Since Romans 1:18, we have been reading about peopleís evil deeds, and Godís judgement against those evil deeds. Paul has insisted that Godís judgement in these matters is right. Also, he has shown us that we are all guilty in front of God.
Now, in this very strict and severe passage, Paul says something that may surprise us. In verse 3, he warned us that we would not escape Godís judgement. In verse 4, he continues to warn us. We are acting as if Godís wonderful kindness and his great patience mean nothing. So, Paul is emphasising Godís kindness and patience.
That should astonish us. God is not eager to punish us; God does not want us to suffer for our wrong and evil behaviour. Instead, he urges us to repent (to turn back to God) so that he can forgive us (Ezekiel 18:30-32). We only deserve death (6:23); but God has delayed the punishment, to give us the opportunity to turn to him.
2 Peter 3:9 gives the same reason why Christ has not yet returned to this world. God is still giving people the opportunity to return to him. In this matter, God is showing great kindness to the people of this world. He shows the greatest patience towards them because some of them may yet turn back to him.
However, we must not imagine that we can continue to live in this evil manner. We all must die; and Christís return will certainly happen. So, we definitely cannot escape Godís judgement. That judgement will certainly be against us, unless we turn back to God.
Next part: The nature of Godís judgement (Romans 2:6-8)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.