The Outcomes

The 2nd chapter of Romans personalizes the reality of willful blindness in a “virtuous” person, and it ought to cause great introspection.  In this chapter, the word “you” is used 27 times within 12 out of a total of 29 verses.   That’s on average over 2 times per statement which is fairly confrontational.  It becomes very clear that the message is directed at the reader, whomever the reader is.  Since this letter is written to believers, we ought to really pay attention to what the Holy Spirit (through Paul) wanted to be precise about. Perhaps we will notice the specific contrast between: the “they” from chapter 1; and, the “you” in chapter 2.  Remember this is one letter.  If anything, chapter 2 reminds me that in of myself alone, there is no difference between “them” and “me” in the sight of God. Oh, but God!  Thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ.   This chapter reminds me to be thankful for the circumcision of the heart even though the tearing away of my flesh is utterly humiliating to my pride. But that’s the point, isn’t it?

In today’s society, virtue signaling is used to retain or gain acceptance by aligning publicly with others to demonstrate “goodness”, and perhaps thereby avoid negative labeling processes exploited by human power.   Human power is that which has dominance through control, authority, and influence.  I make mention of this only because for the majority of the world, the definition of virtuous, good, or moral changes based on who has dominance.  For those who place their trust in the LORD Jesus Christ, human dominance does not dictate morality. 

The truth is, in the sight of God, no one is righteous without His imputation of righteousness by His grace through faith.  As it is written:

  • For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:22 b to 23).

But glory to God, the distinction that brings the change of classification in His sight is His grace and His pardon through faith where He declares us just (or justified).

  • For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8 to 9).

Here’s what my study has cemented in my heart.  I’ve organized it using the following summations:

  1. We need to ensure we do not judge; we have no right! (Verses 1 to 5);
  2. We should live knowing every person will be judged; even the moral person (Verses 6 to 16);
  3. We have to avoid being religious; this leads to blindness and doubts (Verses 17 to 24); and,
  4. We are required to seek value and reward from God; the reward of the covenant through heart circumcision (Verses 25 to 29).

My outline may seem gloomy, but these points really provide great strategic pillars within the framework of faith to help us attain better eternal outcomes.  When you prepare for the imminent, you are more likely to realize additional benefits than inattentiveness yields.  Let’s get started.

First Point:  We need to ensure we do not judge; we have no right!

(Please review Romans 2:1 to 5). 

Have you ever given yourself a pass because you were better than others in your own estimation?  It’s like saying at least I don’t do this or that.  Or have you been so outraged at another person’s failures because you were disgusted at the atrocious behaviour of another?  Admittedly, I have. 

Hating sin is one thing and it should be repulsive to us.  Indeed.  We should hate what God hates, especially when we find sin in our own lives.  So, how does one hate sin and still love oneself, and others as yourself?  Perhaps the key rests in grace.  We want grace and forgiveness; and, we ought to extend it as well if we want to be Christlike.   

Verses 1 to 3 address the fact that we are no better because, at the core, we all have a heart issue that we cannot fix ourselves.  Why does anyone think that they are better than another?  We all break God’s law.  That said, this does not mean we should ignore or condone sin.  But we are not to assume the outcome of another; or in other words, apply a judgment.  Are we so arrogant that we feel we can take God’s place as Judge?  God’s judgment is based on absolute truth; this is something we finite beings can not do.  We may look at the fruit, facts, evidence, and testimony, but we still lack the ability to see every perspective, factor, and motivation and we are unable to see the future.

And to top it off, when we proclaim a judgment on someone, we disregard God’s grace and show Him Contempt.  Grace after all is one of His characteristics.  God’s grace is the very reason that anyone has come to faith in Jesus Christ.  It is written:

  • Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).

I have been guilty of wanting to help God administer justice.   Being anxious to rid my surroundings of injustice and corruption which at the foundation demonstrates a lack of patience (at the very least) in my Saviour or even mistrust of His character.  How patient He is with me even when I insult His very nature.  LORD, thank you for your patience.

It is Scriptural that those who love evil, continue to do evil when they can get away with it.  It is written:

  • “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

Jesus said,

  • Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1 to 5).

