The Judge of All the Earth, Part II (1 of 2) – November 26, 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.

God’s judgment and wrath are two attributes that flow from Him being the Creator of all things and the mankind rebelling against Him in sin. All people are accountable to Him as judge. He is “the judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25). Psalm 9:7-8 says, “But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” There is coming a day when every person will stand before God and give an account of their life to Him. Hebrews 9:27 tells us, “it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.”

From Scripture we understand that there are two judgments: one for believers who have their sins covered by Jesus Christ and one for the lost world who will be judged “according to their works.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 tell us about the Bema Seat of Christ where believers will have their works tested of what quality they are. Revelation 20:11-15 tells us about the Great White Throne Judgment where the lost will all be gathered and judged “according to their works.” What is God’s judgment like? The Apostle Paul wrote Romans 2 as a part of his case to demonstrate that all people are lost and guilty before God apart from Christ. Romans 2:1-16 addresses those who think they are righteous or have a form of righteousness, but need to understand that they are just as much in need of a Savior as the rest of the world. In this section of Scripture, we can learn three things that the Apostle Paul teaches us about God’s judgment.

First, we are shown that God’s judges according to truth. Here, Paul most likely addresses the religious Jew who thought that they were right with God because they had the law and they were better than the pagan Gentiles around them. This blinded them to their need for salvation because they thought they were better than most, but they failed to realize that they would be judged by the perfect standard of God’s law and would fall far short. When human beings pass judgment on ourselves or others, we face the constant temptation of doing so based on comparison and not according to absolute truth. The standard of judgment will always be God and His perfect righteousness. Our judgment is flawed. We will not be the ones passing judgment one day because all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). We are not fit to judge one another. When God judges the world, He will do so according to truth. No one will be able to stand or fall on the basis of comparison to someone who is better or worse than them. Instead, they will be measured by the truth.

Second, we see that God’s judgment is in righteousness. God is going to “render to every man according to his deeds.” We will not be judged for someone else’s doings. Instead, God will hold all to a perfectly righteous standard (His own glory) and all will fall short (Romans 3:23). To those who place their faith in Christ and demonstrate it by a changed life, they will avoid judgment. To those who rebel and refuse to bow the knee to Christ as Lord and Savior, they will face the perfect, righteous judgment of God. Ultimately, no one will be able to achieve any kind of favoritism because of their upbringing, wealth, race, etc., because “there is no respect of persons with God.” His judgment is absolutely just and righteous. No one will be able to say God was unfair to them or that He did them wrong. All will unanimously acknowledge that “the judge of all the earth” did right by them (Genesis 18:25).

Lastly, we see that God’s judgment is perfectly thorough. In this last portion, Paul addresses the thoroughness of God’s judgment. God will not leave anything out of judgment and He will take everything into consideration for a complete and just judgment. The consideration here is to how much knowledge or light a person received in this life concerning the will of God. While all people are without excuse and accountable to God as Creator for how He has revealed Himself (Romans 1:18-23), not all people have the same amount of knowledge of God and His will. The Jews had the law and will be judged according to that extra blessing of knowledge that they had. This does not mean the Gentiles will not be accountable for the law because they have the law of God in their consciences as is evidenced by how all people have a general sense of right and wrong. The point here is that all are accountable, but those who receive more knowledge are extra accountable for that knowledge. Further, nothing will be hidden from God’s judgment (Hebrews 4:13) and every secret thing will be brought out on that day. God will take everything into consideration. There will be nothing forgotten or excluded. His judgment is thorough.

In the gospel we find the wrath and judgment of God coming together with the love, grace, and mercy of God in the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus took the punishment and wrath for our sins that believers might not come into condemnation and instead be saved and forgiven for their sin. In Christ “there is therefore now no condemnation” because Jesus has already taken the condemnation for the believer on the cross. In John 5:24 He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Have you passed from death unto life? Have you been delivered from the inevitable condemnation of God’s coming judgment? Jesus freely offers salvation to all who will come to Him by faith today.