Personally I have always found that the subject of judging here on earth is the most difficult subject to properly understand. I say this because I have witnessed more misunderstandings and abuse caused by either over stepping or under stepping the bounds that the Bible sets on proper judgment.
To start with, a distinction must be made between the three levels of judgment there are in the Bible. First, there is judgment by our worldly judicial systems. Second, there is judgment that needs to be taken at times within our church systems. Third, there are things we need to properly judge on the individual level.
I do not want to say much about the first level which our court and legal system. The reason for this is that most law abiding citizens, which we are commanded to be, do not experience much at this level, except for when there is undue persecution. I do want to point out though, that Christ never abolished or changed this level of judgment. Roman’s 13:1-3 clearly says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” When Jesus spoke about ‘no longer an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ on the ‘Sermon of the Mount’ He was clearly speaking on the individual level and not on the corporate social level. Jesus knew that evil would continue to permeate the earth even after His death and resurrection. Execution of justice by our legal systems are there to keep law and order in our nation and our communities. When a man or woman commits a murder, an individual is the recipient of the action, but the crime is actually committed against society and the murderer must be dealt with according to the laws which are based upon the Old Testament laws that pertain to our society. The Bible is clear about this, so enough said about this level.
The next level of judgment is within our church systems. There are times which this level of judgment is required. 1 Corinthians 6:1-6 says, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!” Then there are times that this level of judgment must be executed in order to actually protect the church. The entire 1 Corinthians chapter 5 deals with this. Paul reprimanded and commanded the Corinthian church to carry out judgment.
The last level of judgment is also the most misunderstood level of judgment. It is judgment on the individual level. This level is strictly concerning spiritual matters and not such areas as politics or world news events. I hope to try and clarify it to the best of my ability. You will find that attempt in the PDF I have put together after gleaning many different documents and resources. I had either found that the writers were either too harsh or too liberal in their views. I pray to the Lord that I get it right. May the Lord bless this endeavor.