The Just Judge (Part 1)

The Just Judge (Part 1) by Craig LaBarbera

   What happened on the Cross that caused God to forgive our sins? Why was it necessary that the Son of God to die? Why can't God just forgive everybody? Are we not called to forgive people? If you sin against me, God tells me to forgive you. So why doesn’t God simply forgive? Lets read Proverbs 17:15. "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike, are an abomination to the Lord." Consider: "He who justifies the wicked is an abomination to the Lord". God justifies us, even though we were sinners. That's what justification means. God declared us to be right before Him. And thank God for that. But there's a big problem. God says that anyone who declares the wicked to be forgiven, they are an abomination before Him. So if God declared us to be right when we were not right, it's an abomination. If God forgives the wicked, He Himself becomes an abomination. In the same way if a judge forgives a murderer and lets him go, he's no longer a just judge.

   So many people are furious when we say God sends people to hell. But if God is a just God He cannot forgive. He must punish the wicked. The whole point is that if the sinner sins, he must die. And if God justifies someone who is wicked, and if he declares a wicked person to be innocent, then God is an abomination. God has become wicked. Are we beginning to see why it was necessary for God - the Son to die on the cross. God can not simply forgive. The law, the righteous law, demands that the sinner die. You just can't push that away. You just can't say we are going to let them slide this time. If God does that He is unjust, He is wrong, He is sinful.

   Now the only way God can forgive sinful men is if God who made the law comes down and pays the penalty. If Jesus is not God, than everybody is going to Hell, because what is done on that Cross is not enough. But, God in order to forgive the wicked, and still be just, must die in the wick's place. What is it about the death of the Son of God that satisfies the law? When someone says, "I've been saved" And we ask "From what have you been saved?" People usually say "Sin!" No! Sin isn't going to throw you in Hell! Sin is not even going to judge you. From what you have been saved is not 'What,' it is 'Who.' You have been saved from God! God is the judge of all the Universe, and you have sinned and made yourself an enemy of God. When you stand before Him, He will throw you in Hell!" A lot of people say: "God doesn't throw anybody in Hell." Well that's really nice if you write it on the back of a Christian T-shirt, sing it in a contemporary Christian song, but it is not in the Bible. Jesus said: "Do not be afraid of man who can kill your body, but be afraid of God who can kill your body and throw you in Hell" (Matt. 10: 28). You see, this God of ours is not very politically correct. He is not a tamed lion. Have you ever heard the word: "enemy of God," and "hater of God?" Do you know what the problem is? Contemporary Christianity interprets it differently from the historical Christianity. You will hear preachers say: "When the Bible says that we were an enemy of God , it means that WE were an enemy against God, that WE were in rebellion against God, that WE were against God. But it doesn't mean that God was against us, that God was our enemy." That's not true! All throughout historical Christianity when it says "enemies of God," not only were you God's enemy, God was your enemy. You are a criminal, you broke the law, you deserve to die, and you are going to hell. God says things in the Bible like: "I will hate them." "I will come against them." "I will fight against them." "I'll raise up a standard." But Gods love has made away for us through His Son… Jesus Christ.  Part 2 next month.