But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (Romans 2;5-6)
Romans opens with the warning of Judgment, first against those who “suppress the truth ” that they know about God; the godless. Holy wrath is already being revealed against them, in that they are being given over to moral confusion, degrading lusts, and reprobation.
But wrath is also being revealed against moralistic man. He is (rightly) disgusted by the personal and social disintegration that is the fruit of godlessness,
Some semblance of godliness, religion, morals, various ‘forms of godliness’ have kept him from the boundary- less insanity of pure relativism. Even a cursory acknowledgment of God, and of the moral order, enriches and elevates life in ways very few even recognise.
But according to Paul , such people get the wrong message from this. They actually think that they can escape the judgment of God, because they haven’t been drowning in degeneracy, as the godless are.
Secondly they think that the advantages they have over the manifestly degenerate, are tokens that they are on the right track and don’t need to be saved from God’s wrath.They misinterpret the kindness and forbearance of God towards them.
Paul called it “despising the riches of Hs goodness”,not realising that such blessings on their life, as stable marriages, children, and prosperity, are not necessarily Divine approval but Divine kindness and forbearance; God is giving the ‘moral’ also a chance to repent!
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?(Romans 2:4)
The kindness is in just letting us live long enough to think about God, and not striking us down as we deserve. God gives us another chance to turn to Him!
It is actually easier in a sense for the openly godless, to come to the point where they see that they need God.This is because the way Go deals with them is by accelerating the destruction of their lives,giving them over to hurtful lusts.
But Wrath is accumulating over the heads of those who Tssk Tssked the godless and their degeneracy, and assumed that they themselves have no need of salvation, because they aren’t as bad as the others.
Paul calls them out as having “hardness of heart” and for being “Impenitant”.This is because the ‘moralist’ will not see his own need for God, divine forgiveness, or the fact that He does he same things that the godless does, in his heart.
The truth is that all of us are capable of any depth of degeneracy that we see in others. it is the very kindness of God that we have not been given over openly and fully to our lusts.
As with the godless, wrath comes to the moralist also as a direct result of the refusal to acknowledge God, and the need for God’s forgiveness and reconciliation.
Judgment will be according to truth, that means that even the best person can not stand it. God will render to everyman according to his deeds, all of them! Perfect Justice, will demand perfect righteousness, as the Psalmist said,
“If you O Lord should mark iniquity , who could stand ? But there is forgiveness with you that you should be feared.”(Psalm 130:3)
God will Judge all sin, all sinners, the very secrets of men’s hearts will be revealed on that day! Who can stand when He appears? Who shall abide the day of His coming? It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!
Truly the wrath of of God is on our godless generation. It is daily revealed in His giving our culture over to debasement, darkening their capacity for understanding, and reprobating their thinking.
But it is not suppossed to have the effect on those of us who have not been so obviously ruined, of pride in our own morality. Instead it should cause all men to fear, realising that God is a Holy God and no one will escape the judgment, and that He is a searcher of the secrets of men’s hearts. We must all search our own hearts and run to God seeking mercy!