Chapter 2: 1-16
God Knows your Secrets and Mine
“Therefore, you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
“5 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, 6 who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
“12 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 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
As you can see, this is the same scripture passage that we began with last week, but we will now move beyond the first few verses.
Once again, thanks for the encouraging words and the feedback that lets me know that the Lord is using these lessons for His glory and to help His people. January 2020 was 10 years that the Lord has been allowing us to do this ministry through our local church here in Mississauga. And make no mistake; this is an undertaking of all of our people. We began with just about 9 people reading these lessons, and now we have over 250 that get them directly and hundreds more that get them through Rapture Ready and via sharing. The work of the Lord is a team effort.
Churches are comprised of teams of redeemed and baptized men, women and kids who love the Lord first above all else and then take the time to share the Good news of Jesus as they are going about their lives. They love each other and the people around them and live honest, humble lives seeking to simply point others to Jesus. I am thankful to be part of a local church and to be surrounded by local churches that are doing that.
Last time, we talked about the importance of helping each other as we walk through this life. We all sin, we all fail the Lord at one time or another, and we need to be helping each other up rather than tearing each other down. Jesus told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This has been the purpose of the evil one for 2,000 years in the New Testament churches. He causes division, and he does so in the family first, and then into the Lord’s churches. The devil has sown people into the Lord’s churches that are unforgiving, gossipers and always looking for the faults of others to bring accusations. These things should not be this way. If all of us approach each other with humility and with the mind and heart of a servant, we can stop these divisions and put the divisive ones out of business very quickly.
- There is a Judgment coming, verse 5-6
God will render to each one according to his deeds; this is a sobering thought. We live in a time where we really want to believe that judgment no longer exists – No one has the right to judge me; I can do what I want without repercussions. This is a false narrative offered by the world system; and sadly, it is creeping into the Lord’s churches. Every single person who has ever lived will one day stand before God and give an account of themselves. You will either stand in the righteousness of Jesus or your own. If you stand in Jesus, you will live with the Lord forever. If you stand in your own righteousness, then you will be separated from God forever.
I heard one of the Presidential candidates in the US make the claim that he has earned his way into heaven. What a foolish man! The idea that he is going to enter God’s heaven on his terms is ridiculous. Jesus said “I am the door.”
John 10: 9-10 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Jesus is the door. If you come by the door, you will be welcomed in and find life. But if you try to come in some other way, you will be rejected. What then is the end of those that try to come by their own works? Look at Matthew 7: 21-23:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’”
Some will try to offer reasons why they should be let in; their claims will be rejected, and they will be cast out, sent away forever. Now, some will read this passage and think that there are good works, and if we keep the law, then we can get into Heaven. But look at Romans 2:4; the goodness of God should lead us to repentance. But what are we to repent of? Go back to chapter 1; we are to repent of worshiping the creature, and worship the Creator; we are to repent of being wise in our own eyes and accept God’s wisdom; we are to stop being filled with pride and humble ourselves under the Lord; we are to stop putting self first and put God first in all things. Then, and only then can we begin to do ‘good works.’
Repentance is the beginning of good works, not the end of them. God will save all who repent, and He will reward all who work hard. Salvation is the beginning of our walk with Jesus, not the end. One of the hardest things to accept in this life is that salvation is a gift from God. It can be given only as a gift, and any attempt to earn it will be fraught with danger.
Jesus put it this way in Matthew 18: 2-4: “Jesus invited a little child to stand among them. ‘Truly I tell you,’ He said, ‘unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'”
We have to come as little children – powerless, naturally humbled, needy and trusting. This is how we are to be before our great God.
This is why the family unit is so important to society and more so to the Lord’s churches. The family structure tells us the story of the Gospel. The father represents God, the one who sacrificially loves his family. The mom, the local church; she is dedicated to the father and submits to him, and the kids are the humble and helpless ones who need the mother and the father to get them through life.
Have you repented? Have you turned from your own wisdom to God’s wisdom? Have you turned from worshipping nature to worshipping the Creator, the Lord God? Have you turned from trusting your own righteousness to putting your trust in Jesus’ righteousness? If not, your doom is sure, it will be an eternity of destruction.
- God knows our Secrets, verse 16.
Have you ever done something that your parents never found out about? God knows what you did. One day all of our secrets will come to life. The scariest secret is that you looked like a Christian but had never actually become one.
We see the epidemic of illegal immigration in North America. When my family came to Canada in the early 1980s, we had gone through years of rigorous investigations, medical checks, financial checks, my parents needed criminal checks, and the process took years. We are here because we followed the process, and as such, are entitled to the benefits of Canada. Sadly, over the past few years, there has been an influx of illegal persons residing in Canada, those who have jumped the line. For the most part, they look like us, then take advantage of the same benefits that we have but they are not entitled to them.
There are some who look like what we think Christians should look like but they are not citizens of Heaven; they are impostors, and God knows their secrets. They have not fooled Him. In a similar manner, the Lord knows the secrets of His children as well.
In Hebrews 4:12-13, we see this: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Look at verse 13, nothing is hidden from God.
In Psalm 139:2-3, we see these truths: “You know when I sit and when I rise; You understand my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down; You are aware of all my ways.”
The Lord knows all of our ways, and yes, even our thoughts. Oh man, there is no escape. But there is a positive to this as well. We normally put a negative connotation on secrets, but there are good secrets as well:
Matthew 6: 3-5 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward.”
God sees the good secrets as well, and one day He will reward them openly.
You need Jesus; He is the only way, the answer and the Righteous Judge. The day to meet him is getting closer and closer. For some of us, it will be by death that we meet Jesus; and for others, we will see Him when He comes to get us. Then there are the ones who will lie in death until the very end. What a sad day in man’s history that will be. Hell is real; people go there every day, but you don’t have to go there. Jesus is the only means of salvation.
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
God bless you,
Pastor Sean Gooding
Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church