The Wrath of God and Judgment for Judgment
Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed!
He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness.
Jesus talked about judging others and He compared it to measuring something and giving it out. As you scoop it up and give it, you’ll get it back.
Just a few chapters later, He taught us that as we forgive others, we will also be forgiven. Through parables and prayer-training, Jesus puts a huge emphasis on our spiritual standing being in direct relation to how well we forgive others.
In this section of Paul writing to the Romans, he’s not calling their sin and depravity the thing that is “stubbornness and your unrepentant heart.” The context of the stubbornness and unrepentant heart is people judging other people. Paul can’t convey to us enough that judging and condemning others is just as bad as doing the things that we are condemning them about.
God will reward each of one according to his works. At the same time, He forgives all of us completely if we call on His name. There is no difference in who is forgiven. This is a caution to every single person. If you live and walk in selfish ambition, you’ll get wrath. If you seek after glory and honor and call on Jesus’ name for mercy, you’ll receive immortality and salvation.
That frees us up. If we can learn how to correct, advise, rebuke, admonish, teach, and guide while the people we talk to know that we aren’t condemning them, a revolution happens. I heard about a guy meeting with a person in obvious sin. He continued to talk about Jesus with the goal that as the person grew in their faith in Jesus, they would listen to Him more and more. As that person learns to hear and obey Jesus in more areas of their life, sooner or later Jesus is going to work on that obvious sin. The person will know my friend is non-judgmental and wise, and open to talk about whatever it takes to grow in Jesus.
As we depend, humbly, on the kindness, forbearance, and patience of Christ, we grow to share that with others. That makes them disciples of trusting, humbly, on that kindness, forbearance, and patience of Christ too, and it continues.