There are people who reject the message of salvation because they are offended by the bible’s description of God’s wrath. Even believers struggle to reconcile the Lord’s love and justice. How can He at the same time be perfectly loving and perfectly just?
We need to remember that God’s love brings good into our lives. But if there is no justice, sin runs rampant and causes untold pain and suffering. No one thinks a judge is loving when he refuses to punish guilty criminals. To set them loose in society is not healthy for either the wrongdoer or the community. In the same way, our loving heavenly Father cannot allow sin to go unpunished. Failure to hate evil implies a deficiency of love. God cannot be called good and loving if He does not react to human evil with wrath.
As Christians, we are called to listen to the voice of the poor and to seek reform and redress for injustices. God’s particular concern for the poor must be mirrored by those who act as God’s agents within the human household. We are regularly challenged to ask, “How much of my time and energy should I give to others?” Some of this giving will be directed to our extended family, friends and co-workers, and our literal next door neighbours. Listening to the trouble of a long time friend is an important act of love. But we must also be available to listen to the needs and pain of those we may never meet face to face, whose lives may be very different from our own.
As believers, we should encourage a just economy that celebrates and serves the fundamental covenant purpose of human life, which is to love God and neighbour. By calling ourselves Christians we evoke our faithfulness to the covenant symbolised in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. This covenant calls all humanity into community together, affirms our mutual responsibilities to each other, and commits us to faithfulness to God.