Friday, February 17, 2006

God’s Justice and Love

A good friend of mine sent me this quote in an e-mail and asked me what I thought about it. It says, "Most people's problem with the bible is how a LOVING God can send a sinner to hell, while the Bible's biggest problem is how a JUST God can get a sinner to heaven."

I think it is a good quote in some ways, but I think it dodges a very important issue that the Bible does deal with. I think we have to deal with both issues: God’s love and justice. One cannot outweigh the other.

If we are to take this line of thought and deal with both questions we would need to deal with both God’s justice and God’s love. The word “justice.” means this: “The quality of being just; fairness.” So, I think the quote raises a good point. How does a God whose character is being fair or just, get sinners into heaven? God could do one of two things it seems. God could leave everyone in their sinful state and choose to send them to hell. This would be fair or just or he could make some kind of means available to redeem fallen humanity. I believe the latter is exactly what God has done. He sent Jesus into the world so that we might be redeemed. Jesus is the means for which we have salvation.

I think this makes good sense of God’s love as well. It is in God’s character to love His creation. After all, God created us and we believe God works providentially to sustain His creation. God has provided what we need to have life in Jesus Christ. I do think God desires the salvation of every person and has made Jesus, the means of salvation available to everyone. I also believe there are some people who will reject God forever. Notice that I do not think God rejects the fallen human race, but some people reject God.

As Lewis notes in the Problem of Pain, “In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrines of hell, is itself a question: ‘What are you asking God to do?’ To wipe our their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing ever difficulty and offering miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.”

I appreciate my friend sending me this quote. I think it deals with a lot of issues we face today. I will conclude by saying that I believe the Bible gives us the greatest possible hope and that it is the revelation of God working in the world for our redemption through Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Good blog!! I would like your permission to link your blog site to the St. Andrews web page....

By the way, I noticed under your photo that you wattended ABURY seminary. Where is that? Is it close to ASBURY? :)

mike feely