Does God allow Satan to physically harm or kill us if we are not living in God's Will?
1 Timothy 1:20
ESV - 20 Among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
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Does God allow Satan to physically harm or kill us if we are not living in God's Will? Yes He does. God may even bring trials to strengthen our faith EVEN when we are in obedience (James 1:2-4). However we need to observe that only in exceptional circumstances does God permit believers to be killed. However, believers can suffer persecution where they may lose their lives. Jesus declares in Matthew 16:24-25 "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." The case of Job is a classic example where God permitted suffering for his higher purposes knowing that Job would overcome the test. God granted Satan his request to bring havoc upon Job's life to test and prove his faith in God. Notice that God did not reveal his plan to Job until the end when He honored Job for his faithfulness and restored his loss. Later in the New Testament God permitted Satan to test Jesus but we know that Jesus overcame by the word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). There are however circumstances when God releases disobedient believers into Satan's hands because of their persistence in walking in sin. This is a temporary measure which is intended to reform the believer and bring them to realize their imprudence and repent. It is painful nonetheless. The two men mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20 is one case of men who were teaching heresy and refused apostolic correction. Notice that Paul is clear that the two were believers who walked away from the true faith. In 1 Timothy 1:19 Paul charges Timothy to hold "... and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:" The word "shipwreck" is metaphorically used here to depict the grim and perilous nature of their sin. Concerning the man who was guilty of adultery in the Corinthian church, Paul commands the leaders in 1 Corinthians 5:5 "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." The man was later restored to the faith (2 Corinthians 2:7-8). He had suffered the humiliation of ex-communication until he became remorseful for his sin. We also notice that those who treat the Lord's Table in an unworthy manner were afflicted by God and some died (1 Corinthians 11:29-30). Ananias and Saphira died for their sin. I believe the two went to heaven but they paid for their impudence with their lives (Acts 5:1-11). So does God use Satan to discipline His children? Yes He does. He has sovereign and exclusive control over our lives and can use any tool at His disposal for His divine purposes. He used heathen kings to punish Israel, calling Cyrus "my anointed" 150 years before He used him to bring devastation on Israel (Isaiah 45:1). However we know that even in the extremes of trials and afflictions "...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39 KJV). If we are walking in obedience, we are confident that "...in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8:28-29 NIV). We may never fully comprehend some of the unpleasant circumstances that believers go through in life but so long as we hold a good conscience before God at all times, we can leave such things to divine resolutions. Sadly, there is a growing number of Bible teachers who teach that believers should not suffer yet Scripture is explicit that true followers of Christ shall suffer afflictions to the glory of God.
When you have lost all hope in this world it will drive you to the Word of God to find answers if you are a true believer.That is when our faith grows. We do not learn much on the mountin top, but in the valley we learn to trust Him. The unsaved seemingly go thru life without so much as a hint of trouble. Not so with us saved sinners. Our days are filled with troubles. But, it is all for our good. Even the little things like waiting on a train can teach us patience. We learn that spiritial blessings are much greater than material blessings. But, He gives those also. We have to remember that He is the one that controls our numbered days. Don't say tomorrow we will do this or that, but only if the Lord wills shall we do anything. He loves us to much to let us think we are in control. Where He leads us we will follow even if He has to push.
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