The Bible clearly states that “as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law” (Rom. 2:12).
Some people overlook or forget the fact that entirely apart from the Law, sin kills. This is evident on every hand. Envy, hate, vice and profligate living dissipate the human frame and destroy it.
This is why so many in pagan lands barely live out half their lives. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” entirely apart from law and judgment.
But Rom. 2:12 goes on to say that “as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” Let’s think this through too.
Here, let’s say, is a man who begins to take narcotics. He gets deeper and deeper into drug addiction, and has to cheat and steal to get the money to buy more. Soon his life is ruined; he’s a human wreck — entirely apart from the law.
But now the law catches up with him and there is a new situation. He is taken to court and found guilty and sent to jail. This is the legal penalty for his crime, a crime which was destroying him anyway. So the Law is of no help to sinners; it only adds the just condemnation of sin to the natural — and deplorable — results of sin.
How wonderful, then, to know that the death of Christ is so complete a solution to man’s twofold problem — how Christ, at Calvary, came to our rescue, both in our helplessness and in the condemnation that spelled our doom! source