Romans 2:11 "God shows no partiality."
Teaching his Roman followers, Paul reminds them that simply because they are marked as Christians is no free ticket to do what and as one wills. God does not bend to privileges extended. Paul's message is simple: "Jews will be no better off on the day of judgement than the Gentiles if they have not tried to live their lives as is expected of them.
Perhaps Paul's words may be onerous or annoying. A friend told me of his reason for leaving the Catholic Church. His experience might be a good reminder to each of us about how we are perceived by others who watch us. He was "turned off" by the example of those who profess their holiness because they attend church services on Sundays. During the work-a-day week experiences these same people are scandalous in the way they treat others in the workplace or in their family settings. Duplicity was the straw that broke the man's faith.
The question each person might ask of him/herself is also very simple: "As a follower of Jesus, do I speak or act out of both sides of my mouth and life? Do I want some to see me a "perfect" while at the same time there is another side of my life that is far from perfect? Surely we are, all of us, sinners. But if we try to lead others to believe we are "saints," while we are not, are we not failing in our living the life expected of us by our God?
Clearly the stairway to heaven is never an easy climb!