Jesus later gave us a strict warning saying:

  • “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; … “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelieversAnd that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:35, 43 to 48).

This is very sobering!  A person who is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit can not intentionally take it upon themselves to administer justice that causes harm to another.  From this passage, I understand that true repentance and saving faith can not do this knowingly.   In addition, if you intentionally withhold forgiveness and grace, you will suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ.  More on this later.  For the person who doesn’t know any better, they will still have consequences although less than the one who should have known better. 

Consider this for a moment.  The context of this passage is the end times when evil is rampant.  Jesus had just told the disciples that just before Jesus catches His bride away and up to the point of His second coming to execute justice on the earth, the society would mirror the days of Noah (Matthew 24:38, Genesis 6:5 and 8). 

Regardless of what is going on in culture, churches, and families, God holds the believer accountable to be forgiving and to refrain from judging another because He is the only righteous judge; and, we are merely humans who are incapable of knowing the heart of another.  Rather than expending energy in our pride, we ought to humble ourselves and seek the LORD for the needed changes in our hearts to make us capable of reflecting His glory, His grace!

I find our LORD very gracious in that He will send others into our lives to point out our willful blindness so that we can repent.  I think of David who was a man who pursued God’s heart.  When he was not doing what he was supposed to be doing, David fell into temptation.  He had an affair with a married woman and then arranged to have her husband killed to cover his sin.  Our gracious LORD sent a confronting word to David to cause his repentance.  Let us review this account briefly.

  • “Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. “The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. “But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. “And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! “And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. ‘I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! ‘Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. ‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ “Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. ‘For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ” So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. “However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” Then Nathan departed to his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill.” (2nd Samuel 12:1 to 15)

Before we go on to the next verses in the Romans 2 study, we should really take note of a few observations from this passage:

  1. God sent word to cause a heart correction because God is merciful and longs to forgive those who love Him.
  2. David had no problem judging another man while he was committing sin and being unrepentant.
  3. Willful and unrepentant sin shows hatred for God’s commandments and ultimately shows contempt for the LORD.
  4. The LORD forgives and will also allow consequences.

You see friends, our goodness and roles (even God-anointed ones) cannot spare us from God’s righteous judgment.  In fact, unrepentance and stubborn pride in which we judge others will only add to the wrath of God.  Romans 2:5 says:

  • “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,”

This letter was written to believers but not all who believe have turned away from practicing sin. That should not shock us.  Paul wanted these home churches in Rome to be fully aware of what faith involved.  There are plenty of fine people who believe that Jesus Christ lived; they may even believe that He was who He said He was.  But unfortunately, some have not come to a place (yet) where they are willing to admit their goodness and their works will not save them.  They may even think that in the end, God will use some cosmic scales of justice to weigh their good deeds against their bad ones.  I pray that such a person comes to see that they must also turn from their ways and obey what God has said in His Word.  Part of this repentance is acknowledging they need Jesus Christ to be their personal Saviour; the other part is to submit in obedience to the Word. 

Saving faith is the same as obedience.  Unbelief is the same as disobedience

The moral person (as defined by society) practices the same sins in their heart as the pagan unbelieving person.  Their sin may be different in scope and manifestation, but at the root, it is the same.  It is idolatry (the combination of pride and unbelief).

You see, saving faith must result in a change of direction and therefore behaviour.  If a person places total reliance on Jesus Christ for forgiveness and reconciliation with God, their ways (however gradual or immediate) must change and align with the One they are reliant on.

Jesus said:

  • …”The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

The justified fully understand that they are sinners who have been forgiven by God’s grace through faith, and they are participating with the Holy Spirit to grow in obedience to the Word.  May we all pray like David:

  • “… Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight; that You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. … Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. …. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. … For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise.” (These are portions of Scripture from Psalm 51 which is a Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.)

Second Point:  We should live knowing every person will be judged; even moral and religious people.

Please concentrate your focus now on Romans 2 verses 2 to 16.

I thank the LORD for His Word.  There is so much comfort in knowing that the One who died for my sin, is my Judge.  The Father gave the requirement of “faith” to be declared just, and then gave the Son of God the job of judging because He was also fully human; He is the Son of Man.

  • For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice “and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:22 to 29).

Let’s analyze this next passage looking for consistency with John 5Romans 2:5 b to 11 states:

  • … God … “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:5b to 11).

It is true that God is good and gracious.  God gives every person a common grace.  Jesus said:

  • “… He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45).

The psalmist wrote:

  • The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:9)

He is merciful and gracious in providing a path to eternal life for anyone who is willing to take it (refer to John 3:16).  In the same way He has a common grace; God has a common justice.  As such, each person will be judged using the same criteria with eternal outcomes based on how they lived their lives.  In Romans 2 verse 2 we read that:

  • … we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth ….”

So at this point, I would like to look at  5 elements of God’s Judgment against humanity that are applied individually at the end of one’s mortal life (note:  there may be more criteria outside of this study).  You will find the next discussion threads listed in Romans 2, specifically verses:2, 4 to 6, 11 to 12, and 15 to 16. 

The first thing I’d like to point out is that God’s righteous judgment will be executed by Jesus Christ.  Jesus said:

  • For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him. … “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice; the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.  Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.” (John 5:21 to 30 from the New Living Translation).

At the end of my study, I will conclude with a passage of Scripture that will demonstrate God’s grace to those who rely fully on the sufficiency of Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for justification and in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s teaching of the Word for fruit bearing sanctification.  I assure you, if you are the LORD’s follower, this passage will rouse you to worship God deeply for His plan and covenant!

For now, let’s begin with my first point about what the Scripture says about God’s judgment.

1.    Judgment is Rendered by Truth

When we hear this, one may automatically ask what is truth and how does it impact our eternity? 

  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
  • Jesus also said, Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17).
  • To Pilate Jesus said, You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37).
  • In Ephesians 4:21 it says “the truth is in Jesus:”

So, we have the most significant destination-determining criteria which will determine which judgment a person attends.  Scripture states that a person can only be declared just (or righteous) by God through faith (Romans 2:17) inthe Gospel of God (or the fulfillment of the prophesied resurrected Messiah).    Refer to Deuteronomy 18:15 to 18, John 4:23 to 26, and 1st Corinthians 15).  If the gospel and truth are both in Jesus, then we understand that He is the embodiment of truth in fullness and scope (Colossians 1:19 to 20 and Colossians 2:9 to 10). 

As such, when we individually stand before our Judge, our eternal destination will be final and based on His righteous requirement of faith as the one and only way to pardon the guilty verdict.  The justified to eternal life in Christ with God; and, the unjustified in the place of torment originally prepared for the fallen angels with the enemy of our souls (Matthew 25:41; Isaiah 5:13 to 14; and 2nd Peter 2:4).

From various Scriptures, we learn that upon death a human being’s spirit automatically goes to hell or heaven based on God’s righteous judgment; everyone is born worthy of hell because the species has been corrupted and some are saved by grace through faith in God’s Gospel.  Just to add some clarity, let’s look at the opposite of faith as used in Scripture.  I believe it will help us as we navigate this topic.

This is very important and is seldom taught.  It is not legalism, it is truth.  “Unbelief” in scripture (based on Strong’s Definitions G543) is the Greek word “apeítheia” which means obstinate and rebellious disbelief or disobedience.  To see how the words “unbelief” and “disobedience” is used interchangeably, please look up Romans 11:30 and 32, Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6, and Hebrews 4:6 and 11.  In each of these cases, the person in this state is not on their way to heaven.  This (in of itself) ought to cause us to be very mindful of our actions and the position of our hearts.

Using the message delivered by Hosea to the ancient children of Israel, Scripture shows us that our unchanging God has consistently dealt with willful ignorance and disobedience the same way.  It is written:

  • “Hear the word of the LORD, … For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint with bloodshed upon bloodshed. … My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God….” (Hosea 4:1 to 2 and 6).
  • “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. … They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” (Romans 1:28 and 32 from the New Living Translation)

These are such deep truths.  If one truly has the deep conviction that God is who He says He is in Scripture and that He does what He says He’ll do, then the outcomes are obedience or a depraved mind unto disobedience.  Those who are declared just will live by faith by God’s revelation from faith to faith; from glory to glory.  For it is written:

  • “…when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2ndCorinthians 3:16 to 18).

