Justice and the End of All Things
Today justice is not always found, but full justice IS coming:
A million times a day there are acts of injustice taking place, be they greater or lesser acts. Most people have an innate dislike of injustice, and a strong desire for justice. Here I want to simply offer four examples of injustice: two recent and two ancient – some of which are followed by justice. I will then look at how the book of Revelation speaks to all this.
The first case involves a Christian in Ireland who was jailed. He was not involved in theft or sexual abuse of students. No, much worse, he refused to go along with the woke pronoun nonsense. And for that he had been jailed for several months and was set to miss out on Christmas. Talk about gross injustice and gross idiocy on the part of the authorities. One report says this:
“A teacher in Ireland has been suspended from work and then jailed for contempt of court after he refused to use the correct pronouns to address a transgender student. Enoch Burke was arrested on Monday for violating a court order barring him from teaching at Wilson’s Hospital School in Westmeath, or even being present there.” https://nypost.com/2022/09/06/teacher-enoch-burke-jailed-over-trans-pronouns-flap/
But a court has just allowed his release, so he was able to be with family to celebrate Christmas. Finally, a bit of justice: “A teacher who was jailed for ignoring a court order has been released from prison after a ruling by the High Court. Enoch Burke was jailed in September for breaching an order which prevents him from attending the school where he works.” https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cn3z8x0vvk2o
Another recent case, also from Europe, involves a woman arrested for praying outside of an abortion mill: “The thing could seem implausible or grotesque, but one does not trifle with the law. Thus, a woman was arrested and charged with ‘mental prayer’ at an abortion clinic. Isabel Vaughan-Spruce is the director of March for Life in the UK and a volunteer supporting women in difficult pregnancy situations. She was arrested by police at an abortion clinic in Birmingham. She was later charged with four counts after telling police she was ‘maybe’ praying silently when asked why she was standing on a public road near an abortion center.” https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/uk-it-forbidden-silently-pray-certain-places-78890
Although released on bail, this sort of thing should never have happened. We really are at the end of civilisation as we know it when silent prayer is deemed to be a crime by the godless state, and those involved in it can be arrested and jailed. Where is the justice?
A third case also involves the powers that be committing great injustice to those who could not easily stand up for themselves. It took place thousands of years ago and is recorded in the Bible. I refer to a story found in 1 Kings 21 concerning the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. You know the story.
Ahab lusted after Naboth’s vineyard, and was bummed out about not being able to have it. Jezebel chewed him out: ‘Hey, who is king around here? Leave it to me – I will get it for you.’ She gets some worthless fellows to bear false witness against Naboth. He is declared guilty and killed, and Ahab gets his coveted vineyard. Talk about deplorable injustice. But the prophet Elijah quickly condemns the king and tells him justice is coming. And that it does: we read about Ahab’s death in the next chapter.
My fourth case is also very familiar, and it involves a good King – David. We all know how lust got the better of him, and he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He then had her husband killed to cover up his crime. Those are some very ugly and unjust actions indeed. But the prophet Nathan quickly appears on the scene to call him out. He tells David a story which enrages David and his sense of justice. But then Nathan tells him: “You are the man!” See 2 Samuel 11-12 for the full story.
Obviously much bigger and badder examples of injustice can be mentioned, including the Holodomor in Ukraine in the 1930s and the Holocaust in the 1940s – both of which resulted in the deaths of millions of people. So whether on a massive scale or on a smaller scale, injustice is always happening.
In all of this we see that sometimes justice comes about quickly. Sometimes justice is delayed. And sometimes justice never seems to come at all – in this life at least. When it seems like great injustice is happening and is never being rectified, that can be a very grievous thing to go through.
God’s people of course see this occurring all the time and often all they can do is cry out, “How Long O Lord? When will we see some justice?” The Bible speaks to this often. Indeed, the entirety of Scripture informs us that our God is a God of justice. We see him carrying out justice in the here and now, and we read about justice that is forthcoming.
Since I am now reading through the book of Revelation again, let me just post without comment some of the key verses that speak to this theme of justice, of vindication, and of judgment on the wicked. Here are six main passages on this:
Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 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?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
Revelation 11:12-19 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
Revelation 12:10-12 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”
Revelation 15:1-4 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Revelation 16:4-7 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:
“You are just in these judgments, O Holy One,
you who are and who were;
for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
And I heard the altar respond:
“Yes, Lord God Almighty,
true and just are your judgments.”
Revelation 18:20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens!
Rejoice, you people of God!
Rejoice, apostles and prophets!
For God has judged her
with the judgment she imposed on you.”
Notice how in all these texts great celebration and rejoicing occurs when God brings about justice. This IS good news. We too should rejoice when evildoers who refuse to repent are judged by a just God. When we so often do NOT find justice on earth now, we know that it is certainly coming. Evil will not go unchecked.
Every evil, wrong and injustice will be judged. And all the patience and endurance of God’s suffering servants will be vindicated. Our God is a God of justice. Yes he is also a God of mercy. But when the mercy and grace of God is spurned and rejected, there is only one option left: God’s just judgment.
One might think or hope that when these judgments come, the wicked will wake up, see the error of their ways, and repent. But the amazing thing is, three times in this book we read specifically that they do NOT repent:
Revelation 9:20-21 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Revelation 16:8-11 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
Revelation 16:21 And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.
Wow, incredible stuff. Today is the day of God’s mercy. Jesus died a cruel death so that we can partake of his grace when we turn to him in faith and repentance. But his mercy will not last forever. Judgment is coming. The question we must ask ourselves is this: Are we ready?