The Judge of All the Earth, Part II (2 of 2) – December 3, 2023

Romans 2:1-16

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

The world has an innate longing for justice. However, we fail to understand the implications of that. We fail to see, as the religious Jews did in Paul’s day, that if justice is served, then we are all in deep trouble. We have all broken God’s laws (Romans 3:19-20). We have sinned against Him and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23). Therefore, we are all in need of forgiveness and salvation from the penalty that we owe for our sins.

In Romans 2:1-16, the Apostle Paul speaks to the justice and judgment of God as “The Judge of All the Earth.” These verses teach us three things about the nature of God’s judgment. In verses 1-4 he addresses the religious hypocrite who thinks that they are justified by comparisons to other people. If we are not careful, we can be lured into this trap of thinking that just because we are better than others, we will somehow escape judgment and justice. God’s judgment is always according to truth. The standard we will all be judged by is not human comparison or outward religiosity. It is absolute truth. The purpose of the law was not to elevate the Jew as superior to everyone else. Instead, it was to show the Jew that they needed grace. The reality is that all people are in need of God’s saving grace and the only hope we have is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God not only judges in truth, but He also judges in righteousness. There is no double standard with God. There is no favoritism. In fact, what we find is that when God’s judgment is given, no one will be able to say that He was unfair or unrighteous in His dealings with them. Every person will receive judgment “according to his deeds.” We will not be judged for what other people have done nor will we be judged for things that were beyond our control. Instead, we will be judged for what we have done and who we have chosen to be. It is difficult for us to comprehend a judgment that is totally free from all bias. Even the best of judges and legal systems have fallen human beings running them with biases and varying degrees of partiality. In God’s court room there will be none of that. He will judge in absolute righteousness. The good news is that the righteous standard of God has been made available to all sinners through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We can stand before our righteous judge in righteousness because of what Christ has done. God can declare guilty sinners as just because Jesus took God’s wrath for our sin (Romans 3:25-26).

God’s judgment will also be absolutely thorough. This means that there will be nothing left out, even the “secrets of men.” Everything that is hidden will one day be brought out into the open. Further, God will include everything (including circumstances of life) into His judgment. Passages like Matthew 12:41-42 and Luke 12:47-48 indicate that the amount of truth one receives will determine the severity of judgment for sins committed. God will include all facts and all factors in His judgment. This includes the secret and hidden things of the heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Hidden motives, intentions, and plans will all be brought out into the open one day (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Every thought and every word will be brought forth and judged by God’s perfect standard (Matthew 12:36). What is amazing is that even the most hidden of sins, even the ones we have forgotten about, were all paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross and they can be forgiven (Colossians 2:13).

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” One day God will sit to judge the world in righteousness (Psalm 96:13). Are you ready? The only way to be ready is to trust in Christ and have your sins covered by His blood. Jesus is able to save us completely from our sin (Hebrews 7:25). There is “no condemnation” to those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We must simply repent, turn from our sin, and embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior. Judgment is coming. Will you be ready, today?