Jesus is worthy of unleashing final judgment not because he’s righteous (though his righteousness made it possible), but because he died for our sins, purchasing people for God with his blood. His loving, self-sacrificial grace on the cross demonstrates the pinnacle of God’s glories, and all of God’s eternal judgment against evil must be seen in light of what Jesus first did for us—his suffering and death for his enemies.
I fairly regularly get asked this question in various forms: How will the people in Heaven view Hell? How can they enjoy the glories of God while others are suffering? My answer has two parts—a direct answer and a crucial context for that answer.
First, we get a sense of the direct answer in Revelation 19:1–6 as part of John’s vision of the end times:
After [the declaration of judgment against Babylon] I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”
Here is the direct answer: Those in Heaven praise God when they see his judgments against evil. We will praise him for fulfilling his role as the perfect judge. I’ve written before that “It’s Not Wrong to Long for Justice.” Justice is good. It’s desirable. It causes us to worship. And in the Revelation passage above, we see an example of that. In fact, if you read the psalms while looking for examples of God being praised for his judgments against evil, you might be surprised by how often you run into it. “Our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God” when he “inflicts his wrath” against it, according to Romans 3:5.
As I wrote,
Our love of justice is a reflection of our love for the perfections of God’s character. He is righteous. He is loving. He is good.