The Righteous Demand for Justice

Content Author: 
Reagan, David

Not only do we see the utter sinfulness of man and the absolute holiness of God, but we also see God’s righteous demand for justice. God demands that sin must be fully judged. The payment for our sin must be made. He cannot “just forgive” (as one modern song states it) because His own righteousness is at stake. He is absolutely righteous. As such, He demands that sinful actions be paid for by righteous judgment. This is where we get our own sense of righteous judgment.

Within you is there not a sense that rights ought to be rewarded and wrongs ought to be judged? Do you not know that people who do good ought to be blessed and people who do evil ought to pay for it? Is there not in each of us that sense of righteousness?  We think of Adolf Hitler and say that he should pay for his evil. Where did that feeling of “things ought to be made right” come from? God put that in you. That is part of your conscience. That is part of the nature given to you from God.

God says that righteousness must be satisfied and one of the demands of righteousness is justice! God is going to demand justice from each person one of these days. It does not look too good for us under these rules. We are utterly sinful and God is absolutely holy and now He absolutely demands righteous judgment. That is pretty bad for all of us. In addition to this, judgment is coming soon .

Psalm 9:7-8 says, “But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” This is one verse of many that establishes the fact that God will judge the world in righteousness. In fact, His righteousness demands that sin be judged and that punishment equal to the sin be applied. This does not only refer to the sins of those who have wronged you; it is required of your sins also. Your sins must receive the righteous and absolute judgment of God.

In the New Testament, we find that judgment will be executed by Jesus Christ. You may think you are alright if Jesus is the One who judges you. But let’s imagine this scene.   Suppose that you die and go to heaven and stand before Jesus, sweet Jesus. Surely, He will overlook your little faults. But He is the one who paid the price for your sins and suffered your hell for you. Yet in your life, you said to Him by your actions, “No thanks, I don’t need you.” Exactly what kind of emotion do you expect from Him at that point? If you have not received the mercy of God before you stand before Him; if you have rejected His gracious offer of salvation during this life; you have a place reserved for you in hell.

God is absolutely holy and the only way He can be consistent with Himself is to fully execute all judgment and justice in a righteous way. He cannot just overlook our sins. And He will settle everything in the end. You may wonder why God allows certain things to happen today. But you must understand this: He will not allow injustice to continue forever. God will settle all accounts. I do not know why God lets things happen to people specifically, but I know He will make all things right some day! The trouble is, when God makes all things right, what about your wrongs toward God? What about the things you have done and your guilt before God? We always want Him to make things right and fix the other person’s wagon, but when it is our wagon, we do not want that taken care of in quite the same way. He is going to judge us too! He must judge us in order to be consistent with His own righteousness.

What will it be like to stand before God? Consider these verses:

Joel 2:11 says, “And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Think about that word abide . Who can just stay there in the presence of God’s wrath? God will be angry when He comes. Who can abide it?
Nahum 1:6 says, “Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.”
Malachi 3:2 says, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:”
Revelation 6:17 says, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

No one will be able to stand before the righteous judgment of God! You may wonder if there are exceptions. Yes, and thank God for the exceptions. But before we deal with God’s provision of propitiation, let me say something to those of you who do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour. If you do not know the gracious salvation of Jesus Christ, you are not just facing the wrath of God in the future; the wrath of God has already been assigned to you.

John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” This verse says that you have been “condemned already.” You have already been judged and have been found wanting.
John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The word abideth is present tense. That means God has already assigned you a place in hell if you are not saved. We Christians talk about having our mansion in heaven; lost people already have their place in hell. It may be good law on earth to declare a man innocent until proven guilty, but we all come before God guilty to start with. You are not waiting to be declared guilty. You are condemned already.

You must find a solution to your guilt if you are going to be in heaven. That solution is propitiation. God is mad. I want you to understand that. He is very angry. The Bible talks about wrath. Wrath is a very strong word. It means extremely mad. Why is God so mad? Have you read a newspaper recently? If you were God and you were absolutely holy and you picked up today’s newspaper and read through it, are you going to be happy about what is going on down here?

But not only does God know what the newspaper says; He knows what is going on in everybody’s heart and in everybody’s home and in every side room downtown. He knows everything that is going on. He knows what is going on at the Capitol. He knows what is going on with politics and in the Supreme Court. He knows what is going on all over this world. God is angry. We serve a God who loves, but we have taken His love and thrown it back in His face and said, “I don’t need You God.” What are you going to do about that anger and that wrath?  The problem is that you cannot do anything about it. You are already condemned. But praise the Lord, He has provided a solution for you. That solution is propitiation. Remember what we said earlier. Propitiation means to satisfy the demands for justice . Look at how this propitiation is provided.

David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 1:10

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.