TUESDAY, MAY 23
SCRIPTURE: Romans 2
As you work through this chapter, remember it is directed primarily at a Jewish audience. Paul kind of jumped on the Gentiles at the end of chapter one. Now, he is speaking to Jewish people. That doesn’t mean this chapter doesn’t apply to us who are not Jews. It just means we need to be aware of the original audience as we read.
I want to call your attention to verse 4. Paul is cautioning Jewish people not to presume on the grace, kindness, and patience of God. The Old Testament is just full of examples of God’s grace, kindness, and patience directed at His chosen people. But have you ever thought about how evident that is in the New Testament?
Remember that Jesus came as the Messiah of the Jewish nation. As a nation, however, they rejected Him. As a result, the door was opened for the Gospel to be brought to the Gentiles. But even as that was happening God was still giving grace and showing kindness to the Jewish people. In fact, He gave them almost 40 years after the ascension of Jesus to turn to Jesus. As a nation, however, they continued to reject Jesus. And then in 70 AD, the Romans marched into Jerusalem destroying everything in sight including the Temple.
Notice that the end of verse 4 says that it is God’s kindness that is meant to lead people to repentance. God continues to wait, to be kind, to show grace, so that more and more people can be saved. I am grateful that God’s patience is in place even now for more to be saved.
In verse 6, we read where God will render to everyone according to his works. It is important that we know what this says and what it doesn’t say. First, it doesn’t say a man can be saved by his works or deeds. That is impossible. In Ephesians 2, the Bible is clear that we are not saved by our works, “lest any man should boast”. If we could work our way into heaven, we wouldn’t have needed a Savior. A good job foreman to keep us on task would have sufficed. We are saved by grace alone through faith in Jesus alone.
But God will still render to everyone according to his works. For the Christ follower that means there will be a day when we will answer for what we did with our lives after we got saved. This is not to determine if we get to go to heaven or not. All true Christ followers get to go to heaven. He will render to the saved according to their works in a way that produces rewards for some..
On the other hand, the lost person’s final judgment will be all about his works or deed. In Revelation 20, we read about the Great White Throne where all the lost people from all time will stand before God. The first thing that will happen is they will look in the Lamb’s Book of Life for their names. Since they are lost, their names won’t be there. Second, the books will be opened which will contain every thought, word, and deed of every lost person. Obviously some of those will be good and some will be bad. The problem is the Bible says if we have broken one of God’s Laws then we have, in effect, broken them all. So, everyone that stands at this Great White Throne will be found guilty and will spend forever in hell.
Before I leave this, let me say this again. If you are saved, you will not be at the Great White Throne Judgment. If you are saved, you will get to go to heaven. Thank you Jesus!