Don't be thrown off by the word 'judge.'
We did a whole series on 'judging' in April (Subscribe for access to our entire Archives) and what we learned from the Word of God is that we are to discern between good and evil and pay careful attention to a persons fruit - the actions we see, the words spoken; the life lived. We don't know the motives, only God can search the heart.
The image below is a summary of the 4 main areas I hone in on when listening to a preacher I never heard. Usually, within a few minutes (depending on how fast they speak) I am able to pick out key words or phrases that are linked to major doctrinal topics such as sin and suffering.
What I listen for: Do they have a solid theological foundation? Is what they're saying based on God's Word?
I don't go overboard with it and I don't sit with a checklist in my hand as I listen to preachers. You'd be surprised how much doctrinal beliefs you can pick up within a few minutes of a sermon. Try it next time you hear someone for the first time. Feel free to use this as a guide...
with Danny & Daniela Kovacs
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