Mercy vs. Justice…
What is the fate of nonbelievers?
“What then are we to say? Is there injustice on the part of God? Of course not! For he says to Moses: ‘I will show mercy to whom I will, I will take pity on whom I will.’ So it depends not upon a person’s will or exertion, but upon God, who shows mercy.” -Romans 9:14-16 NAB
When it comes to facing God at Judgment Day, will we see God’s justice, or His mercy? As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have the reasonable hope to receive God’s mercy, but what about nonbelievers? Will they too receive God’s mercy?
Just this week, my cousin lost his battle with cancer. At 39, it was sad to see someone that young pass away, and unsure of where his faith stood, I immediately wondered about his soul. What will happen next for him? Society tells us that as long as we are a good person that it should be enough to get our way into heaven. The Bible tells us differently and warns us against this very idea. We are told that the only way to an eternity with the Father is through His Son. So, what happens next? What happens to nonbelievers?
You’ll notice today that I have more questions than answers. The simple truth is that I would not be so bold as to speak on God’s behalf in regards to how He judges us. It is not my place to decide what happens to anyone, and I am not going to predict one way or the other. Even in the case of a family member, friend, or loved one, we can hope that God will welcome them into His arms, but we never really know for sure – well, not until it’s our time to go.
Some might say that God cannot show mercy and forgive the unbelievers at Judgment Day because it would not be just. Today’s verse tells us that God showing mercy does not mean that He is unjust; it is His choice whether to show mercy or not. So, there may be hope after all – even for nonbelievers.
The God I know is a loving, merciful God that wants nothing more than for all of us to come home to Him. He offers His mercy to the worst of sinners, but many may not accept it or seek it out. Without His grace, they face a perilous future, and for this reason, we must turn to prayer on their behalf. Our prayers may have a major impact on the future of their soul.
In a very magical way, God balances justice with mercy in ways that we will never fully comprehend. May we turn our hearts to prayer and seek God’s mercy, for ourselves and our loved ones – believer and nonbeliever alike.