Why Don’t We Talk About This Church?
By Bobby Blakey on September 19, 2022
Why Don’t We Talk About This Church?
By Bobby Blakey on September 19, 2022
Who brought one of these with you here to church this morning? Anybody got one of these? Now who believes this Bible is the Word of God? Does anybody here believe that? Does anybody here believe that all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching? Does anybody here believe that? Do you believe that there are no contradictions in the Bible? Let me ask you a question. See that we can actually use scripture to interpret Scripture. I think you believe that. I think many of you, that's why you're here. Well, if we all believe this is God's Word, then everything it says is going to be good for our lives, then why are there subjects in this book that we don't talk about at church? Why are there things that it's like, Whoa, yeah. Oh, we're bringing that up. Oh, that seems really intense, or really edgy. I'm not sure if we're going to talk about that. If the Bible talks about it, then shouldn't we talk about it? So, I want to invite everybody to open up to Romans 2:12-16. Because our text today as we go through the book of Romans is going to take us into the topic of sin, and judgment, which are things that it seems like people don't want to talk about. Even people at church, who believe in the Bible don't want to deal with the realities of sin, and the coming day of judgment. In fact, when we said we were going to go through Romans as a church, and people rejoiced, I don't know if Romans Chapter Two was what anybody was looking forward to. Because this passage goes through a day of wrath that is coming when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. And we're finding out here at our church that a lot of people have not really talked about this before. And so, I want to encourage you to really pay attention to God's Word and what it says, because it may say something different than what you think or you may not have really heard it, as it is before. And so, once you get there, will you please stand up again, because I'm going to read to us this scripture, Romans 2:12-16. I even want to welcome those who are watching this outside, or overflow, or online, will you stand up with us? This is Romans 2:12-16. Please follow along as I read:
“For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”
That's the reading of God's Word, please have your seat. And one of the things we’ve got to pay attention to as we're going through Romans, is you’ve got to say what are the “for”s for, because when you see a verse starting with “For,” that means it's flowing off the thought before it, and so you can see verse 12 flows from verse 11, which flows from the verses right before that. So here in chapter 2, what really gave us the theme of this chapter was verse 5, when he said that some people, people who know what is right and wrong, but they have hard and unrepentant hearts, and they are storing up wrath for themselves on a Day of wrath. You can see there in verse 5, there's a “day of wrath” when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. So, we're talking about a future day that is coming, when God is going to pour out his wrath on sin. And in fact, verse 6 made a promise that we saw is made throughout the Bible that God is going to render, or judge, each one, that's every one of us, according to his works, whether your works have been good, or whether your works have been selfish and evil. For those who have been selfish and evil, there will be wrath and fury. For those who have done good there will be glory and honor. And he said this two times in verses 9 and 10, “to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” And then he said in verse 11, “For God shows no partiality.”
So, at this time when he's writing Romans, the Jewish people may have thought that God would show them favor on Judgement Day, because they were his people in Israel. In fact, one of the specific reasons that our text gets into why the Jews may have thought that they'll have a different experience on Judgement Day than everybody else out there in the world is because we have the law of Moses and the other nations, they don't have the law of Moses, but we have the law. So, in Romans 2:11, it says, “For God is not” going to play favorites. God is not going to show “partiality” to you because you're a Jew is the argument here. And then verse 12, says, “For all have sinned,” everyone who has sinned is going to be judged whether you've “sinned without the law,” and you “perish without the law,” or whether you've sinned under the law, and you're judged by the law, whether you are a Jew, or you aren't, who has the law of Moses, or whether you're a Gentile, and you don't know those Scriptures, you will be judged for your sin. That's what he's getting to here. Just knowing the law, hearing the law will not be an advantage to you on Judgement Day. Now, these “for”s, we've already seen this before. Go back to Romans chapter 1. And let's just review, starting in Romans 1:16, we saw another long series of “For”. So, this is how Paul is writing, he gets onto a subject. And then he just has a series of thoughts that flow out of that subject. And here the subject that he got to in verse 15 of Romans 1 was that he wants to come and preach the gospel in Rome, and greatest city in the world at that time. Maybe he wants to go and preach the gospel there. He's eager to do it. And then he gives us a bunch of reasons why. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel.” And why is he not ashamed? For “it is the power of God for salvation.” Everyone who believes the gospel of Jesus is saved by God. That's why I want to preach it. “For” verse 17. In the Gospel, God's “righteousness” is revealed, like you get right with God when you hear the Gospel, and you respond to the gospel with faith. The righteous shall live by faith. So, I want to preach the gospel, because that's God's power to save people. That's how people come to believe, and they get right with God. And then he says, Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”
Now he's going to get into the great need that people have to hear the gospel. Because they don't know God, they've turned away from God into sin. And that's the great need. So, Romans 1 was about God's wrath, but it was God's present wrath. In fact, if you're going to take some notes, there's a handout in the bulletin if you want to jot some things down. Let's just review the themes of chapter one and chapter two, because they both got into the wrath of God. And in Romans 1, it talked about God's present wrath to give them up to sin. So, Romans 1 is about – you can see here on the screen, “God's present wrath to give people up to sin.” People exchanged the glory of God, and they exchanged it for the things that God made. People did not want to acknowledge God or give thanks to God, they wanted to live life their own way. And because they made that exchange, God, we saw three times in Romans one, God gives them up. So presently, you can see God's wrath that he is giving people over to their sin.
