In this particular sermon (video removed from YouTube), the preacher describes how God is a God of justice, which is certainly true, except that the preacher portrays God’s justice as a way in which those who believe in him get payback. His first example is of a mechanic who, after working many years of his life at the lowest position and after being mistreated for those years, was offered the opportunity to own the entire company and to become the boss. The pastor uses this as an example of God’s judgment on the other workers and his just rewards for this mechanic. Another example the pastor describes is when his daughter, who was three years old, was accidently pushed and she dropped her ice cream. The other child laughed in her face, so the attentive dad went and bought her triple the amount she had before which she promptly waved in the other child’s face. In this analogy, the pastor portrays a watchful God who, even though he is busy with something else, loves his child so much that he wants to act justly and immediately for his child for their benefit. Also prevalent in the presentation is that if one believes enough, one will receive God’s blessings of prosperity, health, and a number of other things. As can be seen through the book, Counterfeit Gospels, this presentation borrows from a judgmentless and therapeutic gospel, both of which are counterfeits.
While most would agree that God is a God of justice, the way in which the pastor describes God’s justice does not agree with the character of God at all. The pastor paints a picture of God’s people getting their reward and justice for past wrongs as an immediate thing in the here and now which also ties into the “God as the Vending Machine” view as if one could hope and believe just the right amount so that God will give the desires of one’s heart to him or her. This sounds nice, but it completely misunderstands God’s attribute of mercy as well as his judgment of the world. It also misunderstands our own sinful lives. We are all ultimately guilty and it is only through God’s grace and forgiveness that we have our hope. God is perfectly holy and righteous and if we do not accept the grace he has given us and believe in his son Jesus Christ, who was and is fully God and fully man, then when God comes to judge the earth as described in Psalms 96, we will face his judgment in awe and fear. Though we may not understand why justice, as far as immediate payback by human definition, is not immediately served on those who do evil, we have to remember that without God’s mercy and grace and divine favor, all of us would be receiving the “justice” we think others deserve when really, compared to our holy and righteous God, we all deserve terrible judgment and condemnation.