“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man─and bird and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie. And worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever Amen.”
To whom is the wrath of God revealed?
We can see that Paul the Apostle preached the same gospel as the gospel we preach. To whom is the wrath of God revealed? The judgment of God is revealed to sinners who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, namely, to those who have sins and block the truth with their own thoughts.
Paul the Apostle clearly says that the wrath of God is revealed, first of all, to those who block the truth in unrighteousness. Those will be judged by God. What wrath will the wrath of God be like? The wrath of God will drop their flesh and spirits to hell.
We must not think that only the flesh will be judged because men also have spirits. Therefore, God will judge both the flesh and the spirit. There are ones who block the truth of God with their earthly thoughts. There are ones who are against the righteous, possessing sins. The wrath of God and His judgment are revealed to those with the sin of hardened hearts, who are not afraid of God.
Paul the Apostle says in Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.” He also says that the judgment and wrath of God are revealed to those who block the truth with their sins.
Unbelievers are under the wrath of God
God pervasively gave the truth of salvation to the world. The truth and love of God are pervaded on the earth. Therefore, there is no excuse for ignoring the truth and the love of God. God will judge all those who don’t believe in the gospel of the truth and who are against it.
Let’s think about the people who have not received the love of the true gospel. We see what God made; namely water, grass, trees, the sky, birds, etc. How can these things exist without the creation of God? The Bible says, “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4). Isn’t it their fault for not believing in God and the word of the truth?
Therefore, it is reasonable for people who don’t believe in the grace of the forgiveness of sin to be judged by God. They insist in the theory of evolution. They persist that the universe has naturally evolved itself. They also say that at first, there was an explosion called the Big Bang about 15 billion years ago, and that then, a certain living being came about. They say, this original reality of life changed and it evolved into fishes, beasts and eventually into humans. If this theory were right, mankind would have to eventually change into another life form after one or two thousand years.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). People deny and reject God, although they can apparently see that God is alive when they look at the wonders and mysteries of nature. Unbelievers are under the God’s wrath. Many people didn’t glorify God or were thankful, so they became futile in their thoughts. Their foolish hearts were darkened; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into images of corruptible men, birds, four-footed beasts, and creeping things. The judgment of God is apparently waiting for those men. All the people who have not been born again are under the judgment of God, whether they believe in Jesus or not.
God gives unbelievers up to uncleanness
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust of one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:24-27).
What is this passage trying to say? God leaves the men who worship and serve creatures to sin as they please. He also gives them up to Satan. God permits Satan to do as he wishes. Therefore, we must believe in God and be saved anyway. “For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust of one another.” This is like denying God and it is what caused AIDS.
God gave the natural use. A man should live with a woman. However, the fact that men have relation with men and women with women shows that they deny the natural use that God has given. The Book of Romans was written about 1900 years ago. Paul the Apostle predicted that those who leave the natural use of their sexes would pay the penalty for their sexual disorder. God’s word is achieved in reality these days. We know that AIDS is prevailing especially among the homosexuals.
It is completely adequate for them to pay the penalty for their sexual sins. The wrath of God is revealed against the men who change the natural uses of their sexuality. They deserve to receive the penalty of AIDS. This disease is surely caused by the disbelief in God. God gives over unbelievers to a reprobate mind. In other words, it surely is the curse of God.
They are opposed to the righteousness of God
Men who don’t like to retain God in their minds are like the following. “Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:29-32).
What do ‘those who practice such things’ do to those who practice the same evil? They ‘approve’ of them. What do men who are against God do to the righteous, who obey the word of God? They persecute the righteous, saying, “You are heretics.” The righteous are persecuted for righteousness’ sake after they believe in Jesus. They are blessed.
People sympathize with those who wander by the flesh. However, strange to say, we see that they object and prevent others from believing in Jesus and becoming righteous by the forgiveness of sin. This is like living as a servant of sin because they neither believe in God nor obey the word of the truth.
Therefore, unbelievers and Satan say that we should neither be perfectly sanctified nor have the perfect forgiveness of sin, although they permit us to believe in Jesus Christ. Unbelievers and disobeyers think and say that they must believe in Jesus in order to go to Heaven even though they have sins in their hearts. That is why they feel comfortable when they believe in Jesus as sinners. The ones, who don’t know and believe in God, although they are Christians, don’t receive God in their knowledge and oppose Him. They oppose the righteousness of God. They also worship Satan and all the sins. Those, who are not born again, although they believe in Jesus, are like that. There are so many nominal Christians who have not been born again. Those who believe in Jesus with sins in their hearts don’t obey the word of the truth of God and oppose born again Christians who have obtain the remission of sin and got sanctified by believing in the truth of Jesus Christ.
