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Romans 2:16

Romans 2:16
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Romans 2:16, “…on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

How does God judge the secret things of human hearts “by Christ Jesus”? I think there are at least two ways.


First, there is a day of judgment appointed for all human beings. On this day, Jesus Christ—to whom all judgment has been given since He Himself is the divine Son of Man in whom all humans are represented (Jn 5:27)—will pierce the hearts of all people with the doubled edged sword of His word and the penetrating flame of His eyes. He will see and draw out all that has been hidden and will judge everyone according to what they have done…this is a judgment no one can survive.


However, the second way God judges the secret darkness of human hearts by Jesus is through Jesus’ bearing of that secret darkness in Himself on the cross. Just as in the previous paragraph, so too here Jesus searches out and exposes every secret of the heart, however, in this instance, He searches and judges our darkness *by bearing it in Himself.* His bearing our sin IS His searching out of our sin, His dying as us IS His judging of us…


So, the Day of the Lord will come upon all people; we will all face Judgment Day. The only question is this: Is that Judgment Day something that will be experienced in our own flesh when Jesus appears in the sky with fire and glory? Or is that Judgment Day something that has already been experienced in Jesus’ own flesh as He hung glorified in the skies above Calvary?


Ultimately, these are two opposing experiences of the same reality, and the difference between the two is the posture of our heart. If the one in the skies of Calvary is our Lord and our God, then the one in the sky on the Last Day will be our life and joy and salvation…..But if the one hanging over Calvary is rejected, ignored, dismissed, or opposed, then the one appearing over all the earth on the Last Day will be to us terror, destruction, and condemnation (Malachi 4:1-2; 2 Thess.1:8-10).