By Vin Sparks
When did you first come to the realization that life isn’t fair?
Max Lucado asks, “Why are drug dealers allowed to get filthy rich? Why do sex offenders get off? Why do fakes get elected? Murderers get out? Cheaters get by? Crooks get in? Hypocrites get chosen?”
Then we hear about students getting shot in school and our reaction is, “Not again!” How much more can we take? We go from tragedy to tragedy, shooting to shooting, bombing to bombing. That the children die such a death and their parents suffer such grief leaves us feeling that somehow the gunman escaped what he deserves by taking his own life.
It’s just not fair.
The notion of a final reckoning isn’t a popular one. Some see Judgement Day as cruel and a teaching that is not consistent with a loving and benevolent God. Consider, however, the following:
5 Reasons there MUST be a Judgement Day
- Judgment day narratives give us meaning. The awareness of an endpoint gives meaning to a life that otherwise might seem unfair, unjust, difficult, tormenting or pointless. A baseball game typically ends after 9 innings, a football game after 60 minutes of play, a tennis match after 3 sets. Schooling ends after the attainment of a diploma or the awarding of a degree. The end gives the hard play on the field or the hard work in the classroom meaning. If there is no endpoint, then life makes no sense.
- Judgement Day narratives give us culpability. The realization that God is just and sure to judge one day brings a sense of personal accountability for what we do with our lives. If there is no judgement day, then we lose an important scrutinizing influence. We lose our way.
- Judgement Day narratives give us assurance. We are quite often left by situations with the feeling that justice has been cheated by someone who did not get what they have coming to them. Judgement Day is the great day of reckoning when the books are opened, and all accounts are settled. We know that the scales of life will be balanced. If there is no day of judgement, then our laws and courts are without foundation and our sense of fair-play is a fallacy.
- Justice Demands a Judgement Day. “…with liberty and justice for all.” Liberty cannot exist without justice, it is the bedrock of a free society. For freedom to work, injustice must be met with it’s day in court. If there is no day of reckoning, in the end, there is no justice.
- Judgement Day narratives give us absolutes. Many modern thinkers have cast absolute truth to the side of the road in favor of relativism and with it, necessarily, a day of reckoning. However, a world without absolutes would be a preposterous world. It would be chaotic, irresponsible, self-destroying. It would be impossible to live with certainty in that kind of world. To have meaning, life must be based upon law and a lawgiver.
Notice that the desire and need for these five basic tenets are woven into the very fabric of our being. They are vital to human existence – a sense of purpose, accountability for our actions, a desire for a sense of fair-play, justice and the existence of absolutes.
Every religious tradition in the world, past and present, includes (or included) a judgment of some kind or in some fashion as a foundational teaching. To be sure, there have been those who have used the judgement narrative to oppress the masses, but the fact that there have doesn’t negate the value of the narrative.
Again, without justice there is no liberty and without a final reckoning there is no justice.