But wait a minute!  Truth impacts more than our eternal destination.  It impacts how we experience it.  It determines the heights of blessedness for the redeemed; and, the depths of regret and suffering for the lost.  We will be judged for the amount of truth or light we have been given.  What did we do with the revelation gifted to us?

Romans 2:5 b to 11, explains that the pagan person (described in Romans 1) and the moral person (saved or not) will not escape God’s judgment. 

The non-believer and disobedient will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of time (Revelation 20:11 to 15).  Scripture states that those who refuse to believe and obey God’s Word will be tormented even prior to Hell being thrown into the Lake of Fire.  When reading the passage in Luke 16 (starting at verse 23), we see that the destination was fixed prior to the judgment, that the tormented were aware of why they were there (unbelief), and that they could not escape.

The obedient believer will stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:10) and the truth will be applied to every aspect of our lives.  A huge challenge for people who are generally decent is that they may not know the truth about themselves.  We can be blind to aspects of our own failures and assume we know the truth.  Assuming we know the truth keeps us away from discovering the truth because we do not seek something we presume to possess.

Let’s look at Romans 2, verses 4 and 5 again.  I’ll refer to the New Living Translation this time.

  • Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

In all cases, when God’s goodness and longsuffering are taken for granted or ignored, a person who is hardening their heart stores up punishment.  When we consider this, we have to ask ourselves whether a believer can perpetually maintain a hard heart and refuse to stop sinning.  If repentance and faith result in a change of direction towards obedience to Christ, is this possible?  A person who surrenders to the LORD and places their faith in Him has already been judged (pardoned or justified granting access to heaven).  Here it is in Scripture:

  • “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1 and 2).

The truth is, without living our lives in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and daily based on Scripture (with eternity in mind), we may blindly go about our lives heaping up our rewards whether those rewards are good with some loss (as in the case of the justified), or bad (as is the case for the unrepentant unjustified).

With the first and most significant point completed, let’s move on to the remaining 4 elements of judgment defined by Scripture.  We’ll move through these more quickly.

2.        Judgment is Rendered by Deeds

Do works and attitudes matter?  There are a number of Scriptures that teach us that our works matter.  Here are just a few to add to Romans 2:6:

  • “Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.” (Psalm 62:12).
  • “If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:12).
  • “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” (Isaiah 3:10 and 11).
  • “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10).
  • “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:7 and 8).

Are there any distinctions between the pardoned and the unpardoned?

The non-believer and disobedient is a self-seeker or an idolater (one who does not obey the truth but obeys unrighteousness).  Such a person is striving after their heart’s desires above the will of God which Scripture states is actually seeking God’s indignation and wrath resulting in tribulation and anguish. (Refer to Romans 2:8 and 9, John 3:36, 2nd Thessalonians 1:8, John 3:19-20, Hebrews 3:12 to 13).

The obedient believer who has received eternal life is seeking imperishable treasure, glory honour by continually doing good (Refer to Romans 2:7 and 10, Luke 8:15, Luke 21:19, Romans 8:25).

This next point should awaken the apathetic or idle.

3.        Judgment is Rendered Impartially

How will we answer for how we lived our lives?  There is no favoritism or partiality in God (Romans 2:11).  The judgment will be based on what they have done with time, treasure, talents, and how much light they had.  The LORD will show no regard to ethnic background or any other consideration.  For it is written:

  • “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.” (Deuteronomy 10:17).
  • “… He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands.” (Job 34:19).
  • And Galatians 6:7 and 8 which was mentioned earlier.

The non-believer and disobedient will give an account for their actions and entire life. I have not found a Scripture that discusses specific degrees of suffering but I recommend reading 2nd Thessalonians 1:6 to 9 which explains it will include flaming fire with unending destruction without any goodness and mercy.  This sounds as though there will be no relief whatsoever.  This makes me weep for those who refuse to submit to the LORD who has given every person time to choose a way of life (the choice to love self or to love the Lord).  I also note that Jesus had mentioned some who did not follow Him will do better than others who likewise did not obey on the day of Judgment (Matthew 11:21 to 24).  If I were asked to elaborate on the differences between punishments for the disobedient, I would decline because I do not know.

