Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25f).
Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31f).
If there is no God, who both knows what is right and has the power to effect the right in a final resurrection and judgment, then Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao and every other wicked, murderous tyrant are the winners, while their victims, many of whom were women and children, are the losers. If there is no God, then life is about winners and losers, and the winners are those who get what they want, while the losers are those who get stomped upon, taken from, suffer and die young, either through the violent actions of evildoers, terrible accident, or through the bad luck of poor genetics.
A basic teaching of Scripture is that there is a coming “day” in which the dead will be raised and God’s judgment on each person will be revealed. It is upon this teaching that man’s yearning for justice ultimately rests. Underlying the belief in resurrection, final judgment, and thus justice are three convictions.
Conviction one – God is. He exists.
Conviction two – God is good and He always knows the right thing to do.
Conviction three – God is able. He has the power to do what He chooses to do, and, conviction two means that what He chooses to do is always the right thing to do.
As we seek to help others discover Jesus Christ and submit to Him as Lord, consider the basic desire that people have for justice. It matters not whether a person is religious or irreligious, liberal or conservative, a democrat or republican, most people want justice to prevail. That doesn’t mean that “what is just” is always agreed upon, but the concept that things should be “made right” resides in most human hearts.
Yet, without a just God, justice will never been secured. How can justice be secured for the victims of 9/11, or for those killed in the horrific school shootings that we have seen in recent years? What of the tens of millions of children who die each year through disease, war, abortion, or accident? What of the victims of crippling abuse? What does punishing the evildoer, assuming he is found and tried and convicted in a court of law, do for the victim who is dead or severely damaged? Nothing!
If there is no God, and there is no resurrection, then there is no justice. Without God we are left with “the survival of the fittest,” but even the fittest will one day succumb to the enemy which is death.
As you help others discover Jesus, show them that without Jesus, there is no justice. Few want to admit that life’s ultimate victors are those who get the most, even if by getting it they destroy others, sometimes millions of others.
This is not to say that all will be convinced because of their yearning for justice. Richard Dawkins, an atheist who delights in attacking religion in all forms, writes:
“In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference” (River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life).
Dawkins has made his choice to reject God, including the God revealed in Jesus Christ. But he understands that in doing so, he has also given up hope of a purpose, a differentiation between good and evil, and justice.
Few who have yet to discover Jesus have consciously given up all that Dawkins has. We need to help them know, however, that Dawkins has correctly identified what is at stake. Without God, there is no justice, no good, no evil, and no purpose. We are simply left with the lucky and the unlucky. And that means Hitler won, at least in comparison with the millions he murdered.