Today we're returning to our hearing of God's word from the book of Romans. And we're going to look at Romans 2:6-16. And focus on those verses today. But before we do that, since it's  been a while, just a quick reminder of where we've been, the great theme of the book of  Romans is that the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed a  righteousness, that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, The righteous will live by  faith. And then in the first major section of Romans it goes on to explain why we need  righteousness from God, why we need to be saved, because if something is the power of God  for salvation, it obviously implies that there is a need for saving. And if a righteousness comes from God, there is a problem that we don't have it. And we need that righteousness to come  from God rather than ourselves. So this great gospel power is the theme of Romans. And then the next section goes on to explain the great need for it. And as you look through Romans,  one, two, and three, it shows basically three kinds of sinners. There are the people who are  just rebels without restraint. They go from one kind of evil to another to another, as God's  wrath hands them over to worse and worse behaviors. And that is one kind of sinner who  needs to be saved. But not the only kind. After dealing with that, the apostle goes on to say  you have no excuse, whoever you are, because even though you judge others for being bad,  you do the same things, too. And so besides the rebels without restraint, you also have  moralism without morality, moralism is saying morality matters, and judging other people for  failing to be moral, but then not living up to moral standards, yourself. And that's the section  that we're going to be looking at, especially today, and that we looked at, in some detail in a  previous message where we judge others, but we don't judge ourselves by the same  standards where we have, as Jesus put it, that big, log sticking out of our own eye, while we're trying to pick that little speck out of somebody else's eye. And then there's another kind of  sinner as well, that the apostle will go on, and discuss in a later passage. And that is, religion,  without relationship. People count on a special status, or a special ritual, to make them right  with God without having the real transformation of God and the living faith in God, and the  righteousness of God given to them. So those are basically three kinds of sinners, and just  about all of us fall into one of those categories or into some mixture of them. And the whole  point when the apostle gets done with that big section is, well, what shall we conclude? Are  we any better? Not at all, there is no one who does good, not even one. So that's his main  point throughout the this big chunk of Romans that we're studying in more detail. And today,  we want to focus on what the Apostle says about God's judgment. And we need to do that.  Because there are different ways of denying God's judgment that he's already discussed. One  way of denying God's judgment is from those rebels without restraint. After talking about all  of their kind of wickedness, and just going wild in their sin. He says, although they know God's righteous decree, that those who do such things deserve death. They not only continue to do  these very things, but also approve of those who practice them. So one way of denying God's  judgment is simply to say, there is no judge, there is no judgment, nobody will be punished,  and there is nothing to be punished for. Because we approve of this. We have parades, we  celebrate sin. We love sin. And we admire people who share in our kind of sin. We wallow in it, we revel in it, we approve of it. And that's obviously a way of denying God's judgment. We're  not answering to anybody. But there is another way. And that's the way of the moralist, the  moralist without real morality, looks at others and doesn't deny that there is judgment  coming. But they say and that judgment is going to fall on those people over there. They did  this and this and this Shame, shame, double Shame on them, and God is going to get them.  And so another way of denying God's overall judgment is to assume that it applies to  somebody else. And Paul says you therefore have no excuse you who pass judgment on  someone else, because you who pass judgment, do the same things. Up to this point in the  great letter of Romans, then the apostle shows that God's judgment is real, but there are  some who approve of sin and deny it even while God is judging them by just handing them  over to letting them sin worse, and worse and worse. And then there are those who deny  God's judgment by pointing the finger at others, and not looking in the mirror, not realizing  that they themselves are going to have to answer to God. And in the light of God's judgment,  they are not nearly as good as they think. And one picture I gave of that is that we like to 

