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 … in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Romans 2:12 & 16.
God’s judgment is “according to truth” (v.2): it deals with the realities in people’s lives. God will “render to each one according to his deeds” (v.6), and it will be a just rendering on the principle of seed and harvest.
When Paul speaks of coming judgment here, He emphasizes “according to my gospel”. For the gospel that he preaches does not admit of universal reconciliation.
God’s love and also His righteousness had never been revealed in so great a measure as now in the gospel. For precisely this reason we cannot reject “the message of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) without eternal consequences. The Son of God went to the cross and died voluntarily for lost sinners. Therefore God judges all by the way they regard His Son.
Whoever refuses to be led to repentance and “drawn” to the Son (cf. Romans 2:4 & John 12:32) will one day be judged according to God’s justice. Everything, even the “hidden things of darkness and … the counsels of the hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:6) will be shown up in His divine light.
The Lord Jesus Christ will sit as Judge in God’s judgment. He has “committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). This means that no-one will be able to by-pass Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Either I come to know Him as my Saviour here and now on earth, or I must face Him in eternity as my judge.