But now in Romans two, we're not talking about God's present wrath. We're talking about “God's future wrath on a Day of Judgment for all.” God's future wrath on a day of judgment for all, and specifically, Romans 2 is now for the person you don't think you're out there in sin with them, who are experiencing God's wrath by being given over to sin. No, you're over here. And you might even be judging those people for their sin. But what about you? You are still going to be judged by God on a day in the future, that day is coming for us all. And so, he kind of turns here in Romans, perhaps talking about the Gentiles out there who don't know God to now addressing the Jews who do know God.
So, look back with me now at Romans 2 and let's jump ahead to verse 17. This is what we'll get to next week. But you can see by verse 17 of Romans 2, he's just saying, “if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God,” and then he's going to go off from there, so by verse 17, he's just totally correcting Jews. So, Jews are not thinking that they are out there living in God's present wrath in sin. They're thinking they're right here knowing God through the law, doing what is good. The Jew here in Romans 2 is very similar to the person going to church here on this Sunday morning. Well, I'm not out there just living in my sin. I'm here, I'm knowing God through the Bible, I'm trying to do what is good, great. Romans, chapter 2 is for us. And it wants us to know that whether you've sinned out there in the world, or whether you've sinned, right here, knowing what God says at church, everybody's going to be judged for their sin. That's what is going to happen.
And so, let's get this down. If you're taking notes. Point number one: “We want to seek out what Scripture says about sin and judgment.” We want to seek out what Scripture says about sin and judgment. We're not going to fly over this passage, we're not going to just try to skip over these passages. We're not going to just avoid this because it has a negative vibe to it to talk about sin and judgment. No, the Bible is trying to teach us something, and the fact the Bible is telling everybody here, the future that everyone in this room is going to meet Jesus in, a one-on-one face to face way, and you're going to give an account to Jesus for your life. The Bible wants everyone to know that, and that's something we should definitely be okay with talking about here at church. In fact, we should seek to seek out the fact that verse 12 says whether you've got the law or not, sin is going to lead to people perishing. Sin is going to lead to judgment.
And so, we need to make sure we understand this because we introduced this idea last week, and I could tell that a lot of people here at our church, this was not something they've talked about before, and they did not exactly know what the Bible says about judgment, we're not going to get judged as believers. No, it's saying that everybody is going to face a kind of judgment. Whoa, what is that about? We want to seek it out? We want to know about it. Go with me to John chapter 5. And let's see what Jesus has to say about it in John chapter 5. So hopefully, everybody can, can turn there. And let's start in John 5:47. Because in John 5, that's really when the conflict between Jesus and the Jews, specifically the religious leaders, the Pharisees, that's when the conflict really starts to heat up. And Jesus gives the same kind of rebuke that Paul is giving in Romans 2 that the Jews thought because we have the law of Moses, we’re therefore better off than other people, which would be like people going to church today saying, because I've got the Bible, I'm not going to be in the same place as people who don't know the Bible. Well, the Jews definitely thought that and look what this is John 5:45-47. Look what he says here, he says, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. So, here's Jesus saying, you think that you're going to be right with God because Moses wrote the Law for you.
And you know, that, specifically, when we say the Law, we're talking about the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, the five scrolls written by Moses, you think because you've got the law, you're okay? No, no, no, you, Moses will accuse you on the Day of Judgment, because the Law is about me. So, if you ever meet a Jew, or somebody who says, well, I just think the first five books are the only parts of the Bible; I don't believe in the later Scriptures. I mean, some Jews, they stick to the Torah; others, they're embracing the whole Hebrew Bible; but a lot of them they reject the Greek writings at the time of Christ. Well, that doesn't make sense, because if you read the law of Moses, Jesus is saying the law of Moses is about me. I mean, from the very beginning, in Genesis, as soon as there is sin, there is a prophecy that there is going to be one who will be born of a woman who will crush the head of the serpent. There is a prophecy, the good news that Jesus is going to be born to save us all is right there in Genesis. You can't just believe it in Genesis, because no one was ever born of a woman to crush the head of the serpent, yet by the end of Deuteronomy, even in Deuteronomy, Moses says, there's going to be another prophet like me, and you need to listen to him. God will require you to listen to him. Moses is saying, wait, do you hear the prophet that is yet to come? Moses is saying, Jesus is coming. And here Jesus is, and the Jews are like, we don't need you. We've already got the law of Moses.
