Is God just? This is one of the biggest questions that people have about God, especially when we look at everything that is wrong in the world. How can a just God seem to leave the evils of the world unpunished? This is a good question, one worthy of consideration. So let’s explore the answer.
The Bible describes God as being completely and perfectly just. He establishes standards for His moral creatures that completely align with His righteousness. And those same moral creatures, meaning all human beings, are judged according to those same righteous standards.
So what happens when we fail? After all, the Bible says God will not leave the guilty unpunished. But looking around the world, it seems like punishment is delayed, if not left overlooked altogether. And if you’ve ever felt like that, you should know you’re not alone. Psalm 73’s writer describes his frustration over seeing the wicked prosper, even as he calls on God to act.
And this brings us to the tension we face: If God were to leave the guilty unpunished, if we were not to uphold His righteousness, He would be unjust; and more than that, He would violate His own character.
But God doesn’t ignore evil. He doesn’t turn a blind eye to sin. Instead, He did something extraordinary: He took the punishment our sins are due upon Himself when Jesus died on the cross.
Through the gospel, God is both just and the justifier of those who place their faith in Christ. For all who trust Jesus, their sin is paid for by Jesus. But those who refuse to turn to Him will eventually stand before God and be judged.
So God delays their punishment in this life, and calls us to invite them to be justified through the finished work of Jesus until the day He returns.