Romans 3:23; 28-29: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith, apart from the works of the law. Or, is God the God of the Jews only? Is He not God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too.” (any emphasis mine)
The above coincides with John 10:16; “I have other sheep [Gentiles] that do not come from this sheepfold [Jews]. I must bring them too; and they will listen to My Voice [All Believers], so that there will be one flock, and one Shepherd.”
Romans 6:23 is a dividing passage that gives only two options: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord.” This states that if you have not received and accepted the Gift of God, you are in a sin that leads to death. The most important part is it is completely up to each person to decide for themselves.
By “death,” it does not mean to cease to exist, but to be cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented forever with absolutely no hope and in complete darkness (Revelation 20:11-15). It’s not how bad or good you think you are, but whether or not you truly have Jesus in your heart.
Romans 2:9-11; “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil [unbelievers], the Jew first and also the Greek [Gentiles]; but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good [has accepted Jesus], the Jew first, and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.”
This does not mean that all who call on the name of the Lord and are saved (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13) will never sin again. That will only take place when we are in our new bodies, and have a new mindset after leaving this earth. This is told in 1 John 3:2; “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), we shall be like Him; because we shall see Him as He is.”
As long as we’re in our human bodies, no matter how hard we try not to, we will slip and sin. This does not surprise God, and He’s given us a formula for forgiveness in 1 John 1:8-10; “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
It’s just not real wise to call God a liar!
Even though we will be forgiven, we are still accountable for our actions, and subject to His discipline. Consider Hebrews 12:5-7; “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons/daughters? My son/daughter, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines the one[s] He loves, and chastises every son/daughter whom He receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons/daughters. For what son/daughter is there whom his/her [earthly] father does not discipline?”
God does not do this out of anger, rather out of Love as an attempt to cause us to think and turn away from such activities in the future. It goes far beyond anything we can fully comprehend that the Creator of this world can love us that much.
Philippians 4:7; “And the peace of God [His love for us] which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts in Christ Jesus.” This goes along with Ephesians 3:19; “and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Jesus did not have to come here to endure life and death as a human, and could have stopped His ordeal at any time. However, He was fully aware from the creation of this earth that only a “Divine sacrifice” could cover our sins and be acceptable to the Father. All sacrifices prior to Calvary were only temporary measures, and had to be repeated regularly to be considered.
John 10:18; “No one takes it [His life] away from Me, but I lay it down of My own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
Once we have confessed our sins, and through faith believe God raised Jesus from the dead to conquer our sin and death (Romans 10:9), we can understand the significance of Galatians 2:20; “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in Me [thru the Holy Spirit]. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This applies to every person who accepts Jesus as their eternal Savior.
Our “wage” is to believe in Jesus, accept His sacrifice, confess we are sinners, and ask Him to be our Savior and Redeemer. No works earns our “wages”; we can pay no earthly price to buy our position. Ephesians 2:8-9 is very specific about this; “For by Grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from ourselves, yet it is the gift of God; it is not from works so that no one can boast.”
Grace and Mercy. The Grace is our Lord and Savior taking the punishment at Calvary that we all deserve, and the Mercy is from the Father by keeping us from that punishment. This is the gift we must receive and accept for it to apply to our individual lives. When God looks at a true believer, He sees His own Son within us.
For those who refuse the gift, is it any wonder that God will require “payment” for every sin they ever committed with no advocate to intercede? Again, as given in Revelation 20:11-15, the outcome is forever in the Lake of Fire. Satan; his demons; all false prophets and antichrists will be there along with everyone who refuses Jesus. You can be assured of one thing, there will be no “partying” or any good times there. It will be completely dark as stated earlier, and everyone will be “paid their full wages” for their sins. It is never-ending.
To truly receive Jesus as your Savior guarantees you a home with Him in Heaven that He personally prepares for each of us (John 14:1-3). There is no other way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), even though false prophets will try to tell you different. God has not changed His mind about what He considers to be sin, and abominations are still abominations to Him.
We are about to be at the end of this age; and for believers, it means we’re about to see our Savior face-to-face. It will be the “ultimate payday.” Nonbelievers will enter a time as has never taken place on this earth. It will be terrible. Your wages – Heaven or Hell – is totally your choice. We could be called at any moment. Are you ready for your “payday”?