What is the definition of Justice?
The root of this word is just or right. Collins Dictionary gives some of the meanings of ‘justice’ as: “Justice is fairness in the way that people are treated.” “The justice of a cause, claim, or argument is its quality of being reasonable, fair, or right.” And: “Justice is the legal system that a country uses in order to deal with people who break the law.” https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/justice . And Miriam-Webster give some of the meanings of the word ‘just’ as: "acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good" and "being what is merited: deserved a just punishment". https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/just .
The meaning of God’s ‘righteous judgements’ is that they are all good, just, fair and true. If there could be anything wrong in the way that God administers justice towards sinners, then He would cease to be a just and righteous God. And He would lose the love of the beings that worship Him; then they would worship Him out of fear.
Would it be fair if God burned all unrepentant sinners in hell forever regardless of their crimes, and how bad they hurt God, themselves or others?
Many people teach that God will burn all the lost sinners in hell forever. Is this really true? We don’t know how anyone is able to equate our God of love with the infinite unfairness of treating all sinners with the same punishment more or less, which infinitely exceeds every sin they could ever commit in their mortal lifetime. And we don’t know how anyone could accept the idea that sinners who lived and died before newer sinners, suffer even longer than the newer ones, even if their sins were less, since they would be burning longer. Where is the justice of treating big time sinners and tyrants in the same way as lesser sinners? How could anyone accept the idea that the punishment for being lost for all sinners is punishment without end? We know from the Bible that God is love, 1 John 4:8, so this charge against God that He would do something so unfair as this cannot be true! And is it even possible that someone could sin against God or humanity so bad that they would deserve to be punished for all eternity? No, it is mathematically impossible. Do you understand how big eternity is? No human being can really comprehend eternity. It’s way too big! It's bigger than any number you can imagine; imagine a 1 with one trillion zeros. We don’t even know the name of that number, but this number is infinitely puny when compared with infinity! Now imagine a 1 with one trillion zeroes multiplied by another 1 with one trillion zeroes. What is the value of that number? Whatever number you can imagine infinity is bigger than that still. To deserve an infinite punishment the sinner in their normal mortal lifespan would have to commit the worst possible sins and infinite amount of times, which is impossible. Even if someone could live one thousand years, like some of the people almost did before the flood, and they were the most wicked human being tyrant that ever lived and intentionally committed the worst atrocities every day of this 1000 years, they could still never commit enough sins to deserve punishment for all eternity! The whole idea that God would ever do this should be ludicrous and despicable to all kind, loving and thinking beings.
We think that many people, even many Christians, as yet do not know how wonderful God is! If they truly knew this there would be such a difference in Christianity that is now largely lacking. And we think that many of the people who believe this doctrine of eternal punishment for sin have never done the math on what it would take for someone to deserve an infinite punishment. But wait a minute, the proponents of this teaching say that all lost sinners, even the least of them will suffer for all eternity. Whoa! Stop! Now we wonder who would also agree with this charge against God? Maybe the enemy of our soul? Our ancient foe! His craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate… From Dr. Martin Luther’s song: “A Mighty Fortress is our God!” Yes only a being armed with cruel hate would device such a malignant teaching about God, ascribing to God the worst attributes of himself! Is it even possible that an evil person or an evil being could come up with something more wicked than administering endless punishment throughout eternity? No way. So who are they kidding when they try to say that a God of love would do this?
God’s Fair Justice:
“For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalms 1:6 NASB. In this Psalm the life of the righteous is compared with the life of the wicked. It says that the wicked will perish. Other places talk about the eternal life that God wants to give all sinners who believe in Jesus and Him, such as John 3:16. The believer is promised eternal life, but the wicked unrepentant sinner is promised that they will perish or cease to exist. Merriam-Webster gives the meaning of ‘perish’ as: ‘to become destroyed or ruined: cease to exist’, ‘deteriorate, spoil’ and ‘to cause to die’. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perish . We believe in Psalms 1:6 and in the other places of the Bible where it describes the final punishment of the wicked, that they will be punished by fire and perish or ‘cease to exist’, which is to die the second death.
In all of what we are explaining about God and His love for the unrepentant sinner, we are in no case saying that the lost sinner will not be punished with death by fire. Psalms 1:6, and many places in the Bible, make it clear that the sinner will perish, for God will in no wise ‘clear the guilty.’ “'The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.'” Numbers 14:18 NASB. See also Exodus 34:6-7 and Exodus 20:5-6.
We also have the testimony of Jesus regarding the final destruction of the wicked: “You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.” Matthew 5:21-26 NASB. As we have stated in some of our books and blogs, there can be no higher authority than the Son of God (and of course His Father). But Jesus is the Word of God, and ALWAYS gives the same words as His Father wants Him to speak, because He and His Father are ONE. John 10:30. When Jesus speaks, there can be no debate among Christians who love and follow Him, once they learn and understand what He is telling them. (There are many honest Christians who do not know the truth of this yet because of the way they have been taught. In the times of ignorance, God winked, but is commanding men and women everywhere to repent and believe the truth once they learn it. Acts 17:30.)
