Romans 2:16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
A fundamental part of the preaching of the gospel is God’s judgment. This is not necessarily a pleasant part of the message but it is necessary. When Jesus comes again, all people will be held accountable for their decisions and actions. These are not simply any type of action but especially in relation to our response to God’s light. The context of this verse is important to keep in mind. Paul has just shown that both Jews and Gentiles are accountable to a “law.” The Jews have the written law. The Gentiles have the law of the conscience. Everyone should have a sense of what is right and wrong. The Gentiles learn about right and wrong through culture–which is influenced still by sin, family, and personal choices. God will judge people’s secrets, those things that they hide and think that no one else knows about. But God knows. This judging will take place through Jesus Christ who will be the judge (John 5:22, 27, 30; Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 19:11). This is good and bad news, depending on our decisions in this life. It is good news if we have accepted Jesus as Lord because we will receive mercy and welcome. It is bad news for those who have rejected Jesus and lived in disobedience.
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