Rom 2:8-11 “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But 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.”
Paul continues to speak here about the result of God’s judgment on men for their behavior here. Those who sought for the glory and honor and immortality of God received the assurance of eternal life (verse 7). However, there were those who did not patiently wait upon the Lord. These showed themselves to be contentious.
Those who are contentious work from a place of strife. They are willfully and perversely disbelieving (see Strong’s definition of the word translated as “obey” in this phrase). They do not like to retain God in their knowledge. Therefore they have confidence (see Strong’s definition of the word translated as “obey” in this phrase) in unrighteousness and injustice. Their trust is in men.
For those whose confidence is in the flesh, indignation and wrath await them. Paul was clearly showing that there was more than just a slap on the wrist involved here. The judgment of God against such is a passionate vengeance. There is the promise of affliction and distress upon the innermost being of everyone who rejoices in work that God deems worthless.
We must be aware that Paul is addressing people here that obviously know the truth. After all, we cannot be obedient to something if we do not know there is an expectation. We cannot deliberately oppose something we have no knowledge of. If you have a rule in your home that everyone removes their shoes at the door, but I have no knowledge of that rule, then I am not being deliberately disobedient if I keep my shoes on (even though I am breaking that rule).
Once I am taught the rule, even if I was not born into that household, the right thing for me is to remove my shoes. If I refuse, then I am subject to the same penalty as anyone else in the house. Paul was telling both the Jew and the Gentile that no one who has been made aware of the truth gets a pass. Whether Jew or Gentile, once God reveals His truth in us we are responsible for obeying that truth.
There is judgment already in place by the will of God for the actions of men. He does not have to decide what He is going to do in each circumstance. We who know the truth do not have to wonder what the outcome will be. If we are willingly disobedient, then we can expect indignation, wrath, tribulation, and anguish. When we obey the truth we can expect glory, honor, and peace regardless of where we started out from (Jew or Gentile).
God is not a respecter of persons. He does not care if you are rich or poor, bond or free, Jew or Greek. You status and station among men does not impress Him. Walk in the truth and find the fulfillment of a godly life. Disobey the truth and reap the consequences of those actions.
May God bless us to rest in the eternal work of Jesus Christ and walk in His righteousness while we live in His kingdom here!