make comparisons, we judge others so that in comparison to them, I'm good. And so if you  are a person who is wheelchair bound, your opportunity to move is less than somebody who is a champion mountain climber and has made it to the top of Mount Everest. But if your  objective is to get from the Earth to the Moon, then being a champion climber who made it at  the top of Everest, doesn't put you in any better position, then the person who is wheelchair  bound, if you are looking at the earth, from the moon, here's what you see, of that champion  climber, and of that wheelchair bound person. Well, they're both a long ways away, All have  sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And if you're going to make the trip from the Earth to the Moon, you do not need climbing lessons, or better skills at walking, you need a rocket,  you need to be in something that can get you from here to there, because you simply don't  have what it takes. And that is why it does no good to judge others and say, well, compared  to them, I'm a little better. Yeah. But you've got to cover the distance between you and God,  not just compare yourself to how somebody else is doing. So those are some of the things  that we found thus far in our study of the book of Romans. And in now, in those verses, just  prior to what we're going to read, we found that if you're not going to be able to judge others,  here's why. Because God doesn't judge based on how well you compare to this or that  standard. God judges based on truth. Now, we announced this morning that we were going to  start at 9:30. Hey, our website says 9:30, our bulletin says 9:30. And everybody would get  here and show up to 20 to 10, quarter to 10 and say we're on time. And why do you think  you're on time? Well, because you got here kind of about the same time as a lot of other  people. Yeah. That's not about judgment based on truth. That's a judgment based on how you know the rest of us are showing up. That is kind of how we often tend to do these things.  When we deny God's judgment. We don't think it's based on judgment based on truth. And so  if we find that, well, there's a person over there and there's a person over there, they're kind  of getting along about like I am, we're good. And we literally, you know, we use those words,  I'm good, or we're good. And if it means we mean that we're good, because we kind of fit in  with how most people understand goodness. But the point of the apostle here and of God's  word is we know that God's judgment against those who do such things, is based on what  truth, though, because of your stubbornness, and your unrepentant heart, you're storing up  wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath when his righteous judgment will be  revealed. So the judgment that we're going to talk about God's true judgment, God's just  judgment is based on his truth, not on just saying, Well, how does one person stack up  compared to the next but how do they stack up compared to my standard of truth and so with those things in mind, and building on what we've already learned in the book of Romans, let's  move on to our passage for today, Romans 2:6-16. God will give to each person according to  what he has done to those who by persistence in doing good, seek glory, honor and  immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self seeking, and who reject the  truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for  every human being who does evil. First for the Jew then for the Gentile, but glory, honor and  peace. For everyone who does good First for the Jew, then for the Gentile, for God does not  show favoritism. All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law. And all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are  righteous in God's sight. But it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.  Indeed, when Gentiles who do not have the law, do by nature, things required by the law,  they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that  the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing  witness, and their thoughts now accusing now even defending them. This will take place on  the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ. As my gospel declares, this  ends the reading of God's Word. And God always blesses His Word to those listen. In these  first verses is about God's just judgment, we find that God is going to give to each person  according to what he's done. And in that picture of giving to what a person has done, there  are basically two paths, and only two main outcome. The one path is people who by  persistence, in doing good are seeking glory, honor and immortality, and to such people, God  will give eternal life. For those who are self seeking, and who reject the truth and follow evil,  there will be wrath, and anger. So those are the two paths, the two outcomes, and God gives 