Those who are not born again oppose the born again
Paul the Apostle says in the Bible that the wrath of God is revealed to men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. He also says that the judgment of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, and unrighteousness. Everything is done according to the truth. The truth is that the Lord has blotted out all our sins. The judgment of God is revealed to those who are against the truth and block it. We learn through the word of God that all the believers who are not born again are going to be judged by Him. God will judge those who are not born again, even though they believe in Jesus.
Believers who have not been born again like to slander the born again, with hearts full of maliciousness. Those will go to hell. God expels them to hell. They are full of malice and whisper to each other. Sinners who whisper together against the righteous, who have the forgiveness of sin, are to be judged. Do you see what I mean? We should sympathize with them. They oppose God with their sins, not knowing that they are against Him, whispering, “It’s strange for them not to have sins. It sounds strange.”
The judgment of God is revealed to those who are against God with their evils. Those people take pleasure in those who do so. They admit whisperers and slanderers to be right. Christians who are not born again whisper to each other and slander the righteous. They backbite and hate the righteous, pride themselves, and plot evil things together. Do you know how they devise evil things? They commit evil acts by uniting with one another. They oppose the righteous with good slogans such as “Let’s believe in Jesus well. Let’s have the right kind of faith. Let’s be the light of the world.” They commit such sins uniting themselves, because it’s not fun to sin alone.
Therefore, God says in Psalm 2:4, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision,” because the kings of the earth are against God. ‘Oh! It’s funny. Nothing will ever happen to Me no matter what your challenge against Me is. You guys bribe me to be judged.’ God is waiting for the time of judgment because it is too laughable.
Those who judge the righteous will be judged by God
Those who are against the truth of God and who have not been born again commit sins. Those who are born again also have malice and imperfections in the flesh. However, it’s basically different, in fact. We believe in God and the truth. We have received the remission of sin through God. However, they don’t believe in God at all. These people are against ‘the righteousness and the truth of God.’ “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” (Romans 2:1).
Paul the Apostle talks to the Jews and Christians who have not been born again and only stuck to the law. They judge others, saying, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, and only serve God”, while they themselves don’t keep the law. Only God justly judges, and only His children, who have been born again, can judge according to the word of God.
These kinds of people are to be judged because they judge the righteous arbitrarily. God will judge all of those who have not been born again, that is to say, the Jews and the legalist-Christians. The wrath of God is revealed to those who lead religious lives by keeping the law, while not being born again, and who believe that they will go to hell if they don’t obey God and that they will go to heaven if they do as God has said. A person of faith is one who becomes righteous after he/she believes in Jesus Christ. We must be discriminate. Those who can believe in God and lead pious lives without being born again judge the righteous according to their own criterion.
However, God will surely judge them. They don’t know they are judging themselves according to their own criterion. Oh, you men who judge the righteous without having the forgiveness of sin, with wrong faiths, not receiving the grace of the truth of God, do you think that you can escape the judgment of God? These people are going to be judged by God.
The judgment of God is righteous
“But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, against them which commit such things” (Romans 2:2). We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, against those who judge other people while not being born again, even though they believe in Jesus. We must know that God sends these people to hell and that He judges them according to His truth.
God sends sinners to hell because His truth is right, and because the judgment of God is accurate. Whether one goes to hell or not doesn’t depend on the Doctrine of Predestination that preaches, ‘God loves some, but hates others unconditionally.’ God chose all men in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
Whoever believes that Jesus Christ blotted out all his/her sins receive the remission of sin. God predestined this. Therefore, all of those who have not been born again, even though they believe in Jesus, will go to hell. They will go to hell according to the judgment of God and this is the truth.
The judgment of God, which sends sinners to hell, is right. Why? Because they rejected the great love of God and neither received the salvation of God nor believed in Him. It’s proper for Him, according to the truth, to send those who are not born again to hell.
Some would say, “Why didn’t God preach the gospel to me?” Didn’t He? God preached the gospel to you so many times. Try to obtain salvation by widely opening your eyes. There are a few churches that preach the true gospel in this world. However, you can meet the truth if you really search for it. In my case, I really tried to find it! After preaching a sermon, when I was not born again yet, I prayed, “Oh, Lord. I’m a sinner before God, even though I have preached Your word to people like this. What I told people were things I was saying to myself. I’m a sinner. Please meet me. Please save me.”