Jesus declared here that anyone who calls someone else a ‘fool’ will ‘be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.’ He also counsels all guilty sinners to make their peace with their opponent before the judgement. At the judgment, Jesus will be our opponent, if were against Him here and unrepentant, but our friend then if we confess our sins to Him and believe. John 3:16-18; 1 John 1:9. “And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." John 9:39 NASB. And Jesus also said, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49 NASB. From this text we see that the fire had not been kindled on the earth when He came the first time. Many people believe that the fires of hell are ongoing, but from what Jesus said we see that this cannot be true; He hasn’t cast the fire down on the world yet. We also get from Matthew 5:21-26 that the judgement takes place before the punishment, so the fires of hell could not have been kindled yet when Jesus made that statement, since the final judgement hadn’t taken place yet. These statements go against this idea that there is an infinite burning hell that has been ever on-going…. Jesus also said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He [God] gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He [Jesus] is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice [Jesus], and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:25-30 NASB. See also: 2 Corinthians 5:10; John 8:15-16; John 3:16-17; 1 John 3:8. It says here that God gave Jesus the ‘authority to execute judgement, because He is the Son of Man.’ I.e. because Jesus is God, but had been born in the flesh as a human being and could identify with us and our problems. Who better than Jesus to act as our judge? “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB. It can be seen through all of this that Jesus is both our judge and our advocate. Whether He is our judge or our advocate depends on whether we make Him our friend or not. Dear reader, make friends with Him quickly, while the probation of your life is still granted to you! Do not put it off!
Also note what Jesus said above, ‘those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.’ This clearly shows that the judgement of the wicked and their punishment cannot take place until Jesus comes back and raises the saints from the dead at His second coming, and after the judgement. Therefore it should be clear from this that no one is now in hell suffering, because the second coming of Christ hasn’t happened yet. Have you heard of massive numbers of people being raised from the dead all across the world? Have you or anyone you know seen Jesus coming in the right hand of power in the Heaven with great glory? Matthew 24:25-31; Luke 21:27; 22:69; Mathew 26:64; 25:31-46; 16:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:17. No. Therefore the judgement and the final destruction of the wicked cannot have taken place yet.
Those that fail to make friends with Jesus and His Father before the close of their life, will be judged and bear the penalty of their own sins. Jesus declares that the guilty sinners will be ‘thrown into prison’ and that they will not get out until they have ‘paid up the last cent.’ What more do you need? This ‘prison punishment’ is a clear reference to the final punishment of the wicked. Note what it says near the first part of this passage: “whoever says, ’You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” Can there be any doubt that this passage is talking about the final judgement and the destruction of the wicked by fire? When Jesus says that they will not get out of prison until they have ‘paid up the last cent’, He is telling all who will listen, that sinners will not be punished endlessly forever, but when they have paid for their crimes against God and humanity they will utterly perish.
What lesson can we learn from Jeremiah regarding God’s mercy and not burning the wicked forever? "They [the children of Israel] built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” Jeremiah 32:35 NASB. See also Jeremiah 7:30-31.
God does not indiscriminately punish the wicked in the final destruction by fire without reference to their guilt. The Israelites caused their children to pass through the fire, not because their children had done anything wrong, but to “pacify” the evil pagan gods which they worshiped; they had no good reason to do this! But God does not operate this way, He is not a God of injustice! And He doesn’t need to be “pacified” either; He already loves you and will always love you regardless. After the judgement, God only casts those into the Lake of Fire who remained unrepentant during their life’s probation on this earth before the second coming, but He only punishes each sinner according to their sins and just desserts. According to Revelation 20:11-14, the final destruction of the wicked by fire takes place after the judgment completes, at the end. This is also contrary to popular belief, the fires of hell have not been kindled yet. The final phase of the judgement of the wicked must take place first before the Lake of Fire is kindled for their death. There can be no fairness of the destruction of sinners unless their judgement has been completed. It never even came into God’s mind to ask the Israelites to cause their children to pass through the fire! And it never entered His mind to punish unrepentant sinners forever either! At the day of God’s wrath, in the day of the punishment of the wicked after their final judgement, each unrepentant sinner ‘gets what they deserve’: no more and no less, since they rejected God’s love and mercy for them and didn’t repent. Therefore it is unreasonable to even suggest that God would indiscriminately punish sinners forever! Oh perish the thought!
By John Foll, written 8/21/2017 to 9/06/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
#Just #God #Fair #Lost #Sinner #Unrepentant #Justice #Burn #Hell #Punishment #Eternal #Impossible #Perish #Destroy #Wicked #Fool #Guilty #Fire #Resurrection #Judgement
Originally posted 2017-09-15 11:00:00.