Why Does Life Seem Unfair? A Christian Study

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Why does life seem so unfair?  Good people have bad things happen to them and sometimes bad people have good things happen to them?  Why are things so unfair, even for Christians?

Life is Not Fair

I don’t know how many times I have heard people say, “That’s not fair!”  I have heard this from my children and my grandchildren too.  Children have an inherent sense of justice that they were born with.  We don’t have to teach them that some things are just not fair.  They already know it. They are born with this sense and it is a trait of God Himself but we must understand that in the world in which we live, life is not going to be fair.  That’s just the way it is. We can’t do anything about it but when it’s within our power to make a wrong thing right, we shouldn’t hesitate to do so, but we can’t be for vigilante justice where we try to force things that are wrong to be made right when it is not within our power to do so.  That will make things considerably worse.  When my son was playing baseball and the coach continually favored his own son, he played him over other boys who were equally talented or more so.  This really irritated my son but it also did me but after I spoke to the coach about it, it seemed to make matters worse.  I would have been better off probably not saying anything.  Life is not fair.  The Bible never promises that it will be.  But in time, justice will be served.  That is a promise from God.

When the Wicked Prosper

Solomon wrote much wisdom literature and he took notice that the wicked frequently went unpunished for their deeds and sometimes even prospered.  He saw the injustice in the world but he ultimately knew all things would be made right some day.  What was true in Solomon’s day is still true today that sometimes the wicked rise to power (Proverbs 28:12).  It is frustrating for those who are striving to live godly lives and the wicked seem to go unpunished. Solomon said as much when he wrote, When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong (Ecclesiastes 8:11). They believe that they are getting away with it because the punishment either doesn’t come in this life or they get away with it temporarily but surely justice will be served in due time.

A Sense of Justice

Adults also have a sense of justice just like children do.  When my children were small, we encountered many circumstances when they said “It isn’t fair.”  The Bible never declares that life is fair but God states that all things will be made right some day (Revelation 20).  We must trust God for Paul writes,Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19). When we try to get revenge over being wronged, we are usurping or taking God’s place that He is supposed to take and I guarantee that it won’t go well.  It will only make matters worse.  Leave place for God to serve justice and it will be served…but probably not in our lifetimes.  Even in the Old Covenant, the Lord said, Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” (Lev 19:18) so “Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you (Proverbs 20:22) or I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did (Proverbs 24:29)For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people (Hebrews 10:30).

The Supreme High Court

“I saw a great white throne..."

“I saw a great white throne…”

For all who have ever lived, and those who are yet to live, all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Paul testified thatwe must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Here that day is mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15:

I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

This is what is called the Great White Throne Judgment when everyone from all time will be standing before the Lord Jesus Christ and be judged.  There will be no excuses.  For those who have trusted in Christ, they will not be appearing before this Judgment Seat and they will not be cast into the lake of fire.  Trust God and let Him judge for He thunders from heaven, It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:35) so “Do not repay anyone evil for evil (Romans 12:17).


All things will be made right eventually.  No one will get away with anything because everything a person does will come before God for judgment.  Every person will have to give an account for what they have done in their life.  Justice will finally be served.  No one is going to get away with anything!  Those who are made righteous by Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) have nothing to fear on Judgment Day but The wicked flee though no one pursues (Proverbs 28:1a).  Ultimately,Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy (Proverbs 28:13) and the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit (Proverbs 28:18b). Take heart you who are Christ’s for Jesus said, that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37) andeach of us will give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12).  Jesus declared that the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done (Matthew 16:27).  My advice to you then is to put your trust in Christ and when you are judged, you will be seen as having the righteousness of Christ.  If not, then I can only pray that you will do so before that great and terrible day of the Lord.

Take a look a this other article also by Jack Wellman:

Christian Depression Help – Biblical Encouragement and Advice

Resources – New International Version Bible (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Share this post:  |  |  |  | Twitter

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin May 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

Hi jack, just wondering, why does God judge the wicked on what they’ve done if they are going to hell anyway? When I think of hell, I see just a huge lake of fire with spirits floating around in torment. Does this mean there are different levels of hell? I’d also just like to add I think you and the rest of the contributors on this site are doing a great job. And also like to commend you on your patience with some of the comments from people who seem to be looking for arguments rather than answers. I’m excited to hear from you. God bless!


