The Justice That Focuses On God’s Glory

glory-cloudMy time in God’s Word yesterday fascinated me, particularly in light of the Social Justice Movement that evangelicals have adopted from secular progressives. Let me show you the passage I read and follow it with a couple thoughts for you to ponder.

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
    for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
    who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried out,

“Hallelujah!
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” ~~Revelation 19:1-3 (ESV)

In the previous chapter, the apostle John had just described really gruesome judgments that God executed on those who rejected Him. To our 21st Century minds, these judgments seem more like an occasion for mourning than for praising God, and yet the text unmistakably says that the multitude John saw glorified Him precisely because of His judgments.

Notice, first of all, that the attention is completely on the Lord. I can’t help seeing a vivid contrast between this heavenly celebration of God’s justice and the man-centered understanding of justice we see in the Social Justice Movement. God’s justice reflects His glory, causing His people to praise and worship Him.

One of the saddest aspects of the evangelical embrace of Social Justice is the preoccupation with victims receiving their rights.  While there truly are victims who have suffered unjustly, true justice is less about them than it is about Christ’s faithfulness to vindicate them in His time and in ways that magnify Him. Justice ultimately brings the honor, not to victims, but to Him.

I also want you to notice that God’s justice is more about the execution of His judgments on sinners than about social equality or the redistribution of wealth and power. It’s only by His mercy and grace that Christians will escape the terrible justice we deserve.

I know my sin. The Holy Spirit brought me to Christ precisely because I knew the extent of my sin. Believe me, the last thing I want is to experience the justice God owes me! If I didn’t have His mercy as my shield, I would have to acknowledge that His judgments against me were just and true. But oh, am I grateful that He chose to give me mercy rather than justice!

When we think of justice, let’s think of God’s righteous judgments against those who oppose Him. And then let’s think of the glory He  will rightfully receive for executing those judgments.

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