each person according to what he's done. Now, when you hear that statement, God gives  each person according to what he's done. And you've been instructed for some time, in  Christian truth, you say, Well, what's that about? theirs? Are we saved by what we do? The  whole point of the book of Romans is we're not saved by what we do, but by what God does  on our behalf. And so you might think that's a contradiction. But the Bible teaches again, and  again and again, that we are judged by works. We're not saved by works. But we're judged by  works. And you cannot eliminate one as compared to the other. How does that work? Well, if  you're if there's a trial, there is an evaluation of evidence, Judgment Day is a day when the  evidence is brought forward. And here's the question. Is there evidence to convict you, of  being a follower of Jesus Christ? Is there evidence to convict you, that the Holy Spirit of God is living in you? If there is no evidence at all, that you're a disciple of Jesus Christ? If there is no  evidence at all, that the Spirit of God lives in, you know, evidence that you are in Christ, then  you do not have faith? You do not have the saving faith that God gives. The apostle James  asked the question, What good is it if a man claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such  faith save him? And the answer is no. Such faith does not save, because that kind of faith is  as dead as a doornail. That is the point the Apostle James makes. And that's why God though  he does not save us on the basis of any works that we do, does judge on the basis of works  and and reveal on the Day of Judgment, whether faith was real or not. And then he declares  publicly, what earlier he conveyed to his people privately, you're justified by faith even now,  God declares right now that you are right with Him, when you put your faith in Jesus. And  Judgment Day is the day he declares that publicly. And as he does that publicly, he also gives  a display of what was in your life. And some of it won't be pretty. Obviously, some of what is  displayed on Judgement Day will display why a believer needed saving and what God did to  save the believer, but it will also display what was going on when you put your faith in Christ  and when that transformation took place. And here are some very good tests of where you  stand and what will occur on Judgement Day. What are you seeking? And what are you doing?  Those are two important questions. What are you seeking? Those who are going to be  vindicated? Who are going to be declared righteous on Judgement Day are people who are  seeking something in particular glory, honor, immortality, you're seeking The glory of God,  you want God to be glorified. Above all, you're sad when you see God's name and his fame,  not recognized throughout the earth. And so you want God's glory, and you want the glory of  being with him in sharing in that glory. You want honor, the Bible speaks of on the Day of  Judgment, Christ saying, Well done, and you live your life, because you want to hear those  words, you want to be recognized. And you want the honor of being one of his faithful  servants, and to be one of his sons or daughters. And you're seeking true honor not just the  kind of fame that comes from this world and from it's mixed up standards, but you want real  glory, in the glory of God, and you want the honor of being one of God's children recognized  as servants, and you want immortality, your mind is not just fixed on the things of right now,  you have your eyes on eternity on forever. And if you are not seeking glory, and honor and  immortality, then you are not among those persons who belongs to Jesus Christ. And I don't  care. If you say, well, I said a sinners prayer once upon a time, or I walked in aisle once upon  a time, or I did this or that once upon a time, if you're not seeking glory, honor, and  immortality, by persistence in doing good, then you're not a person with saving faith. This is  the clear teaching all through Scripture, Jesus said, there are going to people on the final day  who stand before Him and say, Lord, Lord, we did this, we did that. He says, I never knew you  away from me, you evildoers. So there are people who actually speak of him as Lord who  aren't serving Him as Lord and don't have their hearts and their minds fixed on glory, honor,  immortality, and persistence in doing good, again, persistence, in doing good. We've  mentioned already the parable of Jesus with the four soils. And there are soils where the seed  comes up really quickly. And Jesus says, that's like people who hear the word and get all  excited at first, but at the first sign of trouble, or when the troubles and cares of this world  come along, it's over. And there's no fruit and no life. And so there is persistence. In walking  the path of Christ, Jesus speaks of it as two roads, a narrow one, with a narrow gate that leads to life and a wide one, and an easy path that leads to destruction. And Paul describes that  path that leads to destruction. What's the first thing he says about that path to destruction? 

self seeking? What do you seek? That's the question. If you're seeking God's glory, and you're  seeking God's approval, and that matters more to you than anything else, that's one thing.  But if you're self seeking, that's an entirely different perspective. You're seeking your own  glory. You may be boasting about yourself, you're always trying to put yourself in the best  light, you're looking only for what is going to prosper you, or benefit you. A self centered  existence is a sign of being at odds with God, and in real trouble on the Day of Judgment, self  seeking. And the second thing that said, they reject the truth. You get allergic to the Bible,  that's another serious warning sign, when you only take the passages that you kind of like,  and then there's others that you say, Ah, those just aren't very with it anymore, or they don't  make my heart go pitter patter. You know, that's a very dangerous thing, because then it's not the Bible, that is your authority, but yourself, you're just picking and choosing which chunks  you like and which one's you don't. And there's a rejection of the truth. So seeking self  rejecting the truth, and then in your behavior, following evil, only a few words, but a nearly  perfect portrait of what it's like to be a person without Christ. And without God, it's all about  me. The truth can be fudged, whenever it suits me. And my behavior is going to be I'm going  to do what I'm going to do. And what is the outcome? Well, for the one person who persists  and doing good, and seeks glory, honor and immortality, well, seek and you will find, you will  have eternal life because God has set that path and it leads to eternal life. And there is the  other path. It leads to wrath and anger, the punishment of God, the just judgments and  punishments of God on those who don't know him and don't have his righteousness. So,  judgment again, the question, is there enough evidence to convict you, of being a follower of  Jesus Christ? What's the evidence? What are you seeking? What are you doing? Examine your  hearts very carefully in light of those questions. And in light of those facts, there's two paths  to outcome. don't think there's a third or a 17th. There's one path that leads to life, there's  one path that leads to destruction. And it doesn't always look that way. If you read some of  the Bible's stories, you'll find that there are people who at first, it looks like their way of life is  just leading to trouble and more trouble for them and pain and sorrow, and others who seem  to be prospering. Daniel was a righteous man living as an aide to a pagan emperor. And  Daniel was always upright in his conduct, but that got him in trouble. And his political  enemies said, Well, if we can't get him for being too bad, maybe we can get him for being too  good. And we'll get a law passed against prayer that nobody can pray for a month. And Daniel didn't give into that law. The law was if you did pray, you'd be put in the lion's den. And,  Daniel, I mean, he literally would rather go in a lion's den, than skip a day of prayer. Now, we  sometimes like to urge and encourage each other to spend time each day in prayer and in the Bible. But it's kind of sad that we even need those kinds of boosts. Here's a guy who would  rather face lions that skip his time of prayer with God. But at any rate, there is the judgment  that comes from this world. And Daniel did pray to God, and he got thrown to the lions. And  the lions did not have much of an appetite that day. So Daniel is put on this trial. And there  was just one downside to this for Daniel's accusers, because this was a trial that was intended to show who's right. And of course, the way these things are cooked, if you throw a guy into a  den of ravenous lions, of course, he's found guilty, because they're going to kill him and eat  him up. But just in case, it doesn't go that way. The trial means that if the lions don't eat him,  he's innocent. And then you get your turn with the lions. And in the case of the story of Daniel in the lion's den, his accusers getting their chance with the lions were torn apart before they  hit the bottom of the den. And that's a picture of God's judgment, that there is a way that  man judges that emperors judge, and they do their thing. And then God has His say, and  when God has His say, it is the enemies of God who are devoured, and the children of God  who are rescued and vindicated. So on the Day of Judgment, the Day of Judgment is not a day that the Bible treats has only a negative day and a day of fear. When you read the Psalms,  you hear celebrating that God is coming, that he's going to be judging that he's going to be  making things right and putting things right. And that's a great encouragement to those who  belong to the Lord and who experience a lot of pain and injustice in this present fallen world  that God's gonna put everything right. But if you're using your position, yourself seeking and  you reject the truth, and you follow evil, then judgment is not such good news. Another point  about judgment, according to God's truth is that it is judgment without favoritism. There will 

be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil. First for the Jew, then for the  Gentile, the glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good. First, for the Jew, then for  the Gentile, for God does not show favoritism. If you think about God's judgment, and you  say, Well, I am part of a favorite people. That is a very dangerous thing to think. Because if  you are a favored people, you are also a people who is held to higher standards. In the case of the Jewish people to whom God's revelation and His grace came more fully, and they were  chosen to be an instrument of God's salvation for the rest of the world. It was indeed a great  privilege, and also a great responsibility. And for Gentiles, there is still a judgment coming.  And so the point that Paul is making is that there is no playing of favorites, that if you have  the gospel come to you. He says, The Gospel is the power of God for salvation of everybody  who has faith first for the Jew, then for the Gentile, sounds fair. You know, it's got to come to  somebody first. But judgment also comes judgment begins with the house of God, but  judgment also comes on the Gentiles. So God doesn't show favoritism, that that judgment of  either punishment or eternal glory, honor and peace, this, the same standard applies to  everybody. Whether you're Jew, Gentile, whatever your background, same standard applies  without favoritism. Once again, we see that in the stories of the Bible, I just picked one of  them. The people of Israel sinned against God. They had a temple. It was furnished with all  kinds of wonderful furnishings gold and silver. And they thought that temple kept them safe.  Even when they were setting up idols right in God's temple or in its courtyard. They would  say, the temple of the Lord the temple. Well, that's our magic charm, we've got it, and nobody can harm us as long as we've got the temple, and we've got the ark. And the prophet  Jeremiah and others said, not so quick. If you make my house a den of robbers, the house will  be destroyed, and then in Jerusalem he destroyed and so it was, God judged the Jewish  people and their temple was destroyed. When Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon  came and burned the temple and they carried away its treasures. Judgment came first to the  Jews. And Nebuchadnezzar, the man who accomplished that judgment. Later on, in his life  grew, he was a pagan king. Anyway, he grew very proud, even though he was witnessed to by Daniel. And Nebuchadnezzar said Is not this the great Babylon I have built by my power and  for the splendor of my majesty. And a voice came from heaven and said, Nebuchadnezzar the  judgment decreed for you is now happening. And all of a sudden, he thought he was an  animal. And he was put out to pasture, literally, by his court officials, he thought he was a  cow. So they said well go eat some grass. And he was just going out living in the wild, and  letting his nails grow like the claws of a bird, and he was just as crazy as you can be. And then he says, I looked up to heaven, and my sanity was restored. God judged him. But then God  had mercy on him. Well, some people are slow learners and a descendant of Nebuchadnezzar, King Belshazzar took the throne. And he had a big feast. And he had a feast to honor the idols of Babylon. And he said, This is a great feast. Let's bring in the gold cups and the utensils that we carried off from the temple of Yahweh, in Jerusalem, let's have a party with those things.  And let's worship our gods using the loot from that temple. And so he's in the middle of  having this tremendous feast with the sacred vessels of the temple. And suddenly, a hand  appears and writes on the wall of the king's palace, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin, and they're  all panicking and his knees are knocking and they don't know what to do. And finally, the  Queen Mother says, Well, back in the time of your predecessor, there was a man who could  understand messages from the gods. His name was Daniel, you've been ignoring him for quite a while now, but you might want to bring him in. So Daniel comes in, and Daniel explains  Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin means you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting  this very night your kingdom is taken away from you and given to another. And so Daniel  announces God's judgment and once the judgment is announced, there is no going back. And  that very night, the armies of the Medes and the Persians entered Babylon, they took the  palace, there was nowhere to run for the king. And King Belshazzar was killed. judgment on  the Jews when Jerusalem fell, and the sacred vessels were carried off. But they were still the  sacred vessels of the living God. And the Babylonian Gentiles didn't have a pass any more  than the Jews did on defiling God, and demeaning his name. And so judgment and  punishment will come on the Jew or the Gentile, if they reject and deny God. And the opposite is also true. And we see this in a story in the book of Acts where a man named Cornelius is 

seeking God earnestly, and praying to Him and one day an angel appears to him says, find  out, there's a man named Peter, you got to send a message to him and bring him here. And  Peter comes and brings the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen,  forgiving of sins. And he brings this message to Cornelius and the Holy Spirit comes on  Cornelius and the people in the household with him. And Peter, who really didn't want to  associate with Gentiles, yet at that point in his ministry, had a revelation. He says, I now  realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation  who fear him and do what's right. So Cornelius had been given a heart for God, and he  received the good news of Christ by faith. And Peter recognized this is proof that God doesn't  show favoritism. And so judgment cuts both ways. If you continue in rebellion against God, it  doesn't matter what background you're from, you'll be punished and if you receive by faith  The Lord Jesus Christ and are seeking glory, honor and immortality by persistence and doing  good, then God doesn't show favoritism. He doesn't say, Well, you were a Gentile, you're not  one of that special people. I singled out well, God singled those people out for a special  purpose, but not for the purpose of playing favorites. But for the purpose of bringing blessing  to all nations. Abraham was chosen not just to be blessed, but to be a blessing to all nations.  God doesn't show favoritism, get an order. He chose the Jews, but in order to bring blessing to all nations, so God does not show favoritism. And that, of course, is what you want in a judge  Do you want a judge who just plays favorites? A just judge evaluates based on truth. And part of that evaluation is the evidence. Okay, what's the evidence? How bad were you? What were  your actions, what were you seeking, and people who did worse things, will be punished more severely for doing worse things. But that's not the only standard of evaluation. Another  standard is, you're going to be judged based on the guidance that was available to you. All  who sin apart from the law, the Torah, will also perish apart from the law. And all who sin  under the law will be judged by the law, for it's not those who hear the law who are righteous  in God's sight. It's those who obey the law, who will be declared righteous. So again, there's a  lot of people in the world who never heard God's law. It wasn't given to them in written form  as it was given to Moses for the people of Israel, and are the people who lived without that  law of God going to be judged, and on the basis of what was written on those tablets of stone  and all the other covenant that was given to Moses? No, God is not going to judge people  based on what they didn't have. He's going to judge them based on what they did have, if you sinned apart from the law, you're still going to get judged for your sin. But you're not going to  get sin for law breaking against specific commands that you had written and preached to you. And there's another kind of thing that we have there, just because you didn't have the written law doesn't mean that you didn't have any idea of what God wanted. Indeed, those who are  Gentiles who do not have the law, they don't have the Torah of Moses, but they do by nature,  things required by the law, then they're a law for themselves, even though they don't have  the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their  consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing now even defending them, God didn't give everybody the law of Moses, he did give everybody a conscience. And so even though you don't have written laws, we all know, God has just imprinted it on us. And you can look at it in almost every civilization, we know that it's not just open season, and that it's okay to murder whoever you want. And every civilization seems to know that it's not okay to sleep  with whoever you want. Some have a little different standard than another, but all seem to  realize that just anything goes is loony and wrong. Ours is gone about as far as any Sad to  say, but that's what happens when you post Christian, when you've had all kinds of  Revelation, and you reject all that, then you're worse than if you never had that revelation in  the first place. That's a whole different subject. But that's, that's the fact that every  civilization and all individuals have some measure of conscience and some measure of what is right behavior, and right attitude. And so there are people who are judged by because they  have the written law of Moses but we're all going to be evaluated based on what we did have, we're going to be evaluated then not just on what we did, or what we saw, that's a big part of  it. But another part of it is what opportunities, what a guidance was available to you. And thus far, the apostle Paul has talked about some different kinds of guidance. Creation displays  God's power, and divine nature. And when people see that display of God's power and divine 

nature, and don't glorify Him and praise Him and give Him thanks, then they are in trouble  because they have sinned against the guidance that was available to them. God gives people  a conscience, an inner impression of God's law and conscience has gotten a little distorted,  maybe majorly distorted by sin, but it still gives us an inkling of what God wants and none of  us lives up to the standard of what we know to be right just based on our own conscience.  