So, the Jews had a false sense of assurance because they had the Scripture, it gave them this like blanket comfort feeling that I'm not going to be judged. And both Jesus and Paul are going to say you shouldn't put your hope in the fact that you just know what the Bible says. In fact, go back to earlier in John 5. Look at John 5: 27-29. These are important verses for us to understand what Jesus has to say about the judgment. He says and he has given him as Jesus talking about what the Father “has given him" as the Son, and he “has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” So, Jesus is saying it, and he's saying that you shouldn't marvel at it. This is something you should know, something you should seek out to understand, something we all need to come to grips with, that at some point, Jesus, who has authority over Heaven and Earth as the judge, he will speak and there will be a resurrection from the dead, and everyone will rise, some will rise those who do good, they will rise to life forevermore and others, they will rise and it will be there. He says, “those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
So, Jesus is saying there's coming a day where there will be a resurrection, and people will either be rewarded for doing good, or they will be punished for doing evil. Here's Jesus saying it himself. Okay, so let's get this down under point number one, we've got three things we want to make clear about this coming judgment. And we're at number one: “Everyone is judged according to what they have done,” whether you have done good, or whether you have done evil, you will be judged on this day of resurrection. Jesus is making it very clear here in John 5, how this is going to work. Everyone is judged according to what they have done. Now, if that sounds confusing to you, and you're like I didn't know I was going to be judged as a believer. Well, stay with me here in John 5 and go up to John 5:24. Because this is what we're familiar with John 5:24. Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word, and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
So, if there's confusion, well, maybe you can see why here because we use the word judgment in different ways. Okay? We usually use judgment to refer to punishment, or condemnation, if you have heard the gospel of Jesus, and you have believed that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins, that Jesus rose from the dead to give you eternal life, and that Jesus is the Lord of heaven and earth. If you believe that, then you are not going to be judged as in you will never be condemned. You will never be punished for your sin. Can I get an Amen from anybody here this morning? That's good news. Okay, we are justified by our faith in the Gospel of Jesus. Okay. And let me just put Romans 8:1 up here on the screen. We're going to get to this in Romans. This is the part of Romans people are more familiar with right here. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Anybody want to say Amen to that right there. There will be no punishment according to your sin because your sin has already been nailed to the cross, and you bear it no more. Praise the Lord. O, my soul. That's what we're here to say. All right?
So, let's get that down for our second dash here: “Believers will not be judged in the sense of condemnation or punishment.” You are not going to have to face a reckoning for your sin. If you have put your faith in Jesus, Jesus paid for your sin, you have been forgiven for your sin. It is done, it is finished. So, Jesus is not going to bring your sin back up. No. And in fact, we know that we have been loved by God because he gave his Son for us. We know that Jesus loved us, because he laid down his life for us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. That sounds like some Romans we’re familiar with. Right? And so, we are loved and that love by that we have from the Father through the Son, that perfect love casts out any fear that we would have, the kind of judgment where we mean punishment or condemnation. But it is still accurate to say, as Jesus goes on to say that he's going to execute judgment on both those who have done good and those who have done evil. It is still accurate to say that there is a kind of judgment or a kind of accountability that will happen in believers’ lives.
Let me take you to two passages. Go to 2 Corinthians 5:10. Two passages, I want everybody at our church to see, to think through, to talk about with your fellowship group, and make sure we all understand. In fact, I might have already talked to some of you about these passages, because they came up so much this week when we were talking about this idea that everyone is going to be judged. And so, if you've already heard this, I'm sorry to double down on it here. But this is something we want to make sure our whole church understands what kind of judgment is coming for believers and hearing 2 Corinthians 5 is talking about how our body is a tent. And we can't wait to stop camping and go live in the place that Jesus has prepared for us. It's talking about believers dying and being with the Lord. And in fact, it talks about here in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, that whether we're in the body, and apart from the Lord, or whether we are absent from the body, and to be absent from the body is to be present with our Lord. So, in the context here, we're clearly talking about people who have the hope of going to heaven and not being judged for their sin and perishing when they die. But look what it still says, this is 2 Corinthians 5:10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” So, this is often referred to the Bema Seat of Christ, because that's the Greek word here for it, where even believers are going to meet with Jesus in a one-on-one way, and Jesus is going to judge the works that you did for him in your life. So, this will be a judgment of reward. This will be a judgment with, hey, I gave you a new life. What did you do with the new life that I gave you? Okay, so this is not the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20, where people are being cast into a lake of fire. This is often referred to as the Bema Seat judgment, where believers are meeting Jesus and being judged, evaluated as to what kind of reward they're going to receive as they enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Go back to 1 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 12. This is a very helpful passage to understand this 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, might be one of the clearest passages in the Scripture about what you should expect if you are a believer in Jesus here today. What should you expect when you meet the Lord Jesus. Pick it up with me here in 1 Corinthians 3:12. It says, first of all, it made it clear there is only one foundation that any church can be built on that any life can be built on. There is one foundation, and it is the foundation of Jesus, He is the Christ, you have to build your life on the solid rock of Jesus. And then it says this verse 12. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest.” For the Day with a capital D, we're talking about the Day of Judgment for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. So, if you believe in Jesus, you're going to be very happy to be in heaven and you're going to be praising the Lord that he saved you. But it's this idea here that your works, the things that you do to build on the foundation, you are created a new creation in Christ, the old is gone and the new has come. So, what do you do with your new life? Well, if you build with “gold, silver, and precious stones,” they always stand the fiery judgment here, and there will be a reward, but if you just build with “wood, hay, and straw,” they're going to get burned up and you're not going to receive her award as you go in before the Lord into his kingdom. You'll be very happy to be there, you'll be saved, but you won't be rewarded, you will experience a suffering of loss that I didn't do for Jesus what I could have done for him in my life.
