“Therefore you are inexcusable…” (
Satan is as content to get people to go to Hell from a church pew as from a barroom or brothel. In fact, those who live a wicked life often are easier to reach than the self-righteous. Thus, Jesus warned the self-righteous, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the
before you.” ( kingdom of God Matt.21:31). If I have obvious symptoms of sickness, I am
more likely to go to the doctor. One of
the things that makes cancer such a killer, is that we may think we are healthy
while a malignancy is growing within—and self-righteousness is a lethal
Paul, as a prosecuting attorney, is laying out the evidence for the judgment of the human race. By the time he finishes, the facts demand the verdict, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (
Rom.3:23). The declaration of the bad news is
preparatory to the proclamation of the good news. In chapter one, the Apostle presents the
obvious sins of the scandalous, but moves on in chapter two, to the obscure sins
of the self-righteous. It is not only
the depraved of chapter one, but the decent of chapter two who need a Savior. The rebellious and perverse and the religious
and pious are sinners of a different kind, but sinners nonetheless. The reality is that Romans 1 tells us that none are so
bad that they cannot be saved, and Romans
2 indicates that none are so good that they need not be saved.
We want to know what will become of the lost who have not heard the Gospel. In
the Apostle establishes that they are responsible for their sin. They have the light of creation that they see
and conscience that they sense—yet, they love darkness rather than light
because their deeds are evil ( John
3:19). There is no excuse
that can be made for sin when a heathen stands before God on Judgment Day.
But, those who read these words are not likely heathen—you may be hypocrites. You have heard the Gospel over and over, but if you have tried to hide your sinful heart with a veneer of religion, then you are as lost as the pagan—and Paul says in
that such are also without excuse.
The self-righteous man or woman will look down their sanctimonious nose and point a condemning finger at others while not realizing they are condemning themselves in the process. Religious folk get riled up when you preach against homosexuality, pornography and apostasy—even shouting, “Amen!” Yet, they can grow strangely quiet when the sermon is about hypocrisy, hard-heartedness and a holier-than-thou attitude! But, the Gospel preacher cannot show partiality, because God doesn’t (2:11). The grossly immoral will certainly be sentenced based on their obvious crimes against God. But, the skeletons in the closet of the religionist will come parading out to testify against them, also, in “the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” (
Rom.2:16). All that matters is our response to the
Gospel. Have we believed it and received
it? All of us must, or we will surely be
condemned for rejecting it!