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Rom. 2:1-16 GOD'S JUDGMENT OF THE HYPOCRITE

Intro: in the last few messages, we have been considering the wrath of Almighty God. As we saw last week, there are multitudes that choose lives of rebellion and disobedience against God, and these people will be held accountable and will feel the full fury of God's wrath against their sin. However, there are just as many others who live moral lives. These are people who are outwardly clean and upright, but who are inwardly just as wicked as their evil counterparts.

In the verses that I have read this evening, Paul turns the spotlight of the Word of God on those who are what we might call hypocrites. That is, they are people who would condemn the actions listed in the latter part of chapter 1, but who have no intention of getting right with God themselves. These people look right outwardly, but inwardly, they are guilty of many of the same sins of the wicked mentioned in chapter 1.

In these verses, the Apostle Paul tells us something about the impending judgment of God against sin. In doing so, he helps to understand just what the judgment of God is about, who will be affected by it and what the results will be. Therefore, let's look into these verses this evening and learn more about the character of God's judgment. There are three truths revealed in this passage that will teach us much about the judgment of God in the life of the hypocrite.

I. V. 1-5 THE REASON FOR GOD'S JUDGMENT

A. V. 1 The Sinfulness Of The Hypocrite - Just as surely as the Lord's wrath will be revealed against all those guilty of openly sinful and wicked lives, we can be sure that it will also be felt by the hypocrite. We all know what a hypocrite is. A hypocrite is someone who merely plays a part. They pretend to be someone and something that they are not. God will not hold this kind of person guiltless.

1. Because Of His Condemnation - One of the reasons God judges the hypocrite is because the hypocrite assumes the place of God in judging the life and conduct of others. It is neither your place, or mine, to pass judgment on another person, Matt. 7:1-5. When we judge, we are guilty before God!

2. Because Of His Conduct - What really takes the cake is that the hypocrite looks at another person and judges them for what they do, but God says that the hypocrite is just as guilty as the person he judges! (Ill. They may not do the same things outwardly, but sin begins in the heart, Matt. 15:16-20. Jesus made it clear in His preaching that to have sin in your heart was as bad as actually doing that sin, Matt. 5:21-38.) Let us beware that we never have a hypocritical spirit!

B. V. 2-3 The Sentence Of The Hypocrite - Just as the wicked will be judged by God, so too shall the hypocrite! In fact, the judgment they will face will be exactly the same! Notice what Paul tells us about this coming judgment.

1. V. 2 The Purity Of The Judge - Paul is telling us that God's judgment of the hypocrite will be based in the truth of what they are, just as surely as His condemnation of those who are openly wicked will be based in the truth of what they are. We must never forget that while man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart, 1 Sam 16:7.

2. V. 3 The Power Of The Evidence - The power of the evidence lies in the fact that it will surely condemn those who are guilty of judging others of the sins that they themselves are guilty of! The bottom line of all this is the fact that it isn't the state of one's life that is the issue, it is the state of the heart. You and I can be squeaky clean on the outside, but God knows our hearts! Unless we are in a vital, living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are doomed to face the judgment of God. Many who sit in the pews of he local church and look down their noses at others because of the way they live will someday face the undiluted wrath of God, because in their hearts, they are just as wicked as the people they condemn!

(Ill. Many are like the Elder Brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32. He didn't run off like his younger brother and live a wicked life, but in his heart, he was just as rebellious as the other son. In the eyes of God, he was guilty!)

C. V. 4-5 The Shame Of The Hypocrite - These next two verse make the reality of hypocrite's sinful nature crystal clear! There are three facts revealed here that make the reasons for and behind his judgment plain.

1. V. 4a He Delights In The Blessings Of God - The words used here indicate that the hypocrite enjoys the good life. God withholds His judgment and the hypocrite thinks that the goodness of God is an indication of the favor of God. The truth is, God is merely giving the hypocrite every opportunity to repent. The hypocrite feels that because he isn't guilty, at least outwardly, of the sins of other men, that God must be pleased with his life. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

2. V. 4b He Despises The Blessings Of God - Because the hypocrite misunderstands the blessings of God, he refuses to repent. It is the very goodness of God that should lead men to love Him, serve Him and seek a relationship with Him., 1 John 4:19. But not the hypocrite! He sees the goodness of God as a stamp of approval on his conduct and thereby he despises the blessings of God. (Ill. Thank God for His longsuffering and grace, 2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 3:20!)

3. V. 5 He Is Damned By The Blessings Of God - This verse tells us that the hypocrite, instead of gaining favor with God, is actually storing up wrath and judgment against himself. When the Lord, and His grace are taken for granted, the only logical outcome will be that of judgment! Just as surely as the wicked sinner will face his sins in the judgment of God, so too shall the secret sinner. All sin will be revealed and judged by God. Hell will be just as full of hypocrites as it will be of open, blatant sinners!

