You Cannot Have Perfect Justice Without Perfect Love
1. God is love.
2. God does everything because of love.
It's God's perfect love that makes him worthy of worship. It’s his love that makes him Holy. God is a perfectly just judge because he is a perfectly loving father. God always judges fairly and never punishes more than is necessary. Whenever God punishes a person he always punishes them for their good.* If he was not perfectly loving he could not be perfectly just.** (If you think the Bible does not support the view that everything God does is motivated by love, you would do well to read Chapter 7, "God is Love" in The Inescapable Love of God by Thomas Talbott.)
*It does not always appear that way to the person who does not know the depth of God’s love. (See Grace Saves All: The Necessity of Christian Universalism by David Artman.)
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-9).
It’s time we scrap Augustine’s theology and start again (see David Bentley Hart’s book That All Shall Be Saved). When ever a person begins to trust God, he welcomes them (See Ezekiel 18, See also).
God is kind to the unrepentant as well as the repentant. He is always kind, and he is always just.
"His nature is always to forgive, and just because he forgives, he punishes." (George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons )
Once a person repents, punishment is no longer necessary.