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Skip Heitzig: ‘That’s Not Fair’ Will Not Be Heard On Judgment Day

Skip Heitzig

The last judgment is an interesting court scene. It will not be like an earthly court. There will be no debate about guilt, no objections. There’ll be a prosecution, but no defense. There will be a judge, but no jury. There’ll be a sentence, but no appeal. There will be punishment, but no parole.

God’s judgment will be universal, and it will be fair. When you read, “to convict all who are ungodly” (Jude 15), think of the word convince. God will convince those He is about to judge of the fairness of it. “That’s not fair” will not be heard on judgment day.

When God judges, the anthem of Heaven will be this: “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments” (Revelation 16:7). They’ll be fair because God is presiding over them.

God has attributes that no human judge has. God is omnipresent. He’s everywhere at the same time in all places, so He witnesses every sin ever committed by every person. He’s also omniscient. He knows everything—not just what happened, but also our motive.

When God judges at the great white throne, Revelation says “the books [are] opened” (20:12). In other words, God has a complete, detailed record of each person’s life.

And His judgment will be eternal: “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13). That’s not easy to hear. But when Jesus discussed hell and heaven, punishment and glory, in Matthew 25, He used the same word—everlasting, eternal (v. 46).

OK, so a lot of gloom and doom. We will all stand before God. He will judge you, and He will judge me. But I want you to know this: Judgment is not God’s happy place. He hates it. He will do it, but He doesn’t want to do it. 2 Peter 3:9 says He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” That’s the heart of God.

God said, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). And then He says to his people, “Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?”

Hell was not prepared for people. Jesus said it is “everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). But God is pro-choice when it comes to eternal matters. If a person says, “I don’t want God in my life,” He won’t force them. G.K. Chesterton said, “Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.” He will honor your choice.

But the gloom and doom is something you don’t have to be a part of. James wrote, “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). God loves to show mercy, and He loves to forgive.

In John 6:66-68, many of Jesus’ followers turned away and “walked with Him no more.” So, Jesus asked His twelve disciples if they would also leave. And Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

If you’re thinking, I’m done with church, with God, with Jesus, I want to ask you a question. Where else are you going to go for forgiveness, and hope, and peace, and meaning in life—and heaven?

Because of our sinful nature, there’s any number of reasons why a person could decide just to walk away. But don’t go. Hang in there. Let Him preserve you. Let Him work in you. Lean on Him. And if you are wavering, come back to Him.

We follow a God who loves to forgive people. Why not start the new year by saying “yes,” and turning back to Him?


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Skip Heitzig

The last judgment is an interesting court scene. It will not be like an earthly court. There will be no debate about guilt, no objections. There’ll be a prosecution, but no defense. There will be a judge, but no jury. There’ll be a sentence, but no appeal. There will be punishment, but no parole.

God’s judgment will be universal, and it will be fair. When you read, “to convict all who are ungodly” (Jude 15), think of the word convince. God will convince those He is about to judge of the fairness of it. “That’s not fair” will not be heard on judgment day.

When God judges, the anthem of Heaven will be this: “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments” (Revelation 16:7). They’ll be fair because God is presiding over them.

God has attributes that no human judge has. God is omnipresent. He’s everywhere at the same time in all places, so He witnesses every sin ever committed by every person. He’s also omniscient. He knows everything—not just what happened, but also our motive.

When God judges at the great white throne, Revelation says “the books [are] opened” (20:12). In other words, God has a complete, detailed record of each person’s life.

And His judgment will be eternal: “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13). That’s not easy to hear. But when Jesus discussed hell and heaven, punishment and glory, in Matthew 25, He used the same word—everlasting, eternal (v. 46).

OK, so a lot of gloom and doom. We will all stand before God. He will judge you, and He will judge me. But I want you to know this: Judgment is not God’s happy place. He hates it. He will do it, but He doesn’t want to do it. 2 Peter 3:9 says He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” That’s the heart of God.

God said, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). And then He says to his people, “Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?”

Hell was not prepared for people. Jesus said it is “everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). But God is pro-choice when it comes to eternal matters. If a person says, “I don’t want God in my life,” He won’t force them. G.K. Chesterton said, “Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.” He will honor your choice.

But the gloom and doom is something you don’t have to be a part of. James wrote, “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). God loves to show mercy, and He loves to forgive.

In John 6:66-68, many of Jesus’ followers turned away and “walked with Him no more.” So, Jesus asked His twelve disciples if they would also leave. And Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

If you’re thinking, I’m done with church, with God, with Jesus, I want to ask you a question. Where else are you going to go for forgiveness, and hope, and peace, and meaning in life—and heaven?

Because of our sinful nature, there’s any number of reasons why a person could decide just to walk away. But don’t go. Hang in there. Let Him preserve you. Let Him work in you. Lean on Him. And if you are wavering, come back to Him.

We follow a God who loves to forgive people. Why not start the new year by saying “yes,” and turning back to Him?