The principle of this impartial judgment is that those who have been justified by faith and persevere in doing what is right according to the standard of God amidst the iniquity of the present day will be rewarded with good (v. 7,10; Col. 1:23; Heb. 3:14).
These are they that highly value the glory that comes from God, seeking eternal life continually (Rom. 5:2; 8:18,23; 1Cor. 15:51-57). On the other hand, those who do evil by disobeying the truth and taking pleasure in unrighteousness will receive wrath, anger, and tribulation as their reward irrespective of their office, membership age, or financial influence in the church (Rom. 1:28-32; 2:8-9; Isa. 1:28).
People will not usually be condemned for what they did not know, but for what they did with what they know. Christians will be judged by what the Bible says (Jn. 13:17), while those who never heard of the Bible and Christ, but yet know what is right and what is wrong will be judged by those standards which their consciences dictated, for there is the evidence of God’s moral law in every society and culture (Rom. 2:12-15).
Knowing what is right is not enough, but doing it. Murder, for example, is a crime and is prohibited in every culture, yet that law is broken in every society. The non-Christians who have heard of the Bible and of Christ will be judged in accordance with the gospel (cons. Mk. 16:15-16).
So, it is not the hearers of the word of God that are justified by God, but the doers (Rom. 2:13-14; Jam. 1:22; Matt. 7:21-26).