And God gave a covenant through Moses giving the written requirements of God's law. So  those are three forms of available guidance. And all three forms reveal something of God's  will and of God's goodness and His expectations of us. And none of those three forms of  guidance can save because none of us respond to creation as we ought. None of us responds  to conscience fully the way we ought. None of us even if we have the written scriptures of  how we ought to behave, lives up to God's standards, so creation and conscience and the  covenant law, though they reveal God, they are sufficient to convict of sin. They are not  sufficient to save. And there is another form of guidance that's available. Christ through his  law and Spirit brings forgiveness, and eternal life. And there, it's not just guidance, but it's  also forgiveness for failings, and power to become different power to honor the creator for his  displays of glory, power to live according to conscience, power to obey the laws of God  revealed in Scripture, but it's a colossal mistake, to think that you're going to be saved by  your own good response to creation or to conscience, or covenant. That's why we need the  gospel, the power of God, for salvation, we need Jesus Christ, we need His Spirit to bring us  forgiveness and eternal life. The apostles basic principle, though, that he's setting forth in this passage is this. If all that you knew of God is the displays of creation, and the displays of  conscience, you are not going to be punished as severely as somebody who had the written  guidance of His law. And you are not going to be punished nearly as severely as those who  had the full revelation of Jesus Christ, and of his works, and of His perfect life, and of his  miracles, and His teaching and His atoning death and his resurrection. So we're going to be  judged based on available guidance. And that means that there are going to be degrees of  punishment, as well as degrees of reward based again on what we did, but also on what we  have what was entrusted to us because God's fair, he doesn't show favoritism. Now, not  showing favoritism doesn't mean that he doesn't give some people more advantages than  others. But those who have more advantages, will also be judged, according to the  advantages that they had the servant who knows his master's will, and does not get ready, or does not do what his master wants, will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does  not know and does things deserving punishment, will be beaten with fewer blows, he  deserves punishment. And he's going to get punished, but not nearly as severely as  somebody who knew exactly what he was supposed to do. From everyone who has been  given much, much will be demanded. That's a very basic principle set forth by our Lord Jesus,  the more you're given, the more is required. So on Judgement Day, you answer for the degree of opportunity, and benefit, and Revelation and guidance that God gave you. If all you had  was conscience, and the displays of creation, that's enough to make you deserve punishment  if you didn't honor God and obey Him. But you're still not going to be punished as to what did  Jesus say? Jesus said, I'll tell you this, on the Day of Judgment, you'd be better off being from  Sodom and Gomorrah, than being from these towns, where I did my miracles and preached  and they still rejected me. So you might not have been as bad a person in your behavior if  you came from Capernaum, or Nazareth. But if you rejected Jesus Christ, God in the flesh,  you're worse off than just those wicked rotten people from Sodom Gomorrah, who, you know,  let's face it, when you grew up in Sodom and Gomorrah, you still should know something of  God and conscience, but it's not a real advantageous situation to grow up in. And so Jesus is  saying there are degrees of punishment. And the Bible also says there are degrees of reward.  There are some people who Yeah, they were seeking glory and honor and immortality and  they were saved by putting their faith in Jesus, they lay their foundation on the only  foundation that could be laid Jesus Christ. But they got pretty sloppy in how they built and the Apostle Paul says, there's certain kinds of building materials, there's good kinds, there's  cheaper stuff. And if you build on the foundation of Christ, the Day of Judgment is coming, it's  gonna be like fire, and certain materials, building materials are going to be tested. The fire  will test the quality of each person's work. He says in I Corinthians 3, if what has been built 

survives, the builder will receive a reward if it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss, but yet  will be saved, even though only as one escape into the flames. So if you know that you're a  believer, you know that you belong to Christ, you know you've been justified by faith, you're  building your life on the foundation, you know, you belong to Christ but. Well, there are  degrees of reward, and so we can lose many of the rewards that would otherwise have been  ours. For not living as faithfully to Christ as we should have. Not my idea. It's just the plain  teaching of the Bible. Ephesians 6:8, the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he  does. So sometimes, you get discouraged. There's the there's the proverb, no good deed goes unpunished. That's what it seems like sometimes in this life, you try to help somebody out in  a difficult situation and it just comes back to bite ya, they're mad at you, if you didn't do quite as much as they thought you should have, or something blows up in your face. When you're  trying to do what's right. Well, the Bible says the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. So if you don't get recognition, if you sometimes your good deeds gets punished, it  seems like in this life, well there is somebody else who is still coming to judge and give the  reward. So there's going to be degrees of reward. And that's a great encouragement as we  look forward. And then the final verse that we want to look at today, verse 16, this will take  place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel  declares, I just want to make three observations from that brief verse, One is the day's  already set? We've been talking about God's judgment, I just want to drive the point home,  that day is coming. And God has already decided what that day is. And so he's not going to  say, oops, I think I'll move the date back, or I think I'll not judge after. That date is set. And it's going to happen. And we need to be ready every day for that day. And another point is that  he's going to judge men's secrets. Sometimes the things we do, they come out right now.  