I. The Reason For God's Judgment

II. V. 6-11 THE REALITIES OF GOD'S JUDGMENT

A. V. 6 It Is Personal - According to this verse, God's judgment in the life of a person is an individual matter. In other words, every person will be judged according to their own merits. You will not pay for the sins of another neither will another man be judged for your sins. God's judgment will be fair and tailored to each individual life.

(Ill. The hypocrite tends to want to lump everyone together and condemn them all judging by his own, biased standard. God, on the other hand, judges men based on what he knows about their hearts. And His knowledge of the human heart is thorough, Heb. 4:13, Jer. 17:10.)

B. V. 7-10 It Is Proper - These verses tell us that the person who lives right and seeks the Lord will be enjoy the blessings of the Lord, while the person who denies God and lives for self will receive a proper judgment! It is impossible to get away from the truth that it is the condition of the heart that matters. Solomon said reminded us that however a person fell was how they ended up, Eccl. 11:3. Everything hinges on what a person does with Jesus Christ!

(Ill. Men are never saved by their works, Eph. 2:8-9. However, the traits mentioned here by the Apostle are evidence that the persons pointed out in these verse is a born again believer! Salvation has always, and will always come only through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary!)

C. V. 11 It Is Perfect - This verse simply states that no one receives special treatment from the Lord! No one need think they have carte blanch to do as they please and still be accepted by God. Every one will be judged by the same criterion: Jesus Christ and their personal relationship to Him! There is no respect of persons with God! He doesn't single some out for Heaven and others out for Hell. He gives all men opportunity and He always does it fairly!

I. The Reason For God's Judgment

II. The Realities Of God's Judgment

III. V. 12-16 THE REALIZATION OF GOD'S JUDGMENT

A. V. 12 It Will Focus On A Rebellion - The basis for God's judgment is sin! All those who sin will pay the price of the sinner. If they knew the law and sinned, they will be judged. If they knew no law and sinned, they will still be judged! According to Eze. 18:4, 20, the soul that sins shall die! The bottom line is pretty clear. God's judgment will be realized by all those who are caught in their sins when they leave this world. (Ill. That includes every person who has ever, or will ever live - Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:2) There is just one remedy for sin and that is the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, Rev. 1:5.

B. V. 13-15 It Will Focus On A Reaction - Someone might be tempted to ask, "Is this fair? What about the people who have never been exposed to the Word of God? Will they still be held accountable?" The answer to that question is "Yes, they will!" These verses make it very plain that every man has a conscience. The conscience is not a guide to live by, but it is a goad that tells us the difference between right and wrong. When a person allows his conscience to be the guide by which he lives, he is headed for trouble, but when he listens to his conscience as it points out right and wrong, that person can make moral decisions.

(Ill. What Paul is talking about here is the Light of God, John 1:9. Every person who is born into this world receives light from God. That light may be bright, or it may be dim, but if a person will follow that light, he will be given more light and he will eventually be brought face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly, men will be judged according to the light they were given, but to reject a little light is just as damning as rejecting a lot of light! However, those of us who have been exposed to much light will face a greater judgment, if we are not saved. With this in mind, is God fair for judging the heathen? Yes! They are surrounded by the testimony of the existence of God, Psa. 19. They have been given light. God's judgment is based on man's reaction to that light!)

(Ill. This is why I have always said that I would rather go to Hell from the deepest, darkest jungle in Africa than I had to go from a Baptist church pew. The more light you have been exposed to, the more light you are accountable for! Ill. James 3:1)

C. V. 16 It Will Focus On A Reality - There is a day coming when God will judge all men. A day when all the secrets of men will be proclaimed publicly, Luke 12:3. A day when men will face the reality of what their life was. What will be the basis of this judgment? The Gospel of Jesus Christ! Man's eternity will rise or fall on what He did with the Gospel of grace. On that day, it won't matter about one's accomplishments, one's standing in the community or how one is perceived by others. All that will matter when that day comes is what did that person do with Jesus Christ? Did he receive Him, or did he reject Him? Did he fall before Him in repentance, or did he cling to his sins and stubbornly refuse to bow before the Lord? A person's eternity depends totally on what they do with Jesus - 1 John 5:12! (Ill. Rev. 20:11-15 - What a horrible end awaits everyone who refuses to come to faith in Christ! Where do you stand?)

Conc: Last Sunday night, our hearts were stirred to think about those who lived lives of open wickedness before the Lord. Shouldn't we be just as stirred by any life that denies the Lord. The end result is the same! We can more readily accept the hypocrite than we can the homosexual, but at the heart of the matter, they are identical. They are Christ rejecters and they are headed to Hell! God help us to examine our own hearts this evening. Are you genuinely saved? Or, are you facing the impending judgment of God with nothing more than a hypocrites heart. Check up, then do what you need to do! God help us to see how real and how serious this matter truly is!




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