I don’t know how much I have tried to find the truth. God wants to meet whoever seeks Him. God wants to redeem even those people who didn’t seek Him. “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved” (Romans 9:25). God says that He is our Savior who came to this world to save us. People who have sought God earnestly will surely meet Him. Some others haven’t sought God, but come to get an opportunity to meet the Lord when the gospel preachers come to them and preached the gospel. Some would be interested in the gospel, but others would not. Men who will go to hell will end up there because they rejected the good news.
It is proper for those who deserve to go to hell to end up in hell according to the truth of God. Those who deserve to go to the Kingdom of Heaven reach it by believing in Jesus according to the right discrimination, even though they don’t have any outstanding exploits. It happens through the right judgment of God.
God doesn’t send one person to hell and the other to the Kingdom of Heaven at random on account of His favoritism for some people. But instead, He judges according to the right judgment in truth. Therefore, we must preach the gospel. “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? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:3-4)
Jesus already blotted out all the sins of the world through His love
Paul the Apostle says to sinners, the Jews and the legalist-Christians, who neither receive the love of Jesus nor are born again, that they will be judged. They are destined to go to hell. But what is the gospel? In Romans 2:4, God says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” The love of God has accurately appeared to all people and has justly prevailed.
Nobody is excluded from the grace of the salvation of God. Jesus blotted out all the sins of the world. Jesus perfectly sanctified us. Does He only blot out the original sin and forgive us for our daily sins whenever we pray for forgiveness of them? No. The Lord already blotted out all the sins of the world once and for all. Nonetheless, those who are against God ignore His goodness and love. “How did Jesus save us? How can I say, ‘I have no sin’, even though I constantly sin? It’s nonsense. How could God blot out all my sins while I continuously sin, even though He is the Savior and Lord God?”
People think according to the flesh like this, yet God has already washed away all the sins of the world with His love. The Lord came to the world and perfectly blotted out all our sins. The Lord knows the imperfections and infirmities of men (The flesh cannot but sin again and again). Therefore, He blotted out all the sins of the world once and for all with His baptism and by shedding His blood on the Cross. The Lord knows the infirmities of the flesh very well. “I saved you because I knew you would sin again and again until you die.”
The Lord washed away the sins of the world. The Lord has accepted all of us by redeeming us. The Lord paid the wages of sin for sinners and sanctified them with His power and righteousness (Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River). The Lord allowed us to be blessed, become His children and enabled us to go to the Kingdom of Heaven by paying the wages of our sins with His life (blood). The Lord turned sinners into His righteous children.
Unbelievers must repent and turn their hearts to the Lord
“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” God sentences those who despise and deny the goodness, riches, forbearance and long-suffering of God to go to hell. It is certain that Jesus Christ washed away all the sins of the world, and that the gospel pervades all over the world. However, people still go to hell because they don’t believe in it. Jesus saved us by washing away all our sins to prevent us from going to hell, even if we wanted to go to hell by despising the forbearance and riches of His goodness. Even if we desired to go to hell, He saved us.
Therefore we must believe in the water and the blood of Jesus Christ to be saved. Believe, and be saved. Those who despise the love and salvation of God will go to hell. Hell is a place that God has prepared for those who despise the grace of His salvation and the riches of His goodness. Unbelievers have already bought their tickets to hell. People who are destined to go to hell must repent and turn their hearts to the Lord. You also must say good-bye to the Kingdom of Heaven unless you have faith in the true gospel.
People go to hell because they reject the love of God
“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” (Romans 2:5). Those who have impenitent hearts and people who don’t repent will go to hell. Some people go to hell because they have rejected the great love of God. Sinners who reject the truth with stubborn hearts and pursue their own thoughts will go to hell, due to the wages of their sin. Those who refuse to receive God’s love and persist in doing repentance prayers to reach gradual sanctification will eventually go to hell. To have stored God’s wrath until the day of revelation and His righteous judgment is due to denying the Lord’s love.
In His plan of redemption, God decided to save sinners and make them righteous, even before Satan corrupted us into sin. God sent His Son to save and sanctify us. However, sinners have not accepted this. They have stored His wrath full to the brim by refusing God’s love and will be judged on the day of wrath and revelation of His righteous judgment. The righteous judgment of God is to send those who have sins in their hearts to hell.
Why? Because God washed away all the sins of the world and made everyone in the world be saved by faith. Unbelievers will surely go to hell. They are stubborn and volunteer to go to hell, so they will ultimately regret their foolishness. Sinners will go to hell if they don’t accept God’s great love.