People find out about them. We're ashamed, embarrassed, scandalized, punished in a sin, we  may have all sorts of complications, and bad things happen to us in this life because of our  sins. But there are also other things that we got away with, we managed to keep them pretty  much a secret, we didn't get a lot of major consequences out of the deal. Well, on that day,  there are no secrets. So if you become quite skilled at being a secret sinner, there is one who  sees every secret. And so be ready to face up. On the other hand, the good secrets, the love  that you have for the Lord Jesus, the things that the yearnings that you have for him, Jesus  emphasizes praying to the Lord, when nobody's looking, doing things for other people, when  nobody else is looking except the person you're helping you do a lot of things in secret, and  why because the Lord sees, and he's going to reward it on that day of judgment. And the final point, it's going to be the Savior, who will judge. And that, again, is a fact that cuts two ways.  If you don't have him as Savior, there's not going to be anybody else to get you off the hook,  because He's the judge. And so you got to be ready to meet Jesus, there is no judge who's  going to replace him. Sometimes you get involved in a court and you don't like the way one  judge is doing things. If you have a super good lawyer, they can get the judge to be replaced,  or get you moved into a different courtroom. There's one courtroom, and there's one judge.  And nobody's going to finagle to get you a different judge, or to hide the evidence, Jesus is  going to be the judge. That's the bad news. And the good news. The good news is, it is the  Savior, who is going to be the judge, it would be a terrifying thing to know that there is an all  knowing absolutely just being and you're going to stand in His light, and he's going to  evaluate you. But when you remember that the one who is that judge is the one who hung on  a cross and gave his life's blood so that you could stand on the Day of Judgment, then that  puts things in a very different perspective. Just to jump ahead a little bit in the book of  Romans, the apostle talks about being made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. And  then he starts asking some questions. He says, Now if God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also along with  him, give us all things and then He says this, who will bring any charge against those whom  God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died, and is now at the right hand of God is also interceding for us. So he says, It is God who justifies  who can condemn Christ died. Now Christ is at the right hand of God speaking as our lawyer,  this is a situation when you have Christ as your advocate. It is a very comforting thing. If the  judge also happens to be your defense attorney, then you're in a very good situation. And if 

the evidence that is brought into court is things that he himself accomplished in your life, and  the day of judgment is given to reveal those things that he was working in you and that you  by faith were receiving from him, then you can start to sing about the Day of Judgment.  There's still a little bit and maybe more than a little bit of awe, and, and fear just at the  thought of standing before such a holy and perfect God. But again, We cannot change that  part of the gospel. What does Paul say as my gospel declares, if there is no judgment in it, it's  no gospel. Okay? If there is, if you want to savior and not a judge, you are out of luck.  Because the Savior is the judge. And his judgments are final. His judgments are righteous, his  judgments are coming. And the reason we needed the gospel in the first place was because  the judgment is real. And so we need a way to be made right with the judge. So if you hear  any gospel that says, oh, we never talk about judgment. We never talk about Jesus as judge.  Well, you know, right away that it's phony baloney. Because the only gospel there is, is the  gospel of Christ, the judge who justifies us through faith, and transforms our lives by the Holy  Spirit, and makes us right with Him. And more and more makes us like him. Let's pray  together. Dear Father, we thank you for your truth. We thank You that You judge according to  truth that you judge according to your own justice and righteousness. And we thank you that  in the mysteries of your great wisdom and justice, you have found a way even to justify  sinners and make us right with you. And so we pray again, that we will live by faith in you that we will take to heart the promises as well as the warnings of the coming judgment that you  will reward each person to the degree that we know you as well as to the degree that we  respond by faith and obedience. And so Lord work that in our lives of ourselves, we can do  nothing but through Christ, we can do all things and so we pray for that salvation for that new standing in righteousness with Christ and for the power of your Holy Spirit to transform us  that we may stand before you unashamed on that great day. for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 10:13 AM