Which one of us has not called out for justice from within our own hearts when we felt the need? Every time someone steps on our toes, takes what is ours, or damages our reputation we surely feel the need for justice. The Christian has both an enlarged heart with sensitivities toward the down trodden and also a heightened awareness of sin and wrongdoing. When evils befall others we can feel a deep sense of hurt for the hurting and a desire to see justice carried out. Even in heaven the saints that have gone before us cry out to the Lord
“When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, Oh Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Revelation 6:9, 10)
It is safe to say that the cries of the faithful saints that are in heaven are without sinful motives and any wrong sense of vengeance due to the evil perpetrated upon them. There is a godly vengeance, God has promised that He would repay, and it is for that reason that we are not to take vengeance ourselves. As Christians we should not skew godly justice, but have a healthy desire for God’s vengeance. We should also carefully consider the outcome of God’s justice before we proceed to desire justice to be carried out on others.
How we view the judgment to come is determined by our theology. The accurate theologian understands that the grace of God is given to sinners for salvation apart from any merit within them. Otherwise according to the apostle Paul, it is not of grace but of works. However, salvation is not of works, but we are saved by grace alone. The really big question then that will be on the mind of every Christian at the Great White Throne Judgment, when all of hell is cast into the lake of fire, which will burn forever and ever will be, “Why was I saved from this horrible fate?”
There will be loved ones, friends, family, acquaintances, and church members that will be lost on that awesome and terrible day. It will be the day of God’s justice; His holy and righteous justice, and it will have no end in sight and no mercy forever more. When we think about justice we think about it in the context of the here and now, and what men can do to men. In the worst case scenario there is the death penalty that “ends a man’s life.” We understand that at the end of every man’s life, that is, when his body ceases to function his soul still continues in one of 2 drastically different places. One day every person’s body will be raised from the dead, some will receive a transformed body made in the likeness of Christ and will function in a completely new environment. The bodies of the redeemed will only be used for God’s glory and their good. Those lost for eternity will receive their old bodies back again only to exist in everlasting torment, no place will be found for them in heaven, they will suffer the fate of the damned.
Who among us on that terrible day will not cry for the ones we love? Who will not have their senses heightened over the unmerited love and favor shown to us, and in light of the reality that we believe because God gave us the gift of faith. Who will not cry for the damned in light of such a hopeless and endless state of suffering. We whose hearts have been changed by the new birth desire God’s justice to be fulfilled and His will to be satisfied, but we do not do so as if we sat in His seat of judgment. We are not God that we should levy judgment on sinners. We are not the creator and we have not been sinned against as though we were, therefore we can say with David, “Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4). We are not infinite that we could carry out the sentence of suffering and death for all eternity. We have no such rights of judgment!
At long last the souls of those sit under the altar cry out for vengeance for their blood that was spilled. The blood of the martyrs is always spilled because their message is rejected; the message of Christ’ blood that was spilled. Let us not forget that when the books are opened, and all the deeds of all the people are revealed that all the deeds were done because of a rejection of God. Creation revealed God as the eternal person behind all that exists, conscience revealed Him as the author of good and the judge of evil, and Christ revealed Him as the sacrificial lover of men’s souls. It is for God that our souls cry out, for His love, His justice, and most of all His Son.
It is the Lamb of God that opens the 5th seal, it is the Lamb that has restrained God’s wrath, and it is the Lamb that suffered for all those that will never know His wrath. The worst condemnation will be upon all those who willfully reject the Son; our largest tears are for the Son, whose sufferings guarantee our salvation.
Let us cry out of love and a deep sense of assurance that our savior, the Lamb of God suffered and died on our behalf. Let us also cry for all those who reject Him and will one day incur His infinite and just wrath; a wrath that we equally deserve, if it were not for an unexplainable decision on God’s part to save us.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” (Psalm 126:5)
It is good to desire the justice of God, so long as it is desired through tears of sorrow.