Therefore, you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment…
My dad always told me to be honest with the law enforcement if I ever happened to be pulled over for speeding. As a deputy, he had little sympathy on those who “didn’t know the speed limit was 35 m.p.h.” Their claimed ignorance (whether it was true or not) only encouraged him to give them a ticket… next time they’ll pay more attention to the signs.
In the same manner, Paul teaches that those who don’t know the Lord personally will have no excuse on the Day of Judgment. One of my professor’s gives his testimony about using the brilliance of the stars as an argument for the existence of a god. The interesting thing is, this was before he became a believer. Our Lord’s divine nature has clearly been seen by all men since the beginning of time… regardless of whether they personally know Him or not (Rom 1:20). Like the “ignorant” driver pulled over for speeding, guilty is guilty, whether you took notice of the signs or not.
Here’s the kicker though. How much more guilty are you when you judge unbelievers for their sin? Do you suppose that you will be judged any less for your sins simply because you have a relationship with God? The answer is “No!” You are just as guilty of your own sin as the unbeliever is of his sin. The grace you received through Christ Jesus does not sanction you as a self-righteous judge; rather, it holds you even more accountable to your sins. Why then, do you who have the answer to your unbelieving friend’s misery, sit back in judgment? Should you not be more interested in relaying to them, “the free gift of God, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus, your Lord?”