The obedient believer will receive an inheritance from the Lord as long as the believer has done it for the LORD heartily (more on this later). Sin prior to regeneration is not remembered (Psalms 103:12, Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:2 and 17, and 1st John 1:7).  Praise God!  If the regenerated soul has done wrong while in Christ, it will be repaid through loss of reward.   (Colossians 3:23 to 25; 2nd Corinthians 5:10).  Here it is very worthwhile to read the parable of the minas found in Luke 19 verses 11 to 27.

Now, this next element has been wrongly labeled “legalism”.  It should be labeled fruit.

4.        Judgment is Rendered based on Obedience

Doesn’t grace cover it all?  So many people are deceived or misunderstand what Scripture says about grace.  God’s grace is His Divine illumination of the goodness of God that influences the human heart to understand their need for the Saviour and sparks faith in the LORD.    God’s grace is His good will, loving-kindness, and merciful favour that attracts lost souls to Christ and is the sufficiency and strength for believers to continue in obedience, affection, and fruitfulness.   With this in mind consider the following Scriptures:

  • For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:14 to 15).
  • “But as you abound in everything (in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us) see that you abound in this grace also.” (2nd Corinthians 8:7).
  • “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2nd Corinthians 9:8).
  • “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2nd Corinthians 12:9).
  • “But He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”” (James 4:6).
  • “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4).

God’s mercy forgives us for our sins and His grace gives us what we do not deserve (His goodness, His blessedness, His eternal life and presence, and as such enables faith). As it is written:

  • Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (1st John 3:7 to 9).

So, we see, grace brings you to faith; and, faith to the practice of righteousness with all liberty (free from the bondage of sin and free from religious law).

The non-believer and disobedient are subject to this verse.  “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;” (Romans 2:12 and 13).  From this, we understand that judgment has nothing to do with any religious observation.  Just as there will be people who do not have any religious conviction, there will be work’s based and faith-professing people who have a great deal of knowledge but lack submission to the Holy Spirit.  This is  (1) trusting in one’s merit, or (2) rebellion which places one’s desires above God’s (idolatry).    Knowledge can deceive us and give us a false sense of security.  The enemy of our souls and his minions have a clear knowledge of the reality of God but do not come to repentance although they tremble (Refer to James 2:19).  The disobedient have their consciences seared (Refer to 1st Timothy 4:1 and 2.)  We ought to pray that those we interact with will submit to Christ because He will … cleanse … [the] conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14).

The obedient believer will love the LORD God with their heart, soul, all their strength, and with all their mind, and ‘their neighbor as themselves (Luke 10:27).  The believer will grow in this by the power of the Holy Spirit because this is impossible without God’s grace; His supernatural influence on our hearts.  The believer will be imperfectly obedient as the Holy Spirit perfects them as the fruit of the Spirit grows within their lives.

  • “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:18 to 25).

It is also to be noted that a believer is to continue in the sanctification process with the Holy Spirit.  We are to continually and habitually practice righteousness and good as led by the Holy Spirit and as outlined in the Word of God.  Having been justified, and participating in sanctification, we will obtain glorification which is the end state of our salvation, when we share in Christ’s character.  Can you imagine?  Wow!  Consider these passages of Scripture:

  • “For we walk by faith, not by sight. … Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2nd Corinthians 5:7, and 9 to 10).
  • “but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:13 to 14).
  • “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight; if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven….” (Colossians 1:21 to 23).

Later I will go deeper into the grace of the LORD.  Let’s move on to our final element of judgment.

5.        Judgment is Rendered by the Secrets of the Heart

Do motives matter?  So frequently when I chew on the meat of God’s Word, I see the need for His sanctifying work in my heart.  The psalmist captured this well:

  • “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them, Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:7 to 14)

We have all done something, said something, or believed something that we have regretted and would prefer to remain undisclosed.  Jesus said:

  • No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” (Luke 8:16 to 18 from the New Living Translation).

