For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.
A while back someone reminded me of an old saying who innocently sins are condemned innocently. If we used the word “innocent” to describe who do know the Law and violate it, then the saying might be paraphrasing Romans 2:12-13. The fact of not having knowledge of God’s law does not give exemption from blame if violated. As Scripture states that violating the law of God is sin, whether we know it or not, anyway we’ll guilty at trial.
When a foreigner violates the laws of the country in which he is in no way a judge will forgive him because that person did not know that he had violated the law. The court will apply the law as it has been established and condemned according to the corresponding code. If that person leave it be released or pardoned by the judge, it will not be for having been found him innocent, but because the judge treated him with mercy.
Likewise, God, a Just Judge will find guilty anyone who violates His law with or without knowledge. If we are forgiven it is not by us but by His grace. And that is something that should be very clear in the mind of each. As the English theologian John Wesley (1703-1791) said: “Before I can preach love, mercy and grace, I must preach sin, law and judgment.”
Today many people want to impose their views to God. These people are entitled to disavow the very Word of God when their preferences are confronted. In the name of free thought, of coexistence, diversity, God’s law is ignored and, rather than ignore, is intended to cancel it. Such attempts are useless according to Romans 2:12-13, because the judgment of God is inevitable. So ignoring the law does not help us nor exonerates.
The English clergyman Maurice Roberts (1938- ) said: “The ‘freedom’ of men in a world without rules or law would be the ‘freedom’ of the jungle or the depths of the sea, where the strong devour the weak and the largest eats to the smallest. It would be a nightmarish existence. A world in which there is no fear of punishment. It is a world where there is nothing but fear. Freedom begins when the law is executed, not when it is abolished.”
Believe it or not, it will be a judgment for every human being to die. In this trial, our works will be compared with the standard of the Law of God. No matter whether we believe or not in God. No matter if we know His Law. Our beliefs are not going to be the scale with which we will be measured. God sets the rules, not us. The downside for us is that the Law is extremely strict and a simple deviation from it makes us guilty because it is completely equivalent to rape.
To give you an idea that God’s Law is designed to make true justice, let think that a just, Jesus Christ had to pay for the sins of all with the sole purpose of giving opportunity to be justified. I like a phrase from Puerto Rican evangelist Yiye Avila (1925-2013): “If you do not accept Christ as your Savior, one day you have to face God as judge.” Do not run that risk, today is the day of repenting, become to Jesus Christ and accept the gift of eternal life. God bless you.