Most of us have a schizophrenic sense of justice. We personally like to live in the land of grace, a land where God treats us (but only us) with compassion; mercy; understanding; and, of course, complete forgiveness. We want all other evildoers punished to the full extent of the law. They deserve it! Act now, Lord!
Near the end of his brief ministry, Jesus was making what was essentially his death journey, traveling to Jerusalem for the last time. He knew with dreadful clarity the cross that awaited him there. He sent his disciples on ahead through the region of Samaria to line up food and lodging. They were rebuffed, and the disciples, stinging with indignation, were furious: “When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?’” (Luke 9:54). They got a scolding from the Master.
We are not equipped to judge other people. We barely know ourselves and our own hearts, much less that of anybody else. Only God knows who truly deserves what; only God knows where there is hope and who may yet turn to faith; only God knows the times for patience and the times for judgment. He sure doesn’t want us raining down fire and brimstone on anybody.
Your and my job is to proclaim God’s mercy in Christ and help people see the urgency. We’ll let God do the judging.