Romans 2:6-11 – He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
There’s a lot of talk about partiality these days. As sinners, we’re always looking for ways to excuse our behavior as victims rather than repent of our behavior as villains. The result is that everyone ends up judging everyone else and being partial in judging themselves and others who are like them.
When something goes bad for us, we like to say that the other side cheated to prove they were bad people. When something goes good for us, we like to say that we overcame great odds to prove we were good people. Either way, we are the good people. On the playground, kids say this in the form of “that’s not fair”. When they get older, they go to college to learn about Critical Theory and Social Justice, which is a fancier way to say, “that’s not fair”.
When all is said and done, everyone will give an account to God for what they have said and done. We will not die to stand before a mirror or a critic, but rather the Creator who made us to mirror Him. Thankfully, God cuts through nonsense and alone judges without partiality. The result will be a two-fold judgment:
- Just Judgment for Non-Christians – In the end it’s not about men versus women, blacks versus whites, Democrats versus Republicans, or rich versus poor. Perfect active wrath at the cross or hell. For God, it’s about Him versus non-Christians. In what should cause everyone judging on social media right now to go out and buy a helmet, God says that the self-righteous folks, including the religious holier than thou-ists and the woke folk who can be a joke, is that God will judge them by both the Bible and their own standards by which they judge others. That’s a scary reality for anybody. For the non-Christian, God will judge them and then punish them justly and impartially forever in hell.
- Just Rewards for Christians – If you believe in and belong to Jesus Christ, God’s judgment of you already took place at the cross of Jesus Christ. There, your Savior died in your place for your sins enduring the wrath of God and giving you the love of God. The judgment that awaits you at the end of time is different than the one awaiting unbelievers.
You do not earn your salvation, but you do earn your rewards. Rewards from God are sometimes internal (e.g. a clear conscience, lifted burden, emotional health in the Spirit), sometimes eternal (e.g. financial provision, reconciled relationships, a fruitful life), and always eternal. For the Christian, we need to pay less attention to all the people judging us and pay more attention to Jesus our Judge and seek to live in such a way that when we see Him next, we hear “well done good and faithful servant”.
How does a promise of eternal rewards motivate obedience in this life through hardship and the wrongful judgement of others?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.