Now, let's get this down for our third dash: “Believers will be rewarded for what they build on the foundation of Christ.” That is the judgment we will experience as believers, referred to as the Bema Seat judgment. And it's about reward or not reward based on what did you build in the church in your life for Jesus Christ. So that is something if you're like, well, I'm so happy that I'm not going to be judged for my sin. Well, we should all rejoice and praise the Lord. But if you were to then say, well, there's going to be no judgement at all. That's not entirely biblically accurate. You will not be punished, you will not be condemned, but you will be rewarded or not, rewarded based on how you lived your life for Jesus. If you want to learn more about that, you could write down “Our Building Inspection, Double-Double Day 3.” That's a sermon we did on January 27, 2022. We had some Double-Double events back in January, and on Thursday, January 27, I preached on 1 Corinthians 3 in a sermon called “Our Building Inspection,” talking about when we finished our Revival Circle building over here, our new building, how the fire inspector has to come. And he has to check off on all the construction that's been done. While we're all going to have a fire inspection, even as believers, what did you build on the foundation of Christ with your life? Now, that's not really what Romans 2 is about. But that's kind of an aside, I wanted to do to make sure our church understands that believers we're going with there's a way we can say, we're not going to be judged. But there's a way we can say we are going to be judged according to the reward we will receive from the Lord.
Now go back to Romans 2, though, because the focus here is on people who are going to be judged for their sin, people who are going to be punished. Okay? That's the kind of judgment we're talking about here. We're talking about in context, the day of wrath that is coming. And if you're not in that category, who has repented of your sin, and you're now doing good and living a new life, well, then that punishment judgment is coming. And there's going to be wrath and fury. And now God's not going to show partiality. The Jews because they have the law of Moses, and they're familiar with all the commands of what to do, and what not to do. And because they've heard all that, and know that does just knowing what God says, does that save you from the day of wrath, the day of punishment, judgment that is coming? Look at Romans 2:13. This is a really important verse for us to think about here at this church, because it says, “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” Wow, what a verse right there. Okay, now that verse is going to maybe be confusing, because we understand that we are not justified. Justified is a key word in Romans, it means to be declared righteous by God. God has now said, you are righteous, you are saved from the coming judgment. This says, it's the doers of the law who will be declared righteous. Wait a minute. Well, I thought the whole point of Romans is that we are not justified by our works, we are justified by our faith. That is correct. In fact, go over to Romans 3:20. And this is going to be the summary of his entire introduction about sin and judgment. And he's going to say here in Romans 3:20, this is the climax we're building up to, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” By your own works you cannot be saved. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? Okay. But by your works you will be judged. That's what it's saying here in Romans 2. Okay. Romans 2 is not about we're not about how to get saved yet how to get justified yet we're still on God's wrath. And we're on the criteria that God is going to use when he judges, and God is going to use the criteria of what did you do, NOT WHAT DID YOU KNOW. The fact that you sat through many sermons and heard the word of God will help you zero percent on judgment, to the fact that you read through the Bible many times in your life will help you zero percent on Judgment Day. It will not matter what you know that God said. It will matter if you did what God said. That's what we're learning here. And this is something everybody here needs to hear. Because just like the Jews back in the day thought, I'm doing good, because I know what God says, Christians today go to church, read the Bible, and feel very good about themselves, because they know what God says.