Jack Wellman May 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm

What a great question Kevin. I believe that the judgment to come is at the Great White Throne Judgment in Rev 21 and so that is when their judgment comes and yes, there will be different degrees of punishment for the wicked or different levels so to speak. This is why it is so heartbreaking when I witness that people reject Jesus as He is truly their only escape. Can you see why this is so important to witness. I thank God for you Kevin. Please join me in this end-time harvest as the reaper is near.


Kevin May 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Thanks for your reply Jack! I do my best to witness as much as I can. I supervise inmates at my work and I try to teach the gospel. These inmates are from a “faith based” institution so they allow all kinds of teachings from all different religions so it’s hard to spread the Word when most of their heads are filled with wrong messages. Any advice on how I can go about teaching to these people? It can be very intimidating at times, even just to bring up the courage to start a seedling in their heads.


Jack Wellman May 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Remember that it is not your responsibility to save them but it is their response to His ability but it is our responsibility to tell them. This takes the pressure off of us. One way to tell them the gospel is to use the Law, 10 Commandments the way Jesus did. In the below link is called Hells Best Kept Secret. This works for Jews, Muslims, atheists, Budhists, etc.




Kevin May 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thank you so much. I am very blessed to have found this site. keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see what else God leads you to write!


Jack Wellman May 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm

It is my pleasure Kevin. For more on how to witness, type in Evangelism, witnessing, or gospel into the Search Box in the upper right hand corner as we have dozens of such articles. Thank you brother and thank you for entering into the harvest where so few laborers are found.


Derek Hill May 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Thank you for this one Jack. As always you did a superb job! It saddens me to think of some of the people I love dearly that will not be in heaven if they don’t change. I can only keep praying for them and hoping that they will change! God bless you brother! This article hit the nail on the head! I am thankful for your wisdom Jack!


Jack Wellman May 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Thank you Derek. I don’t even know who it is you are praying for but I will join with you as God knows and that’s all that matters. I love the fact that you care enough to pray for these people’s eternal future. May God richly bless you and thank you, as always, for your more than too kind words brother. You’re something special to me friend.


Candice May 29, 2013 at 2:59 am

Hi Jack! If you don’t mind I just had a quick question. My question is based off of Hebrews 10:30, 2 Corithians 5:10, and Romans 14:12. If everyone must give an account and be judged by the Almighty Lord, what happens to those who trust in Christ? I’m very sorry if my question isn’t clear. I suppose I’m just asking that if everyone must be judged and give an account of their life to God, what are believers in Jesus Christ going to be judged on? Will they be punished in some way?Thank you so much for this article. I am very grateful for your time. May God bless you greatly!


Jack Wellman May 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hello Candice. Great question. Scripture is clear that entrance into eternal life is already settled for those who have placed their trust in Jesus (John 3:16). However, at the judgment seat of Christ, He will determine the degree of eternal rewards believers deserve, based on their deeds.

No verse specifies when we will stand before the Lord but this judgment will take place either after our death or at Jesus’ returne whichever comes first. We know that we will appear with Christ in our glorified bodies at the second coming (Rev. 19:14), which means we will face judgment before that time. At this judgment, believers will not be condemned, though they may feel ashamed or remorseful over their foolish choices (Rom. 8:1; 1 John 2:2).

Consider these verses:

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Rom. 14:10)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (II Cor. 5:10)

These are the two places in the Bible where we read the term “judgment seat of Christ.” As you can see, neither passage speaks of hell or destruction for the lost. The later plainly states that the Judgment Seat of Christ is for receiving the things done in our BODY. That is, the Christian’s body. If you have been born again through believing on Jesus Christ, then your body belongs to God (I Cor. 6:19-20), and God has commanded you to glorify Him in your body. Notice that no one goes to Hell at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Some people lose rewards, but they are still SAVED (I Cor 3:15). This is like Lot, the righteous man who lost all he had, yet he himself was saved from the fiery destruction (Gen. 20; II Pet. 2:6-8). Jesus said there would be two kinds of saints in the last days: those who are faithful like Noah and those who are slothful like Lot (Luke 17:26, 28). Just as “one star differeth from another star in glory”(I Cor. 15:41), one Christian will differ from another in Heaven in regards to earned rewards.