People think that God is unreasonable because He sends some people to hell and others to the Kingdom of Heaven at random according to His own authority. However, this is not true. God invented hell for those who are stubborn to deny His love and truth so that there would be an adequate place for them to go.
The Bible says that hell is a lake that burns with fire and brimstone. There are wriggling dirty maggots for those who prefer to have sin. They may cry, “No, No. I hate this place.” But God would say, “I had washed away all your sins, but you said that it didn’t matter if you possessed sin. Therefore, I give you maggots as a gift, as your friends, because you didn’t like to have the forgiveness of sin.” “No, I hate it, Lord.”
“You’ve asked for it, even though you hate it. I’m the Lord of righteousness. I gave you what you wanted. I give hell to all those who like to have sin in their heart.” It is the right judgment of God. Human beings sin while they live in this world, yet they should not ignore the gospel of the salvation of God that has washed away all the sins of the world.
People go to hell because they are hard-hearted. We should not be stubborn before God. We should believe that He already washed away all the sins of the world. You must believe, even if it is not visible.
God tells us that He already loved us
God tells us that He already loved us. “I already washed away all of your sins.” You must believe this fact. When God says that He created the heavens and the earth, we must believe it because the word of God is true. Faith begins with the belief in God’s word. People believe something only when they understand it with their small heads and don’t believe when they can’t understand. Unbelievers who don’t believe that God saved all sinners from their sins will go to hell. They are the ones who make up their minds to go to hell.
There was a prominent Christian who once declared publicly, “I confess before God that I’m a sinner until I die.” He died and surely went to hell. He said to God, “I declare that I’m a sinner before God and can never be righteous before Him.” He persisted in being a sinner until the time of his death. He rejected God’s love and the truth up to his last breath. Then the Lord said, “You are so faithful to your own faith! It’s proper for you to go to hell according to your faith. I send you to hell because sinners can never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
If I had believed,
The man who said, “I declare that I’m a sinner until I die,” went to hell. Even God can’t help these people. Not only have they declared that they are sinners, though they may end up in hell the day after tomorrow, but they also taught believers who trusted in them, “We are sinners until we die and will still be sinners when we stand before God.” Therefore, many believers also follow the same religious route. God said that sinners would go to hell. However, innumerable Christians follow this teaching in today’s Christianity. God said that those sinners would eternally regret, grinding their teeth in the hot flames of hell, saying, “If I had believed; if I had only believed it.”
“If I had believed in the fact that Jesus washed away all my sins and abandoned my own thoughts, I would have entered into the Kingdom of Heaven!” “If I had believed; if I had only believed.” There are going to be many people uttering things like this in hell. They will say, “If, If, If I had believed, If I had received the truth, I would have been His son. Why had I been so stubborn....”
We the righteous will ask God at that time, “Lord, please show us what the sinners are doing now. They had persecuted us, the righteous.” “No, it’s not good for you, My children, because you heart will suffer after seeing your acquaintances among them. Do you really want to see people you know suffering?” “Please show us just one time!” The Lord may show it to us someday because He is so generous. So let’s assume that we see it. There would be a lot of outcries heard such as: “If I had believed, if I had believed.” We would then wonder, “What is this noise? Are they singing?” “Listen carefully whether they are singing or regretting.” Men and women in that flame singing in chorus and regretting, “If I had believed.”
Stubborn people will go to hell unless they are stubborn in the right way. We really need persistence in holding fast to the truth. Man should not be indecisive. We should be persistent when we have to be persistent. We all have to be persistent in the right way and we have to break our persistence when it is needed.
God will render to every man according to his deeds
God “will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Romans 2:6-7). God renders to every person according to his/her deeds and judges him/her so. ‘Render’ means to ‘reward in accordance with a deed.’ What kind of a person uses patience to continue doing good whiling seeking glory, honor, and immortality? He/she is the one who believes in Jesus’ perfect salvation.
There are many people in the world, but God gives eternal lives only to those who endure for righteousness and believe in His truth, no matter what other people say. God gives the glory of the eternal Kingdom to those who want to become the righteous and wish to lead eternally happy lives. They continue in doing good and seek glory, honor, and immortality; wanting to be the sons of God. They would endure and continue in doing good to follow and pursue after the righteousness of God. God gives those people eternal lives. God allows them to live eternally and makes them His children. The sons of God are gods in His Kingdom.
“But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness─indignation and wrath” (Romans 2:8). “But to those” refers to the group of people who are opposite to the blessed. The indignation and wrath of God are given to those who disobey His righteousness, are contentious and don’t obey the truth. God sends them to hell. Those who are not born again and don’t obey the truth are contentious and against the truth as a group.
Those who are not born again are contentious and like to form factions. Throughout Korean history, our ancestors made factions and contended each other in political problems. The ruling group would be decided according to the fact who became king. When one of Lee families became king, men of the Lee family were placed on high social positions while others were expelled or persecuted. But when the throne changed to the Kim family, everything was completely changed. People formed factions for their own advantages, not for achieving just causes.
The present Christianity is similar to this. They form denominations and sects. What for? To disobey the truth as a group. They say unanimously that they have sin, though Jesus washed away the sins of the world. They pretend to be righteous and saved, but don’t obey the truth. They condemn the righteous as heretics, saying that they are right to have sin. The Lord says that sinners who are contentious to the righteous are wrong and that they must all go to hell.
Those who obey the truth and God obey the word of the Lord. We, the righteous believe the judgment of God is according to the truth.
Can Christian denominations send us to the Kingdom of Heaven?
Denominational bodies cannot send us to the Kingdom of Heaven. My wife provoked her mother-in-law to fury when she said to her, “A religious body can’t send you to the Kingdom of Heaven.” Frankly speaking, I don’t know why my mother got angry at the assertion still now. Do you think a religious body can send you to the Kingdom of Heaven? We individually get saved and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven by believing in the word of God. Can the religious bodies of the Presbyterian Church send you to the Kingdom of Heaven? Can a denominational body of the Baptist Church send you? Can the Holiness Church? Can the Seventh-Day Adventist Church? No. We can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven only when we believe in the forgiveness of sin that Jesus prepared for us.
We have to abide in the church of God
Paul the Apostle apparently separated sinners who would go to hell from the righteous who would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven among all Christians. The gospel is equal to everybody, to Jews and to Greeks alike. Here, the Greeks stand for Gentiles and the Jews stand for Israelites. God does not look at the outward appearance of people. God looks for a man who believes in the word of God with his heart. Do you believe that Jesus is God? Do you believe that Jesus is our Savior? We can go to the Kingdom of Heaven only when we believe that Jesus took away all the sins of the world with His baptism. We have to believe this and not betray it. The Holy Spirit within us keeps us from betraying our faiths and helps defeat our enemies when danger is upon us. We have to be careful.
In the Bible, there is a parable of the four kinds of fields, but some fields imply those who can’t be saved. The seeds sown on those fields die as soon as they spring up. Such case is the same as being a dead seed. It has the same result, which is death. Then, can we keep our faiths by ourselves? No. We can keep our faiths only when the Lord gives us the strength to endure any trouble and the remedy for every spiritual sickness while we abide in the true vine.
The church of God is the vine. The Lord gives us blessings, remedies, consolations, and the faith to endure persecution while we abide in the church of God. But what will happen to us if we don’t abide in the vine? We would die quickly. The hearts of the righteous can’t endure against Satan’s attacks and eventually get sick if they don’t willingly unite with the church, though they may have many abilities and powers. Do you see it? They gradually fall and become more and more useless. The Bible says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13).
Even the righteous are good for nothing if they live apart from the church. They can shine their lights and are blessed when they abide in the church. But they come to be ruined when they live apart from the church and can’t overcome the world when they go astray into the world apart from the church. How long can you uphold your own beliefs? How long can you stand apart from the church of God? Even the servants of God can’t prevail. However, if we abide in the vine, our household shall be saved, and many people can have the remission of sin through us. Where did Lot go after pursuing a carnal desire? He went to Sodom. He lived well there. What was the result? He became ruined. The Bible says that all the descendants of Lot were ruined. The Moabites and the Ammonites came from Lot’s daughters.
Why were the descendants who were against God born from a righteous person, Lot? It was because he departed from the church. The reason why I am not disappointed in any hard times is that God set up His church. God blesses the church where the righteous gather together and becomes the Shepherd and Lord of the church for every single saint. It’s His promise and assurance.
“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 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 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, 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.)” (Romans 2:12-15)
A person who doesn’t go to church doesn’t know the law these days. Then his/her conscience becomes the law because he/she doesn’t know the law. He/she does the evil, though he/she knows it’s right or wrong in his/her conscience. Then, it is a sin and he/she must seek the Lord to be saved from sin. God meets whoever really wants to seek Him.
