Friday, July 11, 2008

Is God Gonna' Get You?

Does God go around punishing His children? If something bad happens to a Christian, is that proof that God is punishing him? Let's look at the entire passage we quoted last time:

Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

Verse 5 says "when," not "if," you are rebuked by God.
Verse 6 says that God scourges "every" son whom He receives.
Verse 8 says that "all" Christians receive this chastening, and if you don't, you are not really saved.

But aren't Christians delivered from the wrath of God? Yes, they are. Verse 5 explains that God is talking to His sons, not His enemies. A good father will chasten his children FOR THEIR OWN GOOD. God does not pour out His wrath on those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. But God, as a loving Father, does correct His children for their own good.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

God's Gonna' Get You!!!!!

Heb 12:6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."

Comedy and tragedy sometimes combine when a Christian starts threatening the wrath of God on another Christian. As a Christian high school teacher, I had given a student a four-page writing assignment as punishment for talking in class. She lied to her parents about it, and her mother started hurling Scripture at me about the judgment of the wicked. She actually started shaking with joy at the thought of all the terrible things that were going to happen to me. Fortunately for me, I had been telling the truth, so none of those things happened to me.

Some people who had seized control of a good church actually called my wife on the telephone to warn her about the judgment of God on me for telling the truth. Several months later, they could be seen walking around town with enraged looks on their faces, after their fellow conspirators kicked them out of leadership.

But it is a common Christian error to believe that if something bad happens to a Christian, it proves that the Christian had sinned. Christians who are involved in a conflict, disobeying God's many commands for us to love one another, will often point to the misfortune of their opponent as proof that God is on their side.

DOES God choose sides by smiting one Christian, but not another? If something bad happens to you, is it God's way of punishing you for something? We'll be talking about this for the next few lessons.