Mortimer J. Adler, in his book, How to Speak, How to Listen, argues that there is only so much a person can remember while listening. They will remember more if you show it to them as well, like in a Keynote or PowerPoint. And, they will remember even more if you send them home with something.
By providing you with an article on the main idea of the sermon, or with with the details of one of the major points, I hope to solidify the point.
Today, I want to address the subject of Justice. This, of course, is a huge issue from many vantage points. For example, who gets to decide what constitutes what is just? It is the main topic of Plato’s Republic. It is also the main issue in many of our lives.
From early on, we develop a sense of what is fair. We may be standing in the lunch line at school, and one of our classmates “cuts” in front of us. This very thing happened to my son, Jim, when in elementary school. He was rarely in trouble, but when another young boy took “cuts” Jim put him in a headlock to teach him a thing or two, and Jim got caught.
When someone doesn’t get what we think they deserve, our sense of fairness or justice is heightened. If it is serious enough, we may even question whether God exists or cares. After all, if there is a God and He is just, wouldn’t he have done something about it?
Christians must rest assured that God is just, and that the unrighteous will be punished. There will be a reckoning, with God’s Son sitting as the presiding judge.
…righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne (Psa. 97:2).
Justice plays a big role in the book of Revelation. People were losing their life for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. In one vision, John sees the souls of those who had been beheaded for their faith. John writes,
They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’(Rev. 6:10).
Whether dead or alive, patience is required. We must have faith that everything will eventually be sorted out, if not in this life, then in the life to come.
This is precisely the hope given to the martyrs of the early church. Toward the end of the book of Revelation, John writes,
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. The death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
So, judgment is inevitable. The Lord’s delay should be counted as patience toward us, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). There is a fire on reserve to be used “for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:7). Let’s make sure we are not numbered among them.