I've been going to church since day one. Okay? I'm a child of the Jesus Movement. My parents took me to church. My earliest memories are going to church. It's no surprise that I ended up being a pastor, working in a church because I've been at church my entire life. And I have seen endless examples of people who think they are right with God because of what they know. This is how we have twisted church into being about do you know what the Bible says, rather than being do you do what the Bible says. It does not matter if you know what the Bible says, and you do not do it. That's what this verse is saying. This verse is warning that there could be some who are deceived here among us this morning. And your sense of I'm not going to be judged is a false sense of assurance, because you're so familiar with it, because you've heard it so many times. Because you know so much about it, you now think, hey, I'm going to be fine. I'm not out there in the world. I'm here in the church, so I'm going to be good. God will show partiality and favoritism for me, because I've read the Bible. I've been to church. That's not how it's going to work. If you know what the Bible says, but you don't do it, your judgment might actually be worse, rather than better.
That's what we're going to have to say here in Romans 2:13, you think you've got an advantage because you know? I've just met so many people in my life who are like, oh, let's talk about prayer. All I know is how to pray. It doesn't matter. If you know how to pray, do you pray? Oh, I already know how to share the gospel with people, I don't need to work on evangelism. I already know what the gospel is and how to share, great, doesn't matter if you know how to share the gospel. When was the last time you gave somebody good news that can radically change their life for all of eternity. See, people are always feeling good about themselves because of what they know. And very rarely do I meet believers who are evaluating their lives the same way that Jesus is going to evaluate their life. What did you do? That's what he's saying.
Go to James chapter 1. James is very similar in what he says to Romans 2. James has a lot of similarities here, because he's addressing Jewish people who might have this same false assurance because they have the law, because they know what God says. And in fact, in James 2:10, he says, even if you keep most of the law, if you just break one of God's laws, you are guilty of all the law. So just thinking that you're going to be saved by the law? James goes after that, just like Paul goes after that in Romans, but go to James 1:22-25. And look how James goes off on this idea of being a hearer and not a doer. See, there's a lot of half a job Christians out there who hear the sermon, but they don't go home and apply it. There's a lot of half a job Christians out there who do their daily Bible reading, but then it means nothing in the rest of their day. And James, he's got something to say about that. James1:22-25, he says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, and then goes away, and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” He will be rewarded when he meets Jesus.
See, there's a kind of deception that everybody here needs to be warned about. And it's the worst kind of deception because it is a self-deception, that when you hear something, when you become familiar with something, when you understand something intellectually, you can deceive yourself into thinking that you actually know that thing. But in the Bible, knowing is not intellectual knowing, it’s experiential. It's a real relationship with God, that changes what you do on any given day, it transforms who you are from the inside out. And so, there is a self-deception where people think I'm good with God, because they have heard, not because they have done. And so, we've got to evaluate ourselves. If we know there's an evaluation coming of our life in the future, and Jesus is going to reward us or not, based on what we have done. It sure does make a lot of sense for us to then ask ourselves here this morning. Am I just a hearer of the Word, or am I actually a doer of the Word?
Point number two, let's get it down like this: “Don't let your ears deceive you.” Don't let your ears deceive you. There is a kind of hearing where you can hear something and still reject it. You can agree with something and still not do it. And James is saying, do you really have the ears to hear, the ears where it gets into your heart, the ears where it changes who you are, the ears where you cannot help but live that way because God has told you to, and you want to live your life for God. See, I get really concerned when people I've just seen, people are trying to read the Bible at church, and a lot of people are always trying to read the Bible, and always failing to read the Bible. And so, I keep hearing about people when they're reading the Bible. Well, I'm behind. And now I'm going to catch up. And I'm just like, what is the point of catching up in your Bible reading? Like, is it just because you want to check off the list that you read all those chapters? Like, don't you understand the reason I want people to read the Bible? The reason I read the Bible, and I try to read it every day, is I need the Bible every day. I need God to renew my mind, I need to get filled with the Holy Spirit. I need the words of Christ dwelling in me richly. Because today, I need to do what Jesus tells me to do. Right here right now. This is the only moment I've got, and I need to live for my Lord Jesus. So, I'm not falling behind. I'm not catching up. I'm getting my eyeballs in the Bible today because I need God to help me live for him right now. That's why I read the Bible. And I'm not sure that's why everybody's reading the Bible. Because I think people have developed a habit of reading something that doesn't really make a difference in what they do the rest of the day, because they're a hearer, and not a doer. And this is giving you commands. It is God on the throne in heaven telling you what you must do for him here on Earth. And if you don't hear sermons, and go do something different, if you don't read the Bible, and go change something in your life, if you don't go to a fellowship group and go home and say, I'm sorry to somebody, or we're not going to keep doing this, or we're going to start doing more of this. If there's not any change that happens from your interaction with God's word you might be here, and you might be actually on the way to a judgment that is going to actually include punishment and condemnation. And you have deceived yourself into thinking that you know things that you have just heard about but haven't really experienced in your heart. See, this is a real reality. This could happen here at our church, if we are preaching God's word, and you are hearing God's word within then it really does beg the question, does hearing these sermons make any difference in your life? Does your personal study of the Bible or your conversations with other people in fellowship, do they change you? Is there some kind of application? Are you getting some level of marching orders from the Word? Because I am concerned, I am concerned for some of you here at this service, that on the Day of Judgment, you'll be ready to find out what kind of reward you've got or not. And you might find out there is not only no reward coming, what did you even do? Did you even have the foundation? Were you just a hearer but not a doer? See this, it's so subtle, this self-deception that happens to church-going folks, they're not the world, they're one of the people of God. Why? Because they go to church, and they know the Bible, just like Paul is using Romans 2 to go after the Jews. We need to take what he is saying to heart here, and we need to evaluate ourselves. Are we hearers, or can we really say we are doers of the word.
Let me throw Titus 1:16 up here on the screen. Look at this. They profess to know God. This is not who we want to be here at Compass. They profess to know God but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. That's why he starts talking about the men need to invest in the men and the women need to invest in the women and we all need to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior, because real grace doesn't just forgive you for your past sin, real grace trains you to no longer keep sinning and you now have the power in Jesus to be zealous for good works. So, don't say you know what grace is If all you've got is your sin forgiven, real grace trains you to live a whole new way. You cannot know the grace of our Lord Jesus and not do what he tells you. That's what the Scripture says. It may not be what people are saying at church, but it's what the Bible is saying. And so, are you someone who professes to know God but where’s the works? Where's the fruit? Where are the deeds that Jesus would reward you for when he says, “Well done, good and faithful servant”? Surely this is a good day for us to talk about sin and judgment and to evaluate our own lives
Go back to Romans 2 because it doesn't end there. That would be convicting enough if it was just Romans 2:12-13. But he says, hey, you guys want to compare yourselves to the Gentiles? Okay, let's compare you to the Gentiles. That's what he does here in verses 14 and 15. This is often used apologetically to prove that people have a sense of right and wrong, and people have a sense of a conscience. But that's not really the point as we study it here in context, the point is, that the Gentiles, and that's the other nations outside of the Jews, they don't have the Law of Moses, they didn't go to the synagogue and hear the Scripture read to them every Sabbath. They didn't sit down with the rabbi who would teach to them the Torah and all that Moses said we shouldn't do. Here's what he said we should do. So, all these people, they didn't have that teaching of the Law, and they do not have the Law, but by nature, they do what the law requires. In fact, they are a law to themselves, even though they don't have those five scrolls of Moses. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts. accuser even excused them. See, even people who maybe don't know the Bible in the same way that we do here at church, they have this same idea that the Bible gives us where it's like, here's the right thing to do, here's the wrong thing to do. And when you do something that you know is wrong, your conscience accuses you like, yeah, I'm doing something I know I shouldn't do, so whether you've been informed by God in his Word, or whether it's just your own conscience, everybody does things they know are wrong, that they should be judged for. So, he's just saying, hey, you think you've got this advantage because you know the Bible? Even people who don't know God's Word, know when they do something wrong. And everybody whether you've got the Bible or not, you're all going to be judged. And look how he says it here in verse 16, because he's saying there is coming a day, this is the teaching of Romans 2, a Day of Judgment is coming, and on that day, when according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. So, we know there's a day where God's wrath is going to be revealed. His righteous judgment is coming. And Jesus is going to be the one who judges and he's either going to punish people according to their sins, he will reward those who have believed in him according to their deeds. But notice the key word that's new here in the discussion in verse 16, is that God judges the secrets, it says, of men by Christ Jesus. The secrets because Romans 1 was about people out there, those who just sin out in the open and they don't care because they've exchanged God for a lie, and they're just doing whatever they want to do. Well, you can't come to church and just openly sin and let everybody know about it. No, if you want to keep sinning and you go to church, if you're a Jew, and this is what the law says to do, and you're breaking the law, well, you can't just go around town, breaking the law. So, how do you sin that you sin in secret? See, that's what he's talking about here. So, you have a veneer, you have an appearance, there is some kind of facade of you being a good person. But, no, when he comes on that Day, he's judging secrets. He's revealing all that's in the darkness, all that you think is hidden, all that you're keeping suppressed, and you don't want to talk about because you don't think anybody knows about, Jesus already knows about it. And when he shows up, it's all coming out in the open. That's what it says. You can fool the pastor, you can fool the people at church, you could fool your own family. No one will fool Jesus on the day that he judges the secrets of men. There will be no secrets on Judgement Day. See, that's what we're going after here in Romans 2, not people who don't sin openly. No, they act like they're tracking with God, secretly they sin, and they hide it. They sin and they don't come forward and confess it to their spouse or confess it to other brothers or sisters in their fellowship group. Now there are probably some people sitting in this room right now who have done things that you've never shared with anyone that you have secrets and I'm here today to say he's coming to judge secrets. Let's get rid of those secrets now before it's too late.
