Can we escape God’s Judgement? Imagine being chased by a lion. You have been told all your life that when you see a lion, you must look for a tree and climb it and you will be safe. As the lion is chasing you and getting closer to you, you are so afraid because you know if it catches you, you are dead. You lift up your eyes and there is a tree in front of you. You then decide to give everything you have to get to that tree. You run like you never ran before, knowing that if I climb that tree, I will be safe. You finally get to the tree and then you climb it. You are still scared but now you are relieved knowing that you are safe. You watch the lion as it gets closer and closer to the tree. When the lion gets to the tree, it stops at the bottom of the tree, looks up and sees you. All of a sudden, the lion starts to climb the tree slowly coming towards you. Then at that moment you realize that everything you have been told about a lion was a lie. You are about to die and what you relied on to save you, it is a complete lie. If you knew it was a lie, you would not have trusted it. Only if you knew but now it is too late. You are about to die!
This is the same position that the Jews were, when Paul was done dismantling all that they relied on as a nation, with regards to God’s judgement. The Jews believed that because they had the written law and were circumcised, they would not face God’s judgement. God’s judgement is worse than what a lion can do to you. If a lion scares you, then God’s judgement should terrify you. The Jews knew this and when Paul made them realize that having the law and being circumcised, will not make them escape God’s judgement if they don’t obey the law, the Jews must have felt like that person on the tree with the lion climbing. They must have felt helpless knowing that they will indeed face God’s judgement. That is why the Jews in Romans 3:1 ask Paul what then are the benefits of being a Jew. They realized that if Paul is right and they will face God’s judgement because of disobedience to the law, then there is absolutely no advantage for being a Jew or having the written law or even being circumcised. Paul brought them to a level where they saw the lion coming and there was nothing they could do. They saw that they were going to face God’s judgement because of disobedience to the law and there was nothing they could do.
But, how did Paul get them to this position? Let us go through Romans 2:12-13 and see how Paul explained to the Jews that the mere possession of God’s written law without obedience, will not make them right with God.
You will be judged with or without the law
Romans 2:12 (ESV Strong’s)
12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
Paul starts in verse 12 by telling the Jews that all who sinned without the written law, will be judged without the written law, and all who sinned under the written law, will be judged under the written law. This firstly means that with or without the written law, every single human being will face God’s judgement. No one will escape God’s judgement because they don’t have the written law or they do. This secondly means that God will not judge anyone based on what they did not know. Paul is therefore saying to the Jews that if they continue to sin having the written law of God, they will be judged under the same written law. The same written law will be used to judge them. The Jews will not be spared God’s judgement simply because they have the written law, instead, the same written law, will be used to judge them.
It is those who hear and obey the law who will be justified
Romans 2:13 (ESV Strong’s)
13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
Now in verse 13, Paul gave the Jews a reason why he told them that they will not be spared God’s judgement simply because they have the written law, instead, the same written law, will be used to judge them. Paul says the reason he told them this was because it is not those who hear the written law being preached, who will be made right with God, but it is those who hear and do what the written law says who will be made right with God. Paul is saying to the Jews, you have the written law but you don’t obey it. If you don’t obey it as you do, yo will not be made right with God. If you thought having the law without obeying it, will make you escape God’s judgement, then you were wrong. You will face God’s judgement even if you have the written law because of disobedience.
What is God saying to us today through this passage?
Here we have the Jews who thought that simply because they had the written law of God, even if they did not obey it, they will escape God’s judgement. What do we have in common with the Jews, we also have the written law, although they had only the Old Testament, we not only have the Old Testament but we also have the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the New Testament. We are also expected to obey what the word of God says. The Jews were under the Old Covenant that required 100% obedience to the law to be made right with God. We are under the New Covenant of Grace, and although we are not made right with God through the law, but by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone to the glory of God alone, we are also expected to obey the word of God as proof that we have truly being saved. Jesus asked in Luke 6:46 that why do we call Him Lord if we don’t do what He says.
Likewise, if we claim to be saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone to the glory of God alone, and yet we live lives that show utter disobedience and disregard to what the written word of God commands us to do, then we will not escape God’s judgement. Paul says in Ephesians 4:1 that we must walk in manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. In Colossians 1:10, Paul says we must walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in very good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. James says faith without works is dead. Our claim to be Christians must be matched by our lives that reflect that we are obedient to the word of God. John says that to love God is to obey His commandments. Therefore, we simply cannot claim to be Christians if we don’t obey the word of God. If we don’t obey the word of God and yet claim to be Christians, we will not escape God’s judgement.
Are you a Christian? If yes, does your life reflect that you are obedient to the word of God? If not, you will not escape God’s judgement. You will be thrown in the lake of fire and be tormented forever and ever. Repent right now and live a life worthy of calling yourself a Christian. Every single human being will be judged and you will not escape this judgement unless you repent. If you are not a Christian, likewise, you will also not escape God’s judgement unless you repent right now and put your faith in Jesus alone.
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