All I Want is Justice
From time to time, when talking with people about the claims of the gospel, they would reject the gospel and say, “When I stand in the final judgment, all I want, from whatever God there is, is justice.” The basis of this statement is generally based on the following : (1) all men are basically good and capable of good works; (2) the final judgment, if there is one, will be based on how people live in this world. Their good deeds will be weighed against their bad deeds and the hope is that their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds. And if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds then a just God will welcome you into heaven. The religions of this world may teach such beliefs. But the Bible does not teach these beliefs.
The Bible teaches that because of Adam’s fall into sin, all his descendants are sinners. Rom.5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Note that, sin came into the world and brought along death with it. This death is not only physical death. This death is also spiritual death. Eph.2:1 says, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” Sin has also infected and corrupted man’s whole being : mind, body, emotions, will. So whatever a man does, it is infected by what he is as a sinner. For this reason Isa.64:6 says, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” Before he was converted, the apostle Paul was a Pharisee, and in his own words, a Pharisee among Pharisees (Acts 23:6; 26:5). In other words, by human standards, he was a very righteous man. But after his conversion to Christ, Paul came to understand that his Pharisaical righteousness was “rubbish”. (Phil.3:8).
Both descriptions, “filthy rags” and “rubbish” are very shockingly graphic. And what they tell us is that we have no righteousness of any worth to stand with before God. When you stand before God the good works you will be dressed in will be “filthy rags” and the good works offering in your hands will be “rubbish”. Good works infected by sin are sinful works. Think of your good works as a glass of pure water. Now put one drop of ink into that glass of water. What will happen? The glass of pure water will be infected by that drop of ink and become impure water. This is what sin has done to you and all your good works. Let me use another illustration : your good works are like a beautiful sweet smelling ripe guava. But when you slice it open it is filled with worms. (cf. Matt.7:17-18).
What is sin? 1Jn.3:4 says, “sin is lawlessness.” Sin is the breaking of God’s law. Jas.2:10-11 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” (Emphasis mine). God’s law (singular) consists of ten points (commandments). Break any one of the ten commandments and you have broken God’s law. The sinner fails to realize that the breaking of God’s law is a legal matter and it carries a penalty. The penalty for breaking God’s law is death. This is what Adam was told in Gen.2:17, “in the day you eat from it you will surely die.” And Rom.6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” When you stand in God’s court in the final judgment, you will be standing as a law-breaker who is guilty, condemned, and awaiting the Divine pronouncement of the death penalty.
The Bible teaches that God is righteous (just). Consider a couple verses : Psa.11:7, “The LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness.” Psa.7:11 says, “God is a righteous judge.” Psa.89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne.” The only justice a just God can mete out to the person guilty of breaking His law is the penalty of death, the second death in the lake of fire. (Rev.20:11-15). Remember, the wages of (penalty for) sin is death.
What you need as a sinner and law-breaker is not justice but Divine mercy. Divine justice will send you to an eternal hell. Divine mercy will save you from this eternal hell. Eph.2:4 describes God as “rich in mercy”. The most important question is : how do you receive this mercy from God? The one and only answer is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. God sent His Son into this world to die for sinners, to pay the penalty for sin. (Jn.3:16). If you want to receive God’s mercy and the forgiveness of ALL your sins (Col.2:13), you need to repent of your sins and put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you.
My dear reader, I urge you, do not wait for the final judgment to look for justice. The only justice you will receive from God for your sins is the eternal penalty of the lake of fire. What you need to look for right now is God’s rich mercy in the Lord Jesus Christ. I said “right now” because Heb.9:27 says after death comes the judgment. There will be no mercy when you stand in the final judgment. If you want God’s rich mercy in Christ, you must seek for it right now, in this life. 2Cor.6:2 says, “behold, now is the day of salvation.” May it please God that you would cry out to God in prayer for His mercy in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.