We must seek His mercy before God and believe in Him. We must believe in Him while abandoning our pride. We must live by faith. We must not leave the church of God; we must seek, believe, and abide in the church. God does not expel us when we abide in the church, even though we are infirm and weak.
The sin of Jews
Now the Apostle Paul starts to preach the gospel in full scale to the Jews after separating them from those who are going to the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?” (Romans 2:17-22)
We must know the following. God originally spoke to the Jews, so they had the word of God and the sacrificial system. He promised the Messiah through the Jews and showed His plan through His Jewish servants. So, Moses and all the prophets were Jews. However, the Jews thought they understood what would please God and what His law was, diligently reciting and memorizing the word of God. Nevertheless, Paul the Apostle said, “Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God.” Jews were not saved, though they boasted of God and ministered sacrifices earnestly. Those who don’t believe fully in Jesus as their Savior are the same as unbelievers. It means that they neither believed God’s promise that He would save them as in the sacrificial system, nor believed in Jesus, the Savior.
Jews will go to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus, the Savior. It was useless for them to lay their hands on the head of sheep again and again. They didn’t truly believe that ‘Laying on of hands’ meant ‘to pass sins’ in the time of Malachi, at the end of the Old Testament. They had believed it well to the time of David, but their faiths had begun to falter from the time of Solomon. During the age of the divided Kingdom, they worshiped other gods like Baal and Asherah while they ministered formalistic sacrifices at the Temple. Ministering formalistic sacrifices is the same as not believing in God. God is satisfied when we believe and abide in His word.
In the sacrificial system of the tabernacle, the sins of a person were passed onto the head of a sacrificial animal when he laid his hands on it. But they didn’t believe in it, teaching other people, though they knew what was wrong and right. It was the sin of the Jews. Not to believe in the truth of God’s word, knowing His word to the letter, and preaching the word to other people was the sin of the Jews.
It is the same as not believing in God. It’s a fatal sin. “Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.” Paul pointed out the sin of disbelief among Jews.
It is to defile God to believe in Jesus with sins in the heart
We can apply the same blunder of the Jews to most Christians today. Jews are the same as those who don’t believe that Jesus have sanctified them by blotting out all their sins. “You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written” (Romans 2:23-24). It is to defile the name of God if we believe in Jesus in the wrong way. It’s to defile the name of God, if we don’t exactly believe what Jesus did and if we are not born again.
It is to defile God to believe in Jesus without being born again. “For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:25-29). We must all receive the word of Jesus with our hearts.
Which one came first, circumcision or the law?
Which one came first, circumcision or the law? Which one did God give to Israel first? Circumcision. God told Abraham to be circumcised. Abraham had no legitimate son, even though he was 99 years old. However, God had promised Abraham a son when he was 75 years old. God told Abraham, “Come outside, I will give you as many descendants as the stars in the sky.” Abraham believed in the word of God and waited for 25 years. The promise was finally fulfilled after 25 years. Therefore, his son was given to him when he was 100 years old. He waited 25 years, even though he was a little disappointed and made many mistakes while he was waiting. God also promised to give him and his sons the land of promise, Canaan that implies the Kingdom of Heaven spiritually.
After promising the Kingdom of Heaven, God told Abraham and every male among the men of his house to be circumcised. God said that circumcision should be a sign of the covenant between God and them. Therefore, Abraham circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. All the male of his household performed this rite. Circumcision is the same as the faith by which we believe and receive the gospel of the truth.
Israel denied to be circumcised in the heart
However, Israel boasted of being the descendants of Abraham and being circumcised, asked the Gentiles arrogantly, “Have you been circumcised?” We must be circumcised in the heart. We are saved when we receive the word that Jesus blotted out the sins of the world and believe it with our hearts.
No other country has been invaded more than Israel. They were in deep grief as a homeless people for nearly two thousand years. God trod on Israel. Why? Because they didn’t believe.
They defiled the name of God because they didn’t believe, even though God loved Israel and wanted them to believe that God washed away all their sins. He wanted to defeat their enemies as the Shepherd of Israel and wanted to bless, love, and give glory to them.
God promised to give glory to all people and make them His children if they believe in Him with their hearts and have the remission of sin. Through the example of Israel, God warns all the people of the world that He will send them to hell, if they don’t receive His promise.
God has promised that whoever believes the gospel of His truth can receive all the blessings that Jesus promised, even though he/she is insufficient in deeds. The only way to avoid the judgment of God is to believe in the gospel. Believe in it, and you will then be saved and be able to avoid hell.
I wish for the grace of the Lord to be on all souls.