What serious statements.  Every secret and presumptuous sin of the heart will be exposed in the light of the LORD on the day of judgment.  We are responsible to repent for all wrongdoing and for all areas where we fall short of God’s glory.  There have been times that I’ve wanted to give myself a break because I know it is impossible for a human being to be perfect while still in this body.  Yet, when I consider the LORD’s warning to consider how I consume Scripture, I see that it is better to yield to the discipline of the LORD.  If I engage the Word passively and do not pay close attention to what the Holy Spirit would like to develop or prune in my heart, I may become blind to my faults.  Either way, I will have to account for my life, so I would rather go through the pruning now and have the opportunity to develop more fruit than stand before the Word of God and have Him ask why I wouldn’t listen.

The truth is that God has given every person a conscience which is supposed to be an indicator of when our thoughts and behaviors are not right or holy. 

The non-believer and disobedient still have a moral compass although it is possible to hush it and even scorch it until it is virtually dead.  While societies try to create normative morals, the heart of a human being generally knows when something is unethical (when an action seeks to do harm or is dishonorable).  Even atheistic and agnostic cultures have laws that govern people.  It is interesting to watch societies redefine laws to broaden and narrow what it desires to be acceptable.  Barbaric and murderous societies created norms surrounding their practices as well; today, the majority of the planet would consider these behaviors unacceptable.  But are there times when it is right?  Haven’t our societies defined acceptable times to take the life of another?  Where are the lines drawn and by whom?   Those who do not accept that a Creator God has defined righteousness for humanity will inevitably revert to barbarianism at some point of extreme crisis where the value of the individual life is devalued (as history has demonstrated).  Regardless of societal or cultural constructs, God will judge every person based on the moral law that was originally written in their hearts (Romans 2:15) and He will judge the things that appeared to have remained secret. 

The obedient believer has a better hope. 

Scripture states:

  • “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [Now listen and celebrate this next verse]. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1st John 1:5 to 10).

Praise God!  You see, the obedient believer comes into the light and admits to the LORD that they have sinned.  They take accountability before the LORD and do not try to hide it.  They do not justify it and they are willing participants of the LORD’s discipline.  So, although we may not like admitting our shortcomings, if we are believers, we will participate in this process.  When the LORD cleanses us, we have cleared consciences and freedom.

The challenge is that there is an accuser (whether the enemy of our souls or our own doubt of forgiveness).  But, hear me now, you have to love the fact the LORD has already answered that for us.  It is written:

  • For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” (1st John 3:20 to 23).

Third Point:  We have to avoid being religious; this leads to blindness and doubts

Please meditate on Romans 2 verses 17 to 24.

When this portion of Scripture was written, most people who had a form of Godliness were Jewish and much of the world was pagan or polytheistic.  Paul, a Jewish reformed Pharisee, writes of the dangers of having religion without a relationship with the living God.   I am thankful that God had chosen these precious people who with great diligence safeguarded Holy Scripture from the Old Covenant or the Old Testament.  The LORD in both Testaments warned about having a devotion to rules and laws while being void of any personal relationship. 

  • “Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men. Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” (Isaiah 29:13 to 14).

In the letter to the Philippians, Paul encouraged believers to press on to lay hold of the eternal life that Jesus purchased for him.  It is written:

  • For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Philippians 3:3 to 12).

Generally speaking, legalism causes blindness in that the focus on rules gives a person the false impression that adherence to religious laws will give them a desirable standing with God.  It is a cart of a decaying crop without the means of carrying it to its destination.  Holy Spirit birthed faith is both the seed that produces good imperishable fruit (1st Peter 1:22 to 25) and the vehicle to acceptance in the Beloved, the Godhead (Ephesians 1:6).

The danger of legalism is that a person can: (1) wrongfully assume they are saved by performance and not by grace through faith; (2) judge the fate or heart of another person; and, (3) stop relying on the sufficiency of Jesus Christ’s atonement for sin which results in placing hope in one’s actions instead (which can never bring about a heart regeneration).  

