Summary: God will examine our hearts as well as our actions, and will judge us fairly based on how we lived this life. So let’s look at these verses in Romans 2 and see if we’re ready for Payday.
Payday Is Coming!
Intro: A pastor of a small church once received the following letter signed by “A Faithful Member”:
You often stress attendance at worship as being very important for a Christian, but I think a person has a right to miss Sunday worship now and then. I think every person ought to be excused for the following reasons and the number of times indicated:
• Christmas (Sunday before or after)
• New Year (Party lasted too long)
• Easter (Get away for holidays)
• July 4 (National holiday)
• Labor Day (Need to get away)
• Memorial Day (Visit hometown)
• School Closing (Kids need break)
• School Opens (One last fling)
• Family Reunions (Mine & wife’s)
• Sleep late (Saturday night activities)
• Deaths in Family (Average two per year)
• Anniversary (Second honeymoon)
• Sickness (One per family member)
• Business Trips (A must)
• Vacation (Three weeks)
• Bad Weather (Ice, snow, rain, clouds)
• Ball games (Six per season)
• Unexpected Company (Can’t walk out)
• Time changes (Spring ahead; fall back)
• Special on TV (Super Bowl, etc.)
Pastor, that leaves only two Sundays per year. So, you can count on us to be in church on the fourth Sunday in February and the third Sunday in August—unless providentially hindered.
A Faithful Member [Freddy Fritz, sermoncentral.com]
-We smile at a letter like this because we recognize it for what it is. It is merely an excuse for avoiding worship. We are all guilty of making excuses for one thing or another. But excuses won’t work when we stand before God. He will examine our hearts as well as our actions, and will judge us fairly based on how we lived this life.
-So let’s look at these verses in Romans 2 and see if we’re ready for Payday.
1. God will reward those who do good (6-7, 10-11)
6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
10 … glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
-Those who do persistently do good will be rewarded with good. What will they receive? Eternal life, glory, honor, and peace. Those who do what is right will live forever. The glory refers to God’s glory that will shine on them, as they enjoy His presence forever. Honor speaks of God’s approval and blessing. Peace seems to indicate the peace that will be found in heaven – no more turmoil, pain, sin, or death. These things and more await those who do the right things in this life.
-Now, if we left it at that, a lot of people might include themselves in this category. After all, they do good things. Perhaps they are generous, mostly honest, hardworking, and like to help other people. But here’s the problem. They may do some good things, but they also do bad things. And good deeds do not cancel out bad ones.
-We need to remember who Paul is writing to and what situation he is dealing with. The Roman church started out as a Jewish church, but began accepting Gentile converts after a decade or more. Less than 20 years after it was founded, this Jewish church was suddenly 100% Gentile because the Emperor kicked all Jews out of Rome. For 5 years the church was led, influenced, and attended by Gentiles who had come to believe in Jesus. When the Jews were allowed to return to Rome, the church faced some serious issues. Some of the Jews began to look down on the Gentiles. After all, God had given His law to Jews and Jesus was a Jew. Therefore, they assumed that the Jewish way of life should be the model lifestyle for all believers. The Gentiles were guilty of all kinds of evil things. Worst of all, they didn’t even hardly know the law of Moses! What a shame! The church would no longer be in the hands of ignorant pagans. The Jews were back in town! Time to get back to “normal.”
-Now we saw in the 1st 5 verses of ch.2 last week that the Jews were just as guilty as the Gentiles. They were doing the same things as the Gentiles, but thought they could get a “Hall Pass” simply because they we Jewish and knew the law so well.
-So now we read about those who persistently do good and find their reward in heaven, we have to wonder who Paul is talking about. If we skip ahead to Romans 3:9-12, we see that “… Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one… 12 there is no one who does good, not even one."