The Just-World Theory:
The just-world hypothesis or just-world fallacy is the cognitive bias that assumes that “people get what they deserve.” Sometimes Christians subscribe to the notion that we expect to see bad people penalized for their behaviour. Even the prophets of ancient times expected that much.
Why do the wicked prosper?
Jeremiah asked “Why does the way of the wicked succeed (Jeremiah 12:1). Habakkuk also asked God, “Why do You remain silent when the wicked devours one more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13).
King David also lamented, “Behold, such are the wicked; they are always at ease, and they increase their riches. Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart and washed my hands in innocence because all day long I have been plagued and I am chastised every morning” ( (Psalms 73:12-14).
Why does my neighbor who care nothing about God do well while I struggle? Or some abused woman may ask, why does the spouse who beat me up, cheated on me, win the divorce case along with custody of the children, – has a new higher-paying job, a modern house with 6 bedrooms while I the victim still make minimum wage, live in a trailer, or left solely to pay the mortgage with debilitating fibroids and no health insurance? Why was an FBI agent driving on the wrong side of the highway, had an alcohol level 10 times the legal limit, plowed into a car that killed 4 innocent people, yet he still won the case?
Job also says that “They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren.”
I know some people who served God with great zeal but have children who died before turning ten. At the same time, I know drug dealers and corrupt politicians who never lost an offspring.
I know people who smoked all their lives and never got sick, but also know vegetarians and vegans who developed cancer.
Why does God allow the wicked to prosper or the wrong doers to be victorious?
God might show favour to an evil person for a number of reasons:
To reward him in this world for an earlier good deed.
Solomon did some immoral things. He created a situation that caused strife between two of his sons – one killed the other. His father David murdered a man so he could have his beautiful wife. In both cases God continued to bless them even during the time they committed wickedness. Even though Solomon strayed away from God and flirted with idol worship, God blessed him with a united Israeli kingdom because of the faithfulness of his father David. God did not forget David zeal as youth – how he killed a giant in the name of God – How he saved God’s people on numerous occasions – how he ruled Israel according to the commandments of God. So, God being a just God rewards for good works even at times when people are wicked. Therefore, during the time you see wicked and horrible people do well, remember that God knows the beginning from the end.
This is the home of the wicked, why would they not prosper and do well? The wicked have advantages here.
People are more likely to do well in their native environment. The bible refers to Satan as the Prince-of-the Earth. If this is his domain, his followers will reap the benefits of their ecosystem. As a matter of fact, there is coming a time when only the wicked will be able to do commerce here in the economy. In chapters 13 and 14 of Revelation, only the followers of Satan will function here. Unless you have the mark-of-the-beast you won’t be able to buy or sell. Citizenship of this earthly kingdom will be notarized with a mark numbered 666.
Only the wicked will thrive in that society. So, get used to it. There is coming a time when only the wicked will prosper.
Why Do the Righteous Suffer?
Elder Rich James died homeless (pseudonym), even though he baptized thousands of souls into the kingdom of God. He would spend his own money to buy sound equipment to conduct outreach meetings. His household followed after him. His wife was a church superintendent; his sons were church musicians. He has conducted hundreds of evangelistic meetings where huge numbers of people converted to Christ. But in his old age, he couldn’t even get into a nursing home. As he endured the ills of aging and sicknesses that followed, he became destitute. People solicited food and housing on his behalf, even though many witnessed his past servitude to God. Again, why do good people suffer?
The reasons good people suffer:
None are sinless and defaults to sin consequences.
Romans 3:10-12: As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one.
Psalm 14: 2: The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understands, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.
The fact that we all have sinned places us in line for the consequences of sin. Although God forgives sin, the consequences are real. Just as the wicked may be rewarded for past good deeds, righteous can reap the rewards of past evil. Proverbs 11:31, “Even the righteous are repaid on Earth.”
You live in a foreign kingdom.
The number one reason why the righteous suffer is that they live in a foreign country. John 15:19: If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Colossians 1:13: For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
The follower of Jesus lives in a foreign kingdom. In that kingdom he is displaced; he is a stranger. In this kingdom, he does not have a passport or ID card to function comfortably. Just like the constitution of the United States did not cover black people at certain points in time, the constitution of this earth makes no accommodation for the Christian or the righteous.
Jim Reeves sang, and I agree: This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through, My treasures are laid up Somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. I am not comfortable here anymore; my body begins to itch because I am allergic to wickedness. I am tired of crime; I am always overwhelmed having to carry emotional pain all the time.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick of this world. My advantage is not here, it is in another world!