When I was a teenager, I read Robert Heinlein’s book, Job: A Comedy of Justice. I had no familiarity with the Bible and what it said, so for all intents and purposes, this was my first exposure to Scripture because Heinlein quotes Scripture throughout the book. The prevailing theme of this book is that God is unjust, which is best summed up by this quote.

A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name [of] the Lord in vain – then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. 

Heinlein, 1984, p. 265

Fortunately, I don’t recall this book leaving much of an impression about God on me. Still, I understand why people might share this belief. Such a belief comes from two things. The first is that unsaved people cannot understand the things of God. As evidenced by this Scripture.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

This is why people who are not Christian think Christians aren’t right in the head.

The other reason people might believe that God is unjust comes from a misunderstanding of Scripture. Consider these verses from Ezekiel.

“But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.”

Ezekiel 18:24 (NIV)

Some people use this verse as evidence that Christians can lose their salvation. The key phrase in this verse is this, “if a righteous person turns from their righteousness.” There are two types of righteousness; God’s and that of humans. Human righteousness is like filthy rags to God. So, within this verse, we can see that it’s not something to apply to losing salvation. However, there’s more to consider. 

In the context of Ezekiel 18, the Israelites claim that they are being punished for the sin of their forefathers. 

“What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘ The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge ‘?

Ezekiel 18:2 (NIV)

Therefore, the Lord gives them three illustrations of his way of thinking. The first is the man who “does what is right and just.” This man isn’t an idolater, adulterer, or thief. He gives food to the hungry and clothes the naked. He also doesn’t charge interest on loans or judge impartially. “He follows [God’s] decrees and faithfully keeps [God’s] law” (Ezekiel 18:5-9 NIV). The second man is the first man’s son and doesn’t live righteously. The third is the second man’s son, who lives like his grandfather (righteously). 

It’s within the context of the law that Ezekiel 18:24 is presented to the reader. Since Christians are not under the law, it doesn’t apply to us. For example, is it a sin to charge interest on a loan? That is one of the “righteous” acts of the righteous man. He didn’t charge interest on loans. 

A Christian’s salvation doesn’t come from following the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. 

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 4:5 (NIV)

Having said all this, I must also point out there are people who call themselves “Christians” who are not yet saved. This is why we must do as it says in 1 Corinthians.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Are you the same person you were before you were saved? How can that be if you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)? Does your life look the same as those who don’t profess to follow Christ?

When we are saved, we become new creatures, but the old ways we’ve died to are still present. However, as saved beings, we have a choice between thinking and behaving like we used to or listening to the Holy Spirit. You cannot lose your salvation as some might erroneously teach if you are saved. If you are not yet saved, you can’t lose something you don’t have. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.

References

Heinlein, R. A. (1984). Job: A comedy of justice. Ballantine Books/Del Ray.