Being blinded by legalism, people often then pursue teaching others to come under the same bondage of performance not realizing what they are doing.  Jesus often addressed the teachers of the law with a rebuke about their blindness.  An example of this can be found in Matthew 15.  Instead, Jesus implores all who will hear Him saying:

  • Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 to 30).

Now someone who is legalistic is also challenged with their own inability to perfectly follow the law.  God’s law is perfect and the human race was corrupted when sin entered so it is impossible for any human being to do so perfectly.  If someone thinks they are following God’s laws perfectly, they are deceiving themselves.  (Refer to Ecclesiastes 7:20, James 4:17, and 1st John 1:8).  This is where bondage and frustration occur.  How can anyone be good enough?  You can’t be!   Jesus Christ is sufficient.

By being legalistic and lacking a growing relationship with the LORD, doubt creeps in

Let’s get clear about doubt.  In Scripture, doubt is not the opposite of faith. 

In fact, Jesus implied that a person could have faith and still have some doubt.  Consider this passage.

  • “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.” (Matthew 21:21)

The word for “doubt” in this Scripture is defined in Strong’s definitions as (G1252) which is “diakrínō”. This word means to separate thoroughly, withdraw from, oppose, hesitate, doubt, judge, be partial, stagger, and waver.  An example of this is to believe the LORD heals but doubt He will do it for you.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon provides that scripturally, G1252 or “doubt” in certain passages is used in a way not found in secular authors.  It is to be at variance with oneself, hesitate, and doubt.  You can find this word used in Matthew 21:21; Romans 14:23; James 1:6.  If you enjoy word studies, I encourage you to look up the word “doubt” in a Biblical Greek Lexicon.  It may clear up quite a few things.

Saving faith in Greek is pistis G4102 and pistos G4103.  In Scripture, the opposite of “pistis” is Strong’s Number G571 matches the Greek word “apistos” which is used in the following manner in the King James Version:

  •  that believe not (6 times), unbelieving (5 times), faithless (4 times), unbeliever (4 times), infidel (2 times), thing incredible (1 time), which believe not (1 time).

A few examples of this word can be found in Matthew 17:17, Mark 9:19, Luke 9:41, Luke 12:46, 2nd Corinthians 4:4, 2nd Corinthians 6:14, Titus 1:15, and Revelation 21:8.

Also, please note there is a difference between no faith (“apistos”) and little faith (oligopistia and oligopistos) which was used in Matthew 17:20 and Matthew 6:30; Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:31; Matthew 16:8; Luke 12:28 respectively.

This could lead to another study which I will avoid at this time.  But rest assured, the LORD will respond to anyone who prays for the LORD to increase their faith or remove doubt.  In time, you will look back and be amazed at the increased appetite for fellowship with Him in prayer, in the Word, and in fellowship with other believers!

Fourth Point: We are required to seek value and reward from God; the reward of the covenant through heart circumcision.

Please consider Romans 2 verses 25 to 29, and along with these cross-references:

  • “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6).
  • “And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised (that is, the commanded physical cutting representing the old covenant) that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:3 to 6).

For this section, I would like to concentrate on Romans 2 verse 29 using the New International Version.  It says:

  • “No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.”

What a great ending to Romans 2.  This verse confirms that the justified will obey because of a changed heart (not based on a person’s effort).  This tells me, that if a person is justified, they will want to obey God (although they will do so imperfectly).  This verse also confirms a changed heart will seek commendation (or awards) from the LORD. (Refer to 1st Corinthians 4:5, Ephesians 1:14, Philippians 1:11, and Philippians 4:8 to better understand the use of the word “praise” or commendation in verse 29.)

  • “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold (though your faith is far more precious than mere gold). So, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.” (1st Peter 1:6 to 9 New Living Translation)

So, while a morally decent but unregenerated person can perform good works, without a changed heart it will not change their destination because this person remains unpardoned.  The Holy Spirit regenerated person obeys God which produces fruit that will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ and will be on display when the bride returns to rule and reign with Christ.  This gives God glory for His goodness and redemptive work through Christ Jesus.

