignore trouble areas, sin areas, deceit, failures or danger but I am asking that everything you do, every attitude you have toward your family here or those who are not yet your family is love
Love wins every time…yes we deal with sin here…yes we recognize brokenness, hypocrisy but we don’t shame people into repentance…we don’t judge people we compare their actions and attitudes to God’s word and if they don’t line up we recognize we too are sinner’s saved by grace that can be tempted by the same things or worse and we lift them up, love them to the truth, disciple them into freedom
Where are you today?
Do you spend most of your time judging others because perhaps you secretly feel they are better than you or worse than you? Have you allowed your insecurity or prejudice to rob you of God’s love for others?
Come to the altar this morning and allow the love of God to flood you with His love and heal your brokenness. A price has been paid for you and you belong…you are here so you are family
Maybe you are on the other side Do you feel condemned, rejected something happened somewhere that you allowed into your soul that crushes you every time. It may hurt to have relationships, it may hurt to see others happy…Come and receive healing, deliverance this morning…if you have a relationship with Jesus, you are family and you belong.
Maybe today you don’t have a relationship with Jesus maybe you came here perhaps expecting to be judged