Do We Really Want to Judge?
Romans 2:1-8, 16) (start with prayer)
In chapter 1 we talked about how God handles the heathen, the unrighteous. In chapter 2 we're going to see how God handles the hypocrite and those who judge others.
We're going to see that Paul knew that there were certain religious people who would listen as Paul described God's judgment upon the heathen, those who worship bugs and creeping things, and they would say, Well, we're not that way, we don't do that. And so they listened with these things in mind, they were angry at the sins of others but tolerant about their own sins.
Let's begin looking in 2:1: "Therefore, thou art inexcusable, oh man, "whosoever thou art that judgest: or wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doeth 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, oh man, which judgest them which do such things and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God."
Go back if you will and look in 1:32 "Knowing the judgment of God, that they," underscore the word they. And now notice in 2:1: "Therefore thou art inexcusable." It's easy to talk about they, but God is going to talk to thou. What God is doing is saying, hey, don't talk about other people, it's time to examine ourselves.
I heard somewhere about a man who went to the psychiatrist's office. He had a scrambled egg on his head and a strip of bacon over each ear. He said, I came to see you about my brother.
It's time that we stop thinking about they and begin to think about ourselves and examine ourselves because even those who are saved may be guilty of some hypocrisy.
“Faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord there's none in me.
We tend to want to measure ourselves by other people.
In chapter 2 it's easy to see what the theme is, judgment. Look in verse 1: "Oh man, whosoever thou art that judgest another for wherein thou judgest another," the last part of that verse, "that judgest doeth the same things." Verse 2: "For we know that the judgment of God is according to truth." Verse 3: "Thinkest thou this, oh man, that judgest them." Last part of verse 3: "Do you think you'll escape the judgment of God?" Verse 5 the last part: "The righteous judgment of God." Verse 16: "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ."
Paul’s talking about judgment, the hypocrite's judgment. It's talking about the judgment of those who judge others.
Now, what is their judgment going to be like? Three things. Three times he uses the words according to. Look at it in verse 2: "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth." Second, go down to verse 6: "Who will rendereth every man according to his deeds." Three, go down to verse 16: "In the day when God should judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."
So the judgment is going to be according to truth, and it’s going to be according to deeds, and it’s going to be according to the gospel.
First of all, the judgment is going to be according to truth, and therefore there will be no disguise. You see, the word hypocrite means actor. The actors would put on disguises; if they were supposed to be happy, rather than merely acting happy, they would put on a happy face, a disguise. If they were to be sad, they'd put on a sad face. If they were to be fierce, they would put on a fierce face. They were wearing masks, they were wearing disguises.
Jesus said in the religious world there are some who are actors, they are wearing disguises. Paul says that the judgment is going to be according to truth. God is going to pull off the mask, there will be no disguise; not profession, not pretension, not performance, but truth is the standard.
Today we've forgotten truth. We have sacrificed truth for expediency. We don't ask, is it true? We ask, does it work? We sacrificed truth for style. We're not interested in truth, we're interested in what’s expedient for me. We are one nation under greed, rather than one nation under God.
God has written the Bible, it is called the word of truth. God has given us His Holy Spirit; He is called the Spirit of truth. God is building His church and the church is called the pillar and the ground of truth. God has sent His Son and His Son is truth. God knows the truth and God will judge by the truth.
Now, those that judge don’t understand this, they think that somehow, if we just appear righteous then they will be righteous.
Matthew 23:25-28, Jesus is talking, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you may clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within you are full of extortion and excess." "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is in the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean of them also.
Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are likened unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward but within are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness."
You see, they don't have the courage to out and out serve the devil and they don't have the true grace to really serve the Lord. And so they are a big actor, they are a respectable sinner, but still a sinner. Now the hypocrite is going to be judged according to truth.
There's a second mistake that the hypocrite makes.
They think that if they are not being chastised, if they’re not having trouble, they’re right with God.
Look in verse 4: "And thinkest thou this, oh man, that judgest them which do such things and doeth the same that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."
Some people have the idea that if they're not having any problems, they're right with God. They have the idea that if they're healthy, if their bank account is up, if they have no problems, evidently God loves them, and everything is fine and they don't need to repent, because look at all of these blessings.
Folks, the blessings of God don't mean that we're right with God. God gives us blessings to bring us to Him. It doesn't' mean we don't need repentance. The Bible says that the goodness of God leads us to repentance.
If we're being blessed now, don't get the idea that God's goodness is an invitation to sin more, because the greater the blessing, if those blessings are refused, the greater the judgment when the judgment comes. I remind you that Sodom and Gomorrah were in economic all-time high when the fire and brimstone fell. We talked about that last week. There was much prosperity and that's when the fire fell, because the goodness of God did not lead them to repentance.
Also, don't get the idea that if somebody has trouble it's because God has judged them and if you don't have trouble God is not going to judge you. Jesus said whether a tower falls on you or not, if you don't repent, you're going to perish.
Now here's another thing that these folks need to learn. The hypocrite needs to learn that delayed judgment does not mean no judgment. Look if you will in verse 5: "But after thy hardness and inpenitent heart," rather than repenting they have an inpenitent heart, "treasures up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God."
When God is good to us and when God blesses a nation and that nation hardens its heart against God or when God blesses an individual and that individual hardens his heart against God, God says you're just putting wrath in the bank; you're treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. It's one more deposit.
