Does He punish or folds His hands and let the devil do the punishing?
Judges 6:1 - 40
ESV - 1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2 And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
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My opinion is that God is able and can do both. When Moses struck the rock instead of touching it as instructed, God let Mosrs know the consequence was him not entering Canan. When Samson flouted God's directive for his life, he suffered in the hands of the Phillistine
The Bible says we are all sinners, and fall short of the glory of God. How does he deal with sinners? Just as he is our Heavenly Father, he deals with us the same way we deal with our own children, when they are bad we discipline them. But our God is good and certainly does not punish us the way we deserve to be punished.
Hebrews 12:7 - It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Everything God does in our lives is intentional and meaningful. There is nothing without purpose. God's intervention in our lives, when responded to properly always will lead to His glory and our sanctification (becoming more like Christ). God is patient, jealous, loving, stern, kind, unflinching.
If you are born again, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. God does not withdraw the Holy Spirit from anyone who is saved, this is totally unbiblical. However what can happen is our feelings, emotions and the lies of the enemy can put us into condemnation when we do something that is contrary to God's will...sin can separate you from fellowship with the Father, but it does not remove your relationship with Him. Now we are under grace if you believe, and nothing will separate us from the love of God. However this does not mean that we sin so that grace may be all the more but rather we look to Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us walk. God is not watching over us with a big stick, fuming at us...God (yes) hates the sin, but loves the sinner. If we confess (that is agree with God that we have sinned) our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is the love of God, His mercy and grace that keeps us; it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance and not our efforts to try and put things right. A good example of this is in the parable of the prodigal son, who lived riotlessly, spent all his inheritance. He ended up being a pig tender so had reached rock bottom...he had withdrawn from his father. However he came to his senses and decided to go back, he realized that even his father's servants were fed better than he was at that time. So having purposed to go back and say to his father "I am no longer worthy to be called your son!"; set off and his father saw him from a distance. His father ran to meet him and embraced him... (you can read the full parable in Luke 15: 11-32; this is a paraphrase)... but the point I am trying to make is that despite of the son's wasteful living and having turned away from his father, he was still the son of his father...his father still loved him. The same can be seen of God our Father, if you are born again you became His son and nothing can separate that relationship.
God had dealt with my sin by withdrawing His Holly Spirit--probably not completely but enough to notice. I was in a Christian Recovery home when I first accepted Christ. After being clean for a while I got very involved with His work; working in a food program feeding the needy and helping to start a new church. I could sense God's Holy Spirit in me and continually helping. Then I smoked a cigarette, not that it is a sin to smoke but it broke the rules of the recovery home. I immediately sensed the withdrawal of God's Holy Spirit. It was for a short period and God's Holy Spirit came back but it was enough to make me never want to do that again.
He sent His Son to die on a cross for those in sin. God commands sinful men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Jesus, the Son of God, echoes His Father’s feelings, “Repent or perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Therefore, there are only two choices you and I can make; either to repent and serve God or to continue to live in sin. So, how did Jesus deal with sinners? That depends on the situation or circumstance and the demeanor of the sinner. “All sin is sin.” “God treats all sin the same.” “No sin is any worse than other sins.” “All sin is the same in God’s eyes.” Most people have heard some version of this popular view that God is so forgiving, evenhanded, and merciful that He views no sin as being worse than any other sin. In church circles, these statements were once restricted to the conclusion of evangelistic meetings to encourage those who were not right with God to come forward. The intent was to proclaim that God will accept all who come in true repentance, regardless of the heinousness of their sins. Jesus told sinners to repent, which meant to stop practicing the act of sin. But He dealt with different individuals in different ways. For example, although He commanded both the money changers and the woman caught in adultery to stop sinning, He spoke to them in contrasting manners. Jude addresses this in verses 22 and 23 of his letter. There, the Holy Spirit inspired Jude to record how the church is to deal with people in various ways. “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but on others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jesus is our example of doing this very thing. So let’s see how Jesus dealt with sinners.
Thanks for this opportunity. God/Jesus is very forgiving. My life was at its very lowest and the sins I had committed were to me "unforgivable". I remember, I had made up in my mind to end my life, and oh, what I found was His loving arm reaching out of Heaven and wrapping me so hard and refusing to let go. I still today fight with the reason for living, but His tight grip won't let go. His love is amazing, but how He deals with sin... is beyond human understanding. I stand in the pulpit and still ask myself "why me" and yet His grace still holds me. God hates sin! The answer will never be answered or will be totally understood here on earth as it says in 1 Cor. 13:10, "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." One day, it will be fully revealed. There's know way we can totally wrap our understanding around what happen on the way to that old rugged old cross. Why do we see Christ as our Father and yet live such sinful lives, and call ourselves Christian and yet He loves us? GRACE! I'm a living wittiness. He will take a nobody and use them beyond their own understanding. He said to Paul in 2 Cor. 12:9, "And he said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Paul said it well, stop trying to understand everything and do as Paul said: "The power of Christ may rest upon me," (you). Just look at everything Jesus did on His way to the cross and be graceful and rest in Him while you and I are waiting on His return. Wow! If you knew my past! How does God deal with a sinner? Keep living and watch Him work in your life and He will reveal Himself in and through you. Pastor -- Have Been Forgiven
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