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Romans 2:5-6 meaning

The further we go without repenting and turning to God, the more wrath is in store for us

Although our merciful God is always seeking to restore each of us, including "every one of you who passes judgement" (v 1), the reality is that we all deserve the same judgment. Sadly, it is typical for us to be quick to judge others and slow to see our own faults. Thankfully we always have the opportunity to repent of our prideful condescension toward others, receive forgiveness for our pride, and replace it with humble obedience. But when we do not, we instead are storing up wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (v 5).

There will come a day when God will judge all of humanity. The true reality is that we will carry with us any wrongs we fail to repent of here on earth when we go to heaven. The saying is true that "you can't take it with you" when referring to material possessions, but it is just as true that we can (and do) carry our deeds with us to heaven.

It is interesting in contemplating 2:4-5 that the storing up wrath of 2:5 only takes place because of stubbornness and unrepentant hearts (v 4). It seems that we can also leave behind wrong deeds by repenting of them here on earth. This sentiment is echoed by the Apostle John:

"but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:7-9)

On the day God judges all humanity, each person will be rendered judgement according to his deeds (v 6) while on earth. Recall that Paul is still referring to "O man" who passes judgment on others (vs 3), and has already made clear that these "judges" are storing up wrath for themselves because they fail to live up to the standard they impose on others. Accordingly, they refuse to repent and let God deal with them now on earth.

For believers, the judgment of God will not be applied to determine whether they are worthy of admission into God's family. God has already pronounced us worthy because He imputes to us the worthiness of Jesus. Jesus's sacrifice on the cross paid for our sins (John 3:14-15). The judgment for believers will determine what sort of reward or approval we receive from our Father for the life we lived (2 Corinthians 5:10).

A good father will accept his children without condition. There should never be any event or circumstance whereby a good father will cease loving his children and seeking their best; there is no way they will be rejected as his children.

However, while acceptance into the family is unconditional, that same excellent father will never approve of self-destructive behavior; he will condition his approval upon behavior that is beneficial to the child. As earthly fathers, we strive to be good parents, but God the Father is a perfect parent and provides for us perfect acceptance that is totally without condition. Our perfect Father will also only approve and reward those behaviors that are beneficial to us, to others, and to His kingdom.

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