Point number three: “You’ve got to stop having secrets.” You’ve got to stop having sins in your life that you're not bringing out into the light, that you're not expressing and being open and honest about it. You keep having these secrets, that's what Judgment Day is going to reveal. That's what he's coming to expose. So, if you knowingly right now have sin in your life, that you are not sharing with anybody else that you are not talking about at church, if there's something that we need to talk about church, we surely need to talk about our sin, so, we don't have to experience a day of punishing judgment that is coming. This is the thing we should talk about at church, maybe more than anything else is, do you have secret sin in your life? Well, let's talk about it. Now. Let's turn from it. Now, let's confess it, so you don't have to be afraid of being judged for it later. Because when he comes, he's judging your secrets. That's what it says. It's shocking that the thing you can't talk about at church these days is the thing the church is meant to be the place to talk about. We should talk about our sins, we should talk about them openly. Because every sin that is talked about openly, is not a hidden secret that we need to be worried about on Judgement Day.
Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 4 and look what it says we're doing right now when we open up God's word, and we preach the Word of God. Look what it says about that in Hebrews 4:12-13. Hopefully, you're familiar with these Scriptures. But let me read them to you. Again, it says “For the word of God,” this Bible that we all say we believe here, at Compass, HB, this “word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” When you hear the word preached. When you read the Bible, it's like you're getting a preview of the future. It's like God is telling you, a day of judgment is coming. And he's already telling you the criteria by which he's going to be judging so that you could hear the word and you could respond now before it's too late. And the judgment day comes, the reason we hear the word is so we can see who we are. That's what it's saying. Just like James 1 said, the Word is like a sword, and it cuts so deep into you, it exposes the deepest part of your heart. It exposes the real you in your soul, underneath the external appearance underneath what you look like physically, or what you show other people by your behavior, the true you on the inside. That's what the Word of God speaks to. Yes, the Word of God reveals to us who God is, that we have a God who is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. A god is ready to forgive everyone who confesses their sin, but he will by no means clear the guilty. And he is going to judge people who are still in their sin. It reveals God, but the Word of God not only reveals God, it reveals what God sees in you. Like, I know people at this church and they're going to get a surgery. And it's going to be this intense procedure. And even the most skilled surgeon with the latest cutting-edge technology, like that those joints and that narrow, they're so close together. I mean, that nerve, and I don't even think I can get in there. I don't even think I can cut it that precise. What it's saying is that this Word cuts to the deepest secrets that you've got. And it exposes them. In a you don't even know who you are. But then the Word of God reveals the true you, the you in your sin, the you who's been hiding things.
And so, I'm asking you, if we're going to talk about Judgment Day, if you've got secrets, please don't keep your secrets. Please don't hide those sins. And then the first time you end up really dealing with these sins in your life is when you meet Jesus when he comes to judge secrets. Like if you have secrets, that's what we're here to talk about at church. This is what has really become a theme even specifically at this church, something has happened in my life, and I can't really explain it. I think it's just because I'm the guy up here preaching most of the time, but people now regularly it happens to me where they seek me out to have a meeting with me and what they want to do at this meeting is they want to tell me the worst possible things about themselves. That's what they want to do and it's like they won't stop until it's done. And they want to come in and they want to say I’ve got something I’ve got to share with you. And they open up things, things that I can tell have never been revealed, they have never shared with another person. And this has happened now regularly where men are coming forward, and men are saying, this is who I really am. This is what I'm keeping hidden. This is what I did in the dark. This is how I am at my house. This is how I am when no one is around. And they're coming forward and they are confessing their sin and it is intense to hear people's secrets. I mean, it is heavy, they share with you what's been going on, you feel the heaviness, you feel the burden that they have been carrying for so long. You feel it there, it's weighing down the room as they share this intense secret. And then you can also feel as we talk about it, as we pray about it, and their burden now is no longer theirs to carry. But I can now help them bear it. You can feel a lightness come over the room, you can feel a joy begin, you can feel an understanding of forgiveness. And people, they leave their secrets behind and they move forward, ready to live a new life. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? I mean, you don't need to come talk to me. No man has the power to forgive sin. Who you need to talk to is God. But it's interesting that in James, in fact, flip your handout over if you are taking notes, because this is one of the questions for our fellowship groups this week. The last question. Read James 5:16, where it says, “confess your sins to one another,” not so you can be forgiven, but so you can “pray for one another, that you may be healed.” It says, I have seen that healing power of people sharing their secrets. Yes. Share them with the Lord. Turn yourself in with the Lord, go before the Lord have no secrets before him, understand that you are naked, you are exposed. Jesus knows who you are, you cannot hide from him. Anybody here who read through the Gospel of John recently as we read through the story of Jesus's life, his ministry, his death, his resurrection, one of the things that continually happens throughout the Gospel of John is Jesus would answer people's questions that they only thought in their head, people would be whispering over here. And Jesus couldn't hear them physically. But he knew what they were saying. And he would just address that. Jesus knew even where people were, before they walked up to him, he knew even whether people really believed in him in his heart or not, he's like this disciple is going to betray me, this disciple’s going to deny me. One of the things that Jesus is showing off is proving to us throughout the Gospel of John, as he knows, there are no secrets with Jesus. And so, to confess your sin is to agree with him about your sin. It's to say, with Jesus, yes, this is sin that I have done. And I confess it before you. And not only am I sorry that I've done it. I've done it, I'm ready to turn from it. I no longer want to live in this, and I need you to save me out of it. I need you to give me your grace and your power to say no to this sin, and yes to the way that you're going to teach me how to live. If you've got secrets in your life, you need to go to Jesus and have that conversation. Now, not on Judgement Day.
