I.  The judgment of God:
C. through Jesus Christ (Romans 2:12-16)

“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. 13 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. 14 (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, 15 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.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

Hearing the law or not hearing the law (the Mosiac Law) does not make a person guilty of innocent. Judgment is according to how you have kept the law whether you have heard it or not.  Even though the Jews read the Mosaic Law as part of each synagogue service, they did not all live by it.  Even though Gentiles did not hear the Mosaic Law some of them lived by a higher standard…”their conscience bearing witness”.

God has given humans a conscience to help them discern right and wrong.  For everyone who listens to their conscience and does not suppress it will see himself as a sinner and ask God for help.  An honest person with a well functioning conscience will always see himself as guilty.  All people need to have their conscience cleared by coming to faith in Jesus (Heb. 9:14). “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Jesus Christ knows the intent of every heart whether right or wrong and He will judge according to Himself.

Lesson – Jesus is the righteous Judge and nothing is hidden from Him!

This brings us back to the question about those who have never heard about Jesus, yet attempt to please God.

First, we can be assured that God will do justly, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Options –

  1. they will be judged according to what they know and if worthy their faith will be accounted to them as righteousness (like Abraham).
  2. Someone will be sent to them to tell them the Gospel of Jesus (ex. Macedonian man in Acts 16:6-10), or God will reveal the truth of Jesus to them in some other way.

Lesson – Since this is not the normal course of events (because most humans suppress the knowledge of God in their hearts), God in His mercy has called us to go and preach the Good News about Jesus to all the people groups of the world.