One day their judgment is going to come and God is going to say, what did you do with all of my blessings? What did you do with the prosperity I gave you? You hardened your heart; you put those deposits in the bank of wrath.
So the judgment is going to be according to truth. God is going to rip off the mask, God is going to say the blessings that I gave you, didn't mean you were right with Me and God is going to say just because I didn't judge you does not mean that I will not judge you.
He says in verse 3: "That thinkest thou that you will escape?" The word think is a technical word; it means, have you figured out a way to escape? Do you think that somehow you're going to escape the judgment of God? You can't do it!
Now I want us to see the second thing. The hypocrite's judgment is according to deeds. Verse 6: "Who will render to every man according to his deeds." You see, we're not saved by works but we will be judged by works.
Somehow we get the idea that certain people, have a special distinction, but we do not. Go down to verse 11: "There's no respecter of persons with God. It doesn't make any difference whether you are Jew or Greek. Paul is going to show in Romans 3 that the entire world is guilty before God.
God judges according to truth and God judges according to deeds. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." You see, so many people have the idea that God's going to grade on the curve. We're bad, but we're not as bad as somebody else.
So these religious people in chapter 2 had compared themselves with the pagan in chapter 1 and they measured themselves by the pagan and they said, well I'm a little better than the pagan. But God doesn't grade on the curve. As a matter of fact, James said in 2:10: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, the same is guilty of all."
You see, God demands absolute perfection, and none of us in ourselves can provide it, and that's why we need the gospel. That's why we need the righteousness of God that comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit living within us.
Let me show you how this goes. First of all, by his actions. Look in verse 6; whatever he does is going to judge him, he's going to rendereth every man according to his deeds. That just means according to his sins. What kinds of sins? Sins of commission, sins of omission, sins of the flesh, sins of the spirit. You see the most respectable man, woman, boy or girl in this building is just as lost as the worst criminal on earth without a second birth.
Not only are they going to be judged according to their actions, but also they're going to be judged by their attitudes. Look in verses 7, 8: "To them who by patient continuance and well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality and eternal life. But to them who 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, to the Jew first and also of the Gentile."
It's talking about our attitudes. He's talking about some who come to church seeking God, that’s good. But there's some who come to church wanting to be contentious. Folks, I've been preaching long enough to know that there are people who mentally argue with me while I’m preaching. Their mind is saying, I think I can find some fault in what that man is saying. Church, that'd be easy to do. I can do that.
I mean, if you come to the house of God and you're looking for something to criticize, you can find it starting with the man standing in the pulpit. But, I'm going to tell you something else. If you come looking for God today, you can find God because He's here. You're going to find what you look for.
There are some who are seekers and there are some who are scorners. And the Lord says that when he comes to judge, not only is he going to judge actions, he's going to judge attitude.
Next, he's going to be judged by his advantages. Here's the one that ought to frighten some of us. Not only by his actions and his attitudes but his advantages. Look in verses 9, 10, "tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, but glory, honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, for there is no respecter of persons with God."
Why to the Jew first, because he had the greater advantage. He's going to say to the Jew, you’ve been given the oracles of God and God has blessed the Jew. Look at chapter 3 verse 1: "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much in every way: chiefly, because that unto them was committed the oracles of God." They have the word of God, they have the Old Testament, and "so therefore unto whomsoever much is given, of the same shall much be required."
You see, God holds us responsible for being in this service today. God is going to judge us because of our advantage. There are millions of people on earth who sit in darkness who have never even once heard the name of Jesus. God knows what you've heard and "unto whomsoever much is given, of the same shall much be required."
How sad it would be to go to hell from the jungle, but how much sadder it would be to go to hell from an air conditioned, upholstered church. Jesus said, "Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, when I prophesied in thy name and in thy name cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works and then will I profess unto them, depart from me, ye who work iniquity, I never knew you."
And how is His judgment going to be? Number one, according to truth. Number two, according to his deeds, his actions, his attitudes, and his advantages. God takes all of that into account when it comes to the judgment.
Now let's come to the third way, He's going to judge the judgers according to the gospel. Look if you will here in verse16, "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." Well what is his gospel? First Corinthians 15:1-3. Paul says, "This is the gospel that I've preached unto you, how that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, that he was raised again the third day, according to the scriptures." That is gospel truth.
And if that gospel does not save you, the gospel will judge you, because that is the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So what does the resurrection of Jesus Christ have to do with judgment? Well He is the judge. The Bible says the Father judges no man, but He has committed all judgment unto the Son. If the gospel does not save you, the gospel will condemn you.
The Bible says in Acts 17, "God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained, wherewith He hath given assurance of all men in that He raised Him from the dead." That means that the resurrection of Jesus Christ that is meant to save us is the very resurrection that will condemn those that judge others.
Notice if you will in verse 16: "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." It means secrets that have been repressed, covered up, not repented from. Secrets that have been repressed, will be revealed. One day God is going to reveal our heart. The judgment of the judger, the hypocrite, is going to be for many worse than the judgment of the heathen. "For unto whomsoever much is given, much shall be required."
United Methodist Church
218 College Street
P. O. Box 327
Ducktown, Tennessee 37317
Sunday School: 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m.
Rev. "T" Reamsnyder, Preaching