That's why we're having this message. This message is a warning. This message is a glimpse of the future where there's going to be a reckoning with Jesus, make sure you have no secrets. And if you do have secrets, and you're like, well, I've tried praying about it before, what I have found is that sometimes when you pray with someone else, and you actually share that secret with another believer, someone who is right with God, someone that you can look at their life, and you can see them as an example of faith. And you go to that brother or sister, and you share with them and now they know about it. Now they can ask you about it. Now they can pray for you about it. I have seen that be a great help to many people in turning from that sin and living a new life. And so today is your day to stop having any secrets. If you are still afraid of judgment. If you're like, well, I don't know what's going to happen when I stand before Jesus. Is it because you have secret sin in your life. And if you do, this is why Romans 2 was written so that those who have secrets could be convicted about them, could confess them. I'll be here right after the service, the Compass Connect team, they'll be under the tent right after the service. Like you could be a doer of the word today. And you could confess your secrets to somebody else right here right now and you would feel a million times lighter walking out of here and then living the rest of your day. Don't live in secret sin; it is not worth it. It is not secret; it will be exposed. The Word already exposes it. When you hear the Word and the Spirit convicts you, it's already exposed right there. And it will be judged if you keep it a secret. So, I'm begging you, I'm pleading with you. I'm asking, hey, do you have secret sin that you know about? Don't think you're going to be okay on Judgement Day with secrets in your life. Please share them with someone, please confess them to the Lord. There is a false deceptive assurance that people can have, because they've heard it. They think they're ready for Judgment Day, don't be one of those people, confess your secrets, talk to somebody, right when we're done here. And let me pray for us.
Father in heaven, we come before you in the name of your Son, Jesus. And Father, we just need to confess that, for some reason, when it comes to these things of sin and judgment, people don't want to talk about them, not even at church. And surely this is a place where these things need to be talked about. Where else are we going to even talk about these things in our world today in our culture. So, Father, I pray that you would change our thought, that we would be ready to talk about sin, because we don't want to have any secrets. And we want to confess it to our brothers and sisters, we want everything in our life, to be in the light as you are in the light. We want to be open and honest about our temptations, and our struggles so that we can pray for one another and be healed. So, Father, I pray that people will stop thinking that they want to look right to other people at church, and people will start getting real with other people at church. Please let this be a church where we can talk about the sin that we have, that we can repent of that sin, so we will not have to fear it on the day of judgment. And Father, I just pray for those who have heard the Word many times and maybe they've even been convicted. Father, I'm sure there are some people… I had a man recently confessed to me secrets that he's had the entire time he's been at this church. Who knows how many sermons he heard at nine o'clock service on a Sunday morning. And had he kept it secret all those times. Father, I'm sure there are some who have buried those secrets so deep in their hearts that they were not thinking today was the day that they would bring it to the life that they were not thinking today was the day they would open up and, and shed a tear and get real and share their secrets with somebody else. Father, I pray that you will open their eyes, I pray that Your Word would cut to their heart, I pray that they would see themselves naked and exposed before you and that they would realize if they don't share their secrets today, they might be sharing them on Judgment Day. And today is the day to talk about it. That today is a day of mercy and grace, that right now as of this moment, your wrath has not yet been revealed. The righteous judgment has not yet come and that you have been patient with people for such a day as this that they could stop having those secrets. And so let today be the day that they don't go home, I hear of the word, but a doer of the Word. Let today be a day where somebody goes to their spouse and says I’ve got something I need to tell you, where kids go home and tell their parents I’ve got something I need to tell you, where brothers and sisters go up to one another and they say, will you listen to something that I've never told anybody in my entire life? Let today be a day where secrets don't have power over us anymore. Because we brought up to the light of your Son, Jesus Christ, who forgives us for every sin that we confess, because he died for them. And they've been nailed to the cross and we bear them no more. Praise the Lord that we could say it is well with my soul because I have no secrets. I have no hidden sins. I have no shame or guilt in my heart because I have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. And I fear no judgment. I know no condemnation because Jesus has saved me from the wrath of God. Let us be able to say here today it is well with my soul.
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