Key Verses: “Glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.”
TODAY’S LESSON UNDERSCORES the fact that no matter how morally upright any individual considers himself to be, because of his inherent sinful nature he is often blind to the same vices in his own character for which he is condemning others when they manifest similar misconduct.
The Apostle Paul gave us these words: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”—Rom. 2:1-3
In view of the foregoing, however, God’s goodness, forbearance and long suffering are evidences of his great mercy, and an appreciation of this matter should lead sinners to repentance. (vs. 4) God will determine the fate of all sinners in a future day of judgment. (John 5:28,29) At that time, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9) When mankind returns from the grave, they will not be permitted to practice evil during God’s kingdom. They will be given an ample amount of time to be educated as to God’s laws and to make progress in coming into harmony with righteousness. Those few who prove to be incorrigible after such a generous opportunity will fail their trial and forever be destroyed.—Isa. 65:20; Rev. 20:3,7-14
Devoted Christians are now experiencing a judgment day during their lifetime if they have been followers of Jesus Christ during this Gospel Age. These now have the hope of embracing a High Calling which will result in their receiving a heavenly reward if they faithfully follow Christ—“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:21; Phil. 3:13,14) As members of Christ’s church they will have the privilege of helping to uplift the human family during the world’s future judgment day of one thousand years. How thankful mankind will be when they realize God’s merciful plan for their recovery from sin and death, and the offer of everlasting life for those who will prove to be obedient to his will.
Our Key Verses remind us that God is not a respecter of persons, and that during that future reign of righteousness on earth, mankind will receive the opportunity for earthly blessings in a perfect society. This applies to the Jews, who as a whole rejected Christ as their Savior during his earthly ministry, and Gentiles who were not invited to such privileges until Israel’s special period of favor ended.
During God’s kingdom under the administration of Christ and his church, everyone will then learn to appreciate the prospect of attaining everlasting life. Nevertheless, obedience and righteous conduct will be required for this to occur. “It shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:23) How thankful mankind will be when they learn to appreciate the wisdom, justice, love and power of our most gracious and benevolent Heavenly Father.