They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. (Romans 2:15)
Opponents of Christianity might argue, “How can God hold us accountable for disobeying His rules if we never knew what His rules are?” Their argument is that if they never went to Sunday School, were never taught the Ten Commandments, or had been given even an elementary explanation of sin how can they then be judged fairly by God for not obeying Him?
Paul tells us in Romans 2 that whether we were raised in a Christian family or grew up in the remotest part of the world where God is not even mentioned everyone has a conscience that tells them intrinsically what is right and wrong. That knowledge is placed there by God Himself. It is part of His design of making Himself known to all mankind. Deep down everyone knows it’s wrong to lie, to murder, to take what doesn’t belong to you, etc. We don’t need a set of laws to tell us that—our conscience and repercussions of our actions tell us that. We have an innate sense of justice and God, the ultimate Judge, will one day execute His justice on everyone, requiring us to answer for every evil we have done. There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed!
The good news, however, is that those who put their trust in the work of Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all the Law by living perfectly as God has required, will by faith receive His righteousness and escape God’s condemning judgment. That is good news indeed!