12 Nov Objection #3: It is unloving and unrighteous for God to punish people
Romans 3:5-6 – But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world?
I recently had an interesting conversation with a person who is regularly protesting in the streets for justice from the government and police. They like to shout the things they see which are wrong, and demand the wrongs be made right. I also know that this man has a child with another woman, and he does not pay his child support or spend really any time or effort to invest in his own child.
In answering the third common objection to/criticism of Christianity, Paul deals largely with more of an emotional than a mental struggle that some people have. In short, some people simply feel that a God of wrath who punishes people in hell sounds terribly unloving and even unjust.
The truth is, everyone wants God to judge human behavior. When someone steals from us, abuses us, cheats on us, or in other ways harms us, we get angry, report them to someone in authority, and expect justice. Our hypocrisy is that we don’t want to be judged the same way we want others to be judged. We tend to see our transgressions as less damaging, and often have what we feel are good reasons for the harm we cause others in comparison to the harm they cause us.
Paul’s answer is that since we want justice for ourselves, what’s wrong with God wanting justice for Himself? Furthermore, God has graciously given us a way to escape paying for our sin by sending His Son Jesus Christ to endure wrath on the cross in our place for our sins. In this way, God is more loving than anyone as He actually provides a way for Himself to meet the demands of justice. If we reject this kind offer, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Do you sometimes struggle with the false notion that God is unloving and/or unjust to any degree?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.