“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds.'” (Romans 2.4-5)
What kind of heart belongs to someone who doesn’t know God? A hard, impenitent heart.
- The word hardness is where we get the name of a disease called sclerosis. Sclerosis is the hardening of the body’s soft tissue because of the overgrowth of fibrous tissue. When the heart is hard and not soft, it cannot receive what God is able to give.
- The word impenitent means that the person refuses to change their mind. They are stubborn and refuse to turn to God.
Those who are not children of God will not see all the good in my heavenly Father because they are hard, insensitive, and stubborn. People who are hardened toward God will find God’s judgment and condemnation. They find such judgment because they’ve approached God on their own terms or haven’t approached Him at all. Conduct itself may not be very different, but the disposition each unbeliever has toward God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and his own soul is different.
- An unbeliever’s conduct toward God – he doesn’t really care about God and rarely thinks about Him. He prefers all the empty activities in this world. He wants life to be fun and not serious. If this continues, such a person will finally say in his heart that he no longer wants God in his life. He doesn’t want to know about Him. He doesn’t care about God’s goodness and blessing. He doesn’t care about if God is pleased or honored by his life. He calls the unbeliever and invites him through others, but this person is not paying attention. He won’t do what God wants him to do. He will go his own way. How will that end for this person? God will deal with him in the way he dealt with God. God renders to each one according to their deeds. If he doesn’t want God around; the day is coming when God won’t want him around either.
- An unbeliever’s conduct toward the Lord Jesus – Jesus died to bring people together with God. He has offered to cleanse sin away and give people His spotless righteousness. If they accept His gifts, they will stand before the Father as His children. They will be without spot or blemish. But if they refuse the Lord Jesus due to pride or temporal desires, then they belittle His work for them. If such a person says that he will stand or fall in his own righteousness, he will surely fall. If you reject Jesus, you reject your only hope.
- An unbeliever’s conduct toward his soul – they haven’t found what is best for their souls. His mind is distracted by the world’s pleasure. He has no inward peace or satisfaction. Instead of turning to God, he nurses his hurts and pain. He becomes angry at God because of the terror of Hell, the pain of self-denial, and the shame of ridicule from supposed friends. God will render to each one according to his deeds. If he sows to his flesh, he will of the flesh reap corruption. He didn’t want to avoid Hell, so he shall have it forever.
There is a better way. Jesus said,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)
Jesus’ invitation is for those who labor and amass their own righteousness. It is for those burdened with guilt, shame, and inner pain. It is for those who cannot sleep, are restless and distress, and disillusioned about live. Jesus is a compassionate Savior, so willing to extend rest and comfort. It is His work, His live, and His gentle and lowly character in exchange for our hard, impenitent hearts. There is no other way to find rest for your souls.