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In order to answer this question, we first need to distinguish between punishment and discipline. For believers in Jesus, all our sin-past, present, and future-has already been punished on the cros...
When I was walking the dark path of self-pity, loathing, adultery, lies, drug addiction and criminal acts I would pray and say God why are you not here for me? How much do I need to go through when you say that you will never give a burden we can not handle. I can't handle this anymore and I want to be away from this earth. The truth came to me slowly over years of secular therapy, medication, and finding women who loved the Lord and showed me what life could be like. The people that I have met through my church are so loving, supportive, and prayerful in God's name. Finally finding that in my heart has made my life so different. Am I perfect...think we all know the answer to that question. Thank you for all of the feedback on this site. Even though I always thought of myself as a Christian, I knew nothing. I still can not quote a verse, but I am praying and staying with people that love the life of being a servant of God.
I have been disciplined many times through God, a Angel came to me when I was a young boy, I know then God was watching over me, I lived a dangerous life in the armed forces for many years, and when I came out started drinking a lot, that put me in prison twice, there I lived among all types of people including people who had commited murder, but I felt that God was keeping me save, I have now asked for his forgiveness, and I can feel in my heart that he is there for me, I have been punished the way God wanted, and now I am ready to walk where ever he wants me to, I love God and he loves me, he is the best friend you can have, over the years he loved me but I could not see it at the time, thank you God for looking after me for the past 58 years I owe you so much, and above all thank you from my heart for your forgiveness.
In Romans 7:24-25, the Apostle Paul, who referred to himself as a "wretched man" said, "so then, with the mind I myself serve the law of GOD, BUT with the flesh, the law of sin." He made it clear in Romans 8:1, it is when we are "in Christ Jesus" that we are safe from condemnation. It is "in Christ Jesus" we are able to walk not in the flesh but "according to the Spirit." Does that mean we will always do so? No, not any more than the Apostle Paul did, in fact, Romans 3:23 says " we all have sinned & fall short of the glory of GOD." Being able to do something & always doing it are 2 different things! In considering this question, I immediately thought of Ananias & Sapphira. Does that mean if we lie to the Holy Spirit we will drop dead? No! In Luke 12:10, in His own words, Jesus said, "anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, will be forgiven him; BUT to him who BLASPHEMES against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven." The word 'blaspheme' (blasphemeo/Strong's G987) means to revile, defame or speak evil of. There is nothing in the word's origin, meaning or it's usage anywhere in the NT that indicates that lying to Him is blaspheme. Who among us has not lied to the Holy Spirit? If we ever said, "oh LORD, I will never do that again"...we lied to Him! We didn't drop dead! Why? Because He knows that while we are on earth we are subject to it's influence. Just as one who is squeezing thru a narrow passage in a cave might come out with grime & slime on them, we are being pressed in from every side (2 Corinthians 4:8) by a world controlled by the enemy. But the question remains, like Ananias & Sapphira, can we be punished for our sin? I suggest that the real question is, were they (are we?) truly IN CHRIST? For Ananias & Sapphira, the evidence, as I see it is, that they were not. I believe that Acts 4:32-35 describes for us "those who believed were of one heart & one soul, " they were IN CHRIST. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:5 to let His mind be in us, thus we can be "one heart & one soul." Then in vs. 36-37, Luke sets the example as we read about Barnabas, a Levite of Cyprus, who sold his land & laid the money at the apostles feet. In every Bible version that I checked, except for the NIV that substitutes the word "now", Acts 5:1 begins with the word "But." This to me sets apart those of Acts 4 from the first two named in Acts 5, Ananias & Sapphira. It seems obvious to me that these two were not among those described as those who believed with "one heart & one soul." I suspect that though they were in fellowship with believers, they were not "among" them & their sin was obvious to GOD & His wrath was sure. I heard a man say the other day that the path Christ gives us is smooth, but that is not true. It is the enemy that lures us away from GOD's truth with the smooth path. Jesus said that His yoke was easy & His burden was light (Matthew 11:30), He did not promise a smooth path. On the contrary, "broad is the way that leads to destruction" (Matthew 7:13) And if you have ever gone hiking, the narrow path is usually rough, while the broader ways give many opportunities to step over & around the rocks & pitfalls. We are told to "examine" ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to make sure we are "IN" the faith, that is, IN CHRIST. And Romans 8:16 tells us "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of GOD" & as His children we are safe from His wrath (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10 & 5:9) If we are truly born again IN CHRIST, we are safe from His wrath forever!
Does God punish us when we sin? Certainly not, unless you consider how He allows you to freely decide to lose a part of the fullness of your believe in God alone for a lesser sake of sin. Otherwise it is not God that punishes but sin itself and how it will continually gnaw at your digression and ruthlessly continue to tempt you to further adulterate God's purely made mind within you. And as a patient Father, God will let you see for yourself the wrongfulness of those ways of sin, if that's what it will take for you, His beloved creation, to finally believe and accept Him if not by blind faith alone. And He shall be forever there by your side, sheltering you still from the worst sin only has to offer. And will forgive you if you decide to turn away finally from your sinful ways. So then perhaps God does punish you by allowing your thoughts to stray from Him and his learning you.
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