Contrary to popular opinion, the most often quoted passage of Scripture may not be John 3:16. I believe, rather, it is regularly Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Moreover, it often comes from those who have little, if any, regard for God’s Word, especially His law. Their judgments are grounded in their own feelings, likes, and dislikes. This really is not surprising, in that God’s law—the standard by which we are to judge—is really the target of such comments, revealing a disregard for the whole counsel of Scripture.
We are not forbidden to judge; we are commanded to use God’s standard when we judge. R.J. Rushdoony notes that to avoid righteous judgment is to sin and that to prevent righteous judgment is to trifle with God’s law and to incur His judgment. Rushdoony also notes, “I have learned, over the years, to be very, very suspicious of people who act as if our Lord said only, ‘Judge not.’ Such people are all too often hiding some sin and are badly in need of righteous judgment.”
Why has this perspective been used against those who adhere to and practice God’s law in their lives? Much of the responsibility lies in the pulpits of churches that seek to woo people to their congregations with a message that God loves you no matter what you do in your life, just as long as you profess faith in Christ. This is not found anywhere in Scripture; it is an ancient heresy—the belief that a mere verbal profession equals salvation. Jesus’s own words tell us, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
What we say with our lips is of no consequence unless it is backed up by action. Since God’s will is clearly set forth in the Bible (law, prophets, and gospel), there is no mystery when it comes to acting in obedience to our Creator and Savior. As Rushdoony concludes,
The test of faith is thus from our Lord, not from a man’s profession, nor from his ancestry. To accept a man as Christian on his word rather than on God’s Word is to deny the Lord.
We are today plagued by false Christians who take refuge from judgment by saying, “You can’t judge my heart.” But we can. The heart, or the tree and its roots, are known, our Lord says, by the fruits. “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matt. 7:18). Our Lord made discernment very simple; the sinner wants to confuse the issues. Among other things, heresy is confusion.
Judgment is at the heart of the Christian faith in that Calvary was the meeting of God’s justice and mercy in the form of Our Lord receiving the judgment for the sins of His people. As grateful recipients of His grace, we must embrace the reality that we are to think God’s thoughts after Him and agree with His judgments.
 R.J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season, vol. 2 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2011), p. 31.
 Ibid, pp. 34–35.