I Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fair vs Just

Sometimes the most effective evangelizing takes place by confronting the mind's reasoning. So, when you are confronted with questions, usually the questions are mere excuses created by reasoning.
One excuse heard often is that someone won't believe in a God who would condemn someone when the person never had a chance to hear the gospel. This is faulty reasoning.
When confronted with this, you must realize that the person is reasoning within his mind of fair vs unfair rather than just and unjust. Also, his focus is misdirected. His focus should be directed to his own predicament.
Try to explain this analogy to him:
Suppose you were to stand trial for a crime you are fully aware that you committed. As the day approaches for you to stand before the judge you suddenly realize that you are not the only one guilty of this crime. In other parts of the world people, unaware of the law, commit the same crime… as a matter of fact there are even numerous people here in the United States who are guilty of this crime. You feel you are justified by this fact as you present your case to the judge.
After your argument the judge asks you the question, “Did you, with foreknowledge of the law and consequences, commit the crime?”
To which, under oath, you must reply, “Yes.”
“Then why concern yourself with the fate of others. Instead of justifying your actions hoping to defend yourself, you should have been seeking the best legal counsel. Your crime is punishable by death. Justice demands your life. You are guilty and shall be sentenced to life without parole.”
Behind you is a line of others who face the same fate. But the next person in line has a different countenance than the others. It is clear that he has something that you and the others do not have. As he approaches the bench he has confidence when the judge speaks to him.
“What do you plea?” says the judge.
Before even an answer, another approaches the judge from the side of the bench. It is the judge’s son. He tells the judge that the defendant has previously come to him and acknowledged his guilt and asked for forgiveness.
“I know him personally now and he is a changed person. He seeks a relationship with you. I recommend his case be dismissed so he can witness to others of your great grace and mercy to those who will repent.”
The judge announces, “Case dismissed!”
The man, with pure joy in his heart, begins to tell the others of the forgiveness available for those who repent and seek a relationship with the judge through his son.
“If only I had sought out the son before the court case,” you think to yourself. However, you are amazed at some of the reactions of the others as you watch. Some respond in disbelief, believing that their crime is too bad to be forgiven (although it is the same crime as everyone who has stood and will stand before the judge). Others respond joyfully and accept the advice, while others were saying they would find their own way out of the mess they were in. Still, the most surprising responses are those who deny the existence of the judge or his son. It is clear you are not going to be the only one who is sentenced to death.
“But what about those who never hear the gospel..?” you think once again.
“What about them? What difference does it make for you?”
Jesus had something to say to Peter about Peter’s concern of another’s fate. Jesus’ reply to Peter is an admonition to us all,
“If I will that he should live… what is that to you? You follow me.” –John 21:22

1 comment:

  1. A lot more could be developed on this idea of fair vs just, obviously, but you have laid the right foundation and put it in perspective. I was in 2 Chronicles 19 this morning reflecting on the reforms of Jesoshaphat which included the institution of (the world's first?) lower/higher court system so that matters could be decided in the fear of the Lord and according to just standards. The fact that the judges were told to judge their "brethren", all of them, by this standard shows that there first must be justice before we can talk about fairness.