You might be asking what should we seek while here on earth.   Romans 2 verses 7 and 10 tell us to seek:

  1. Glory (which is an overall good opinion or estimation from God, Refer to 1st Peter 1:7; 2nd Peter 1:17);
  2. Honour (appearing in the rewards of the future life which one has by reason of rank and state of office held, Refer to John 12:26; and 1st Thessalonians 4:4);
  3. Immortality (the body of a person exempt from decay after the first resurrection in a state of never diminishing love in all purity, Refer to 1st Corinthians 15:50 and 54, Ephesians 6:24 noting the word “sincerity” here means uncorrupted, 2nd Timothy 1:10, and Titus 2:7);
  4. Eternal life (which is being abundantly one with Christ as Christ is with the Father and the Spirit, Refer to John 6:27, John 10:28, John 11:25 to 26, Ephesians 1:6, and Romans 6:23).  Now note here, that we will never be God (self-existent and all-powerful, etc), but will become unified in the Holy Beloved and perfected or glorified. (Refer to Hebrews 1:3, John 1:4, Colossians 1:17, and Revelation 4:11).  The created will always need the source of life.

If I had to sum up Romans 2 from the life of Jesus, I would look at John 3:1 to 21 where Jesus teaches a decent law-abiding man named Nicodemus that a new birth needs to occur to have eternal life; and in verse 36, Jesus tells John the Baptist that the wrath of God remains on anyone who does not believe Him.  After the John 3 encounter, Nicodemus brought about 100 roman pounds of a myrrh and aloe mixture to anoint Christ’s body for burial (refer to John 19:39).  Scripture does not tell us if Nicodemus accepted Jesus Christ as his Messiah, but I think this offering testifies that he believed something; only God knows the heart and its journey to salvation.  Can you imagine the impression that this wealthy teacher of the law had when handling the beaten body of Jesus Christ.

  • “Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.”   …  “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 52:14 to 15 and chapter 53:2 to 7).

What a deeply profound and personal transaction Nicodemus undertook to preserve the body of Christ.  I wonder if He recalled the prophecies about the suffering Servant.  Imagine if Jesus (the Word who became flesh, the One whom God used to create the world, the One who by the power of His Word sustains all life) decided to open His mouth and say “stop”.  But no, He did not.  He allowed His death to pay the price for every human being’s sin.  And anyone who believes in Him can have everlasting life.  Oh, what a Saviour!

Ok, I promised you some inspiring hope at the end of my study which largely focused on judgment.  Here it is.  God’s Word is beautiful and offers the best promises.

  • “Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands. … But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. … And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.”
  • That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant. … And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.”
  • “But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The LORD will judge his own people.” … So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved. (These Scriptures are various passages from Hebrews 8 through 10 from the New Living Translations that explain it all).

Praise God!  What hope!  What promises!  What an outcome for those saved by grace through saving faith; from faith to faith through love. 

For those who have not received God’s gift of Jesus Christ as your Redeemer, it is as simple as telling God you believe Jesus is the resurrected Messiah and then asking Him to forgive your sin. THEN, you need to grow which will result in turning away from all your sinful patterns, BUT with the help of the HOLY SPIRT because you can’t do it alone. Truth be known, at first we all like our sin and none of us will ever be good enough! If you need evidence of who Jesus Christ is, you should evaluate the Scripture for yourself. Please visit DESIRINGFRUITFULNESS.CA/CHOICES for historical proof which was documented.

Or you can review the 4 SIMPLE STEPS or concepts to help you ask the LORD to bring you into right standing with Him. The steps are designed to help you know why a prayer of repentance is necessary. There are no “specific words” to pray, but there is a process to coming to faith.

All Scripture in this blog is from the New King James Version unless otherwise specified.

Published by OneBranch

OneBranch believes the Word of God is effective for fashioning a heart committed to loving God and loving others. As such, internet content is published with the intention of motivating others to read Scripture for themselves. The content is created from personal devotional/study time in the Word of God and can be viewed as an online journal in the life of one of the branches in the LORD's fruitful vineyard. Readers/listeners are encouraged to validate all Scripture and concepts using the Holy Bible and prayer.