Daniel clearly describes a final resurrection of the dead divided into two classes:

“At that time [the end-time] shall arise Michael, the great prince [archangel] who has charge of your people [Israel]. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3).

Now the judgment of those who have and will reject Christ is called the Great White Throne Judgment and it found in Revelation 20. The setting of the judgment of the great white throne is associated with an event in the Bible called the “second” resurrection.

“The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are ended… “…Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:5, 6; 11-15)

Hope this answers your question. Thank you.


Candice May 31, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thank you so much. I am very thankful that you took the time to answer my question in such depth. Also, thank you for the scripture references that I can always go back to. I loved how you included 1 Corinthians 15:41 and how the stars’ glories differ as well as a Christian’s rewards in heaven. Amazing answer, thank you!


Elenita T. Rodriguez May 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

Thank you so much for the enlightenment that I got through the article that you have written. I was blessed and I will share this to my family and friends. Thanks for the wisdom that God has given you. May you continue to be God’s instrument to draw more people to His fold. Through your articles I can now testify, how great is the love the Father has lavished on us. He will do everything for our sake. Glory to God.


Sharon May 30, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I enjoyed reading your article and it was very informative. I pray for people who are in darkness that GOD be merciful and open their eyes because GOD would that none would perish. I have a question about believers who are obeying and living right who are not prospering and struggling and others who are in sin and nonbelievers are prospering? I’m not envious or covetous but Jesus came that I might have life and have it more abundantly and also he says if the evil man knows how to give his son good gifts how much more would the Father give if we but ask?


Benjamin June 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I share the sentiments of Sharon. Though deep down I know He has better plans for His children, my mind wonders why the good are always persecuted. How can we, as Christians, be an example, if we are branded as outcasts?


Jack Wellman June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hello Benjamin. 2 Tim 3:12 says that this should be no surprise that we are outcasts for “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Jesus said in John 15:20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

I would rather be an outcast in this world and be in the Kingdom than be accepted well and be cast out of the Kingdom. We can only live godly examples and leave the rest of the results up to God.


Benjamin June 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for the swift response Sir. Deep down I know what must be done. But somehow, every now and then, I hate myself for asking these questions. Specially when I see “others” prosper despite their ways. I guess I just need some validation from somebody. Keep up the good work Sir. God will bless you for your concern to a fellow “soldier” of the Lord.


Jack Wellman June 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Benjamin…please don’t hate yourself. I know you are not alone in being hated for the cause of Christ. Imagine these wicked someday and their eventual destiny (Rev 21). Jeremiah (chapter 12) had this same feeling “Lord, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint:
Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy?You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips,but you are far from their hearts.But as for me, Lord, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts.”

You see, Satan is prowling around- they don’t see it and they are not worried- but there is terror ahead, in fact, closer than they could image. Why should he attack them now? That would ruin his plans, because the wicked recruit others for him. The wickedness grows greater and greater and they are blind to the consequences of their sin. Do I want the wicked to die? NO, but I do want wickedness to stop. I love this verse:

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. Is 55:7.

Romans 1 tells us that although the wicked seem to prosper from the world’s point of view- their minds are dark and confused. The Lord has God abandoned them and they suffered within themselves … what a horrible place to be! (Romans 1:18-28).


Benjamin June 4, 2013 at 2:40 am

Again, I appreciate the quick response Sir. I believe God had a hand when I chanced upon your website. You have truly brought me clarity. In times of trials, I believe as mentioned in the bible (Psalms 29:11) that the Lord will give strength, and will bless His people with peace. You’re gifted with a ministering spirit Sir! Thank you and God bless you and your ministry.

Tashekia Johnson June 3, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi, Mr. Jack Wellman. I pray for the salvation actress Julie Benz. I was wondering if you could pray for her salvation as well. I really like her I know I don’t know her personally but she is just so nice I do not want her to go to hell.


Jack Wellman June 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hello Tashekia….what a great prayer request. I will indeed.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: