3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (ESV)
The unconverted person who otherwise attempts to lead a moral life is guilty of making two bad assumptions concerning the wrath and judgment of God. The first bad assumption is that the judgment of God will not come because their sins are not as bad as the wicked people whom Paul described in Romans chapter 1. The unconverted person who attempts to lead a moral life looks with disdain upon the homosexual, the idol worshipper, the murderer, and they know that God will judge these people for their sins. However, the unconverted but moral person does not know the truth of Romans 2:1 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” (ESV) The list of sins which Paul gives us in Romans 1:29-31 is extensive enough to cover all of mankind. There is no one who has not committed at least one of these sins. The unconverted person who is attempting to lead a moral life is deluded in the belief that God will not judge their own sins in like manner to God’s judgment of the sins of the openly wicked person.
The second bad assumption the unconverted person who otherwise attempts to lead a moral life makes is that God’s patience is evidence that God will not judge them for their sins. Romans 2:4 says “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (ESV) The forbearance and patience of God in judging sin is for the purpose of allowing time for mankind to repent of their sins. However, many people interpret this forbearance as an evidence that God really doesn’t care about their sins.
Romans 3:5 says “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (ESV) There is an excellent word picture that we can use to illustrate this verse. God’s patience is like a dam which is holding back His judgment. I used to work in the Engineering Department of a fairly large City. We would sometimes construct a dam. Water would slowly build up against that dam. For the first few months, there would be almost no standing water behind the dam. Then, as time passes, water would build up behind the dam until the lake reached full pool. One year we had a significant rain event which caused one of our lakes to overtop the dam, and as the water began to run down the dry side of the dam, the dam was eroded away and eventually failed, releasing all the water stored up to rush downstream. This is a picture of the patience of God storing up wrath against sinners for the day of judgment. More and more sins store up more and more wrath behind the dam of patience, until the day when God’s patience gives way to the flood of His judgment.
By Berean Husband