I’m not sure how many more of these we can take. When I saw the words: students shot in Sante Fe school, my reaction was, “Not again.” We seem to lurch from tragedy to tragedy, shooting to shooting, bombing to bombing. The kids didn’t deserve such a death. Their parents don’t deserve such grief. And we received an all too common reminder: life isn’t fair.
When did you learn those words? It’s not fair. What deed exposed you to the imbalanced scales of life? Did a car wreck leave you fatherless? Did friends forget you, a teacher ignore you, an adult abuse you? Have you ever prayed the psalmist’s prayer? “O Lord, how long will you look on?” (Psalm 35:17). When did you first ask the question of the prophet, “Why does the way of the wicked prosper?” (Jeremiah 12:1).
Why indeed? Why do drug peddlers get rich? Sex offenders get off? Charlatans get elected? Murderers get out? Cheaters get by? Scoundrels get in? Hypocrites get chosen?
How long will injustice flourish? God’s answer is direct: Not as long as we might think. Scripture reveals a somber promise: “For [God] has set a day when he will judge the world” (Acts 17:31).
He is not sitting idly by. He is not twiddling his thumbs. Every flip of the calendar brings us closer to the day in which God will judge all evil. A Judgment Day has been chosen. The hour is marked and moment reserved. Judgment is not a possibility, but a stark reality.
“Judgment Day” is an unpopular term. We dislike the image of a great hour of reckoning. Which is ironic. We disdain judgment but we value justice, yet the second is impossible without the first. One can’t have justice without judgment. For that reason, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Followers of Christ hold to this promise: Jesus will forever balance the scales of fairness. A day is coming, sooner than we might expect, in which we will see the devil pay for all the evil he has inflicted upon the world. Satan, and all who follow him, will hear the sentence: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
Justice will prevail.
This promise may not matter to you. For some people, life feels fair and just. If that describes you, count your blessings. There are others, however, who fight a daily battle with anger. They’ve been robbed; evil people have pilfered days they would have had with their loved ones, disease has sapped health from their body. They believe that justice must be served.
I’m one of these people. My brother was robbed. Alcoholism heisted the joy out of his life. For two-thirds of his fifty-seven years, he battled the bottle. It cost him his family, finances, and friends. He was not innocent, I get that. He bought the liquor and made the choices. Yet, I am convinced that Satan assigned a special goon squad to tempt him. When they found his weakness, they refused to let up. They took him to the mat and pounded the self-control out of him.
I’m ready to see Satan pay for his crimes against my brother. I am looking forward to that moment when I stand next to Dee, our bodies redeemed and souls secure. Together we will see the devil bound and chained and cast into a lake of fire. At that point we will begin to reclaim what the devil took.
“For [God] has set a day when he will judge the world” (Acts 17:31).
Let this covenant abate the anger you feel at the hurting world. Devastations have wounded every home. Just last week I met with a family whose six-year-old twins were sexually abused by a grandparent. Two nights ago, our neighbors were assaulted and robbed in their own home. One of our church members spent two years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The guilty party went free. He went to jail. It’s not right, it’s not just, it’s not fair that evil prospers. When you wonder if wickedness will go unpunished or injustices will go unaddressed, let this promise gratify your desire for justice. God will have the final word. “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11).