Intro. I am often asked if it is fair for God to condemn forever in the torment of hell, those who have never heard of Jesus Christ? My answer is, I do not know what God will do with them, but I know that whatever he does will be fair. Paul makes reference here to the righteous judgment of God.
I. THE BIBLE FORBIDS OUR JUDGING OTHERS.
A. Jesus said, "Judge not lest you be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you.
1. You by your judging are setting the standards by which you will be judged.
2. That is why I seek to be merciful. "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy."
B. Here Paul tells the Romans that they are inexcusable who judge others for in doing so they are condemning themselves, for they are guilty of the same things.
1. All you have to do is change the circumstances slightly and you find that you are the guilty party.
a. When Nathan came to David with the story of the rich man and the poor man. David judged the man guilty and declared that he should be put to death.
b. Nathan said, "You are the man."
2. Further down in the text Paul said, "You preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?"
3. You may condemn the man that is committing adultery, but have you looked lustfully at a woman?
4. You condemn the murderer but do you hate someone?
C. Our judgment at best is faulty.
1. We cannot judge motives.
2. We do not have all the evidence.
3. We can be influenced by people.
II. THE JUDGMENT OF GOD.
A. (vs. 3) It is inescapable. Paul said, "You that are judging others and doing the same things, do you think that you can escape the judgment of God?"
1. There are many who must think that they are going to escape the judgment of God.
2. Because man has been able to escape the faulty judgment of man and has been able to get by with his evil, he has somehow come to the place of deceiving himself into thinking that he can escape the judgment of God.
3. Somehow we forget that there is a judgment to come. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.
B. (vs. 2) The judgment of God is according to truth.
1. You can buy the expert witness of a psychiatrist to say that you have diminished capacities and that you grew up in a deprived condition that created a uncontrollable compulsion to rob banks.
2. You can buy the expert witness of a scientist who will say that the D.N.A. from a blood sample is not always reliable.
3. There are people without morals who will testify to anything so that the truth is often difficult to ascertain.
4. If you don't believe in God and the judgment to come, everything in life becomes relative, and who is to say what is right and what is wrong. You have no right trying to force your standards of morality on everyone else.
5. When we do not have a universal code of morality you inevitably will have chaos.
6. We see in our society the same conditions that prevailed in the days of Noah when God was forced to judge the earth. We read of those days that every one did that which was right in their own eyes.
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
C. (vs. 5) The judgment of God is righteous.
1. Vs 6 He will render to every man according to his deeds.
a. To those who patiently are doing good as they seek for the glory of God and honor and immortality, God will give them eternal life.
b. To those who are contentious, and do not obey the truth but live in unrighteousness, God will pour out His indignation and wrath.
c. God will send tribulation and anguish on every man that does evil, Jew and Gentile alike.
d. God will give glory and honor and peace to every man who does good the Jew and Gentile alike.
2. As Jesus addressed the churches in the book of Revelation, to each He said, "I know your works."
a. You cannot hide your evil works from God.
b. You may have been successful in hiding them from man but God sees all.
c. But all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
d. In the days of Noah God saw that the imaginations of man's heart was only evil continually.
e. David said to Solomon, The Lord searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of man's thoughts.
f. The Psalmist said, "He knoweth the secrets of the heart."
g. In Proverbs Solomon said, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good."
h. Paul told the Corinthians that God was going to bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart.
3. In Revelation 16
as God is pouring out His wrath on the earth during the great tribulation we read,
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments.
D. The Judgment of God is totally impartial.
1. There is no respect of persons with God.
For the LORD your God [is] God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and awesome, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do [it]: for [there is] no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
2. In Job 34
Elihu is answering Job and declares,
Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?
[Is it fit] to say to a king, [Thou art] wicked? [and] to princes, [Ye are] ungodly?
[How much less to him] that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are] the work of his hands.
These [things] also [belong] to the wise. [It is] not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person [of any], but teachest the way of God truly:
But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear:
3. The respect of persons here in verse 11 is in reference to the Jew who has the law and the Gentile, who had not the law of God.
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;
For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
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:
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;
a. When God judges a man it will be according to the light and understanding that that man has received.
b. The Jew who has been given much light will be judged by that light.
c. The heathen who have had little light will be judged by the little light that they have.
But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes].
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
d. Peter wrote,
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.