We’ve been looking at Paul’s “open letter” to the unsaved society around us. That’s how he starts his letter to the Roman church.
He warns that without Christ, judging each other is pointless. Of course he gets to the heart of the matter.
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
That’s the real question that those in the world need to be asked. It’s our job as believers to show them the kindness, tolerance, and patience of the Lord. All the while we should be leading them towards repentance.
The problem is that many times we do the first part while ignoring the second half of this verse. We love and accept the unsaved just as they are. However, if we never show them the way of salvation, they’ll be lost for eternity.
Too often we stay silent because we fear rejection. But they’re refusal of the Gospel is not on us. It’s a choice that they might make.
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”
Remember, Paul is speaking as if to the unsaved. As believers, we don’t need to worry about God’s wrath. There’s no wrath in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)
Most of us don’t like to think about this truth. Yet, I believe it’s something we need to ponder. If I, as a Christian, don’t understand what’s at stake, I’ll be very uncaring about the lives within my sphere of influence.
We have a responsibility to warn the ones we love about this future event that everyone needs to prepare for. The apostle shows us the clear choice. It all hinges on what a person is seeking in life.
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
This passage is actually a great guideline for checking someone’s readiness to receive the Gospel. You can tell by their works what they’re seeking in life. The words, glory, honor, and immortality, have more than just a religious meaning.
It’s talking about an unsaved person who consistently shows certain qualities. They try to do things that raise dignity, add value to life, and produce long-lasting effects. These are the ones who are ripe for the Gospel message.
Those who are self-serving and only accept what they want to believe need to be interceded for. They need a change of heart by the work of the Holy Spirit first. Then they’ll be ready for that saving Word.
But the bottom line is, no one is outside of God’s love or His grace. Everyone has the potential to receive the forgiveness and salvation of Christ.
Question: Who needs to hear the Gospel in your sphere of influence?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi