By Brandon Sutton
Will your god judge sinners? That’s the only question I need to ask to figure out if your god is real.
Several years ago, I asked a man named Aaron if he’d be willing to do an interview with me. I was taking a course on apologetics, and the class required that I speak to someone of a different faith. Aaron didn’t belong to any nicely packaged religion like Buddhism or Islam. He was kind of a mixture of a lot of things. Aaron used to be an atheist. Then he became an agnostic. Now, he’s a theist, but he’s a mixed bag. Aaron is not a Christian. He completely rejects Christianity. He’s kind of a pantheist (God is in everything)/Buddhist/whatever else appeals to him.
During the interview, I asked Aaron if his god would judge wrongdoers. He said no. He believes that we will all be caught up in God’s transcendent love and made one with the universe when we die. Sounds fun!
I then asked him if he believed in the concept of justice. “What if someone stole your wallet? Is that wrong?” I asked Aaron. “Worse yet,” I said to him, “what if someone killed your child? Would you want justice for the murderer?” Aaron could see right through my game. He knew that if he answered, “yes,” he wants justice, that would conflict with his belief that his god won’t judge anyone. So, he answered no. He wouldn’t want justice for the man who killed his daughter. He said that but I could see on his face, he didn’t believe it. And if that happened (God forbid), I think he would respond differently.
The God of the Bible is a God of judgment. There is a Day coming on which God will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31), and He “will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7). “The wicked will not stand in the judgment” (Psalm 1:5). God’s wrath will be so severe, even the Kings and great ones on the Earth will cry to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17). No one will “escape the judgment of God” (Romans 2:3).
You cannot escape unless the lamb hides you from the judgment of God. Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He is the propitiation (wrath absorbing sacrifice) for our sins (Romans 3:25). At the cross, the Son of God was crushed by His Father for His people (Isaiah 53:10). He bore our sins in His body on the tree, and the Father turned away from His only Son. Jesus is our only hope to escape the wrath of God because He alone died in place of sinners.
I once took a youth group to Joplin, Missouri, the year after a destroyed a massive portion of their town. The citizens were working on building shelters so that if a tornado ever came through again, they could find safety from the deadly storms. Friends, Christ is the only shelter you will find to be safe from the wrath of God. No one can escape His judgment unless He hides behind the precious wounds of the dying Savior.