God is a very loving God.
He loves us all so much, that He sent His own son to die for us.
To experience horrible pain that we would never know, so that we could be fully reconciled to Him.
And while He IS 100% loving, He is also 100% a righteous judge who doesn’t want His precious children to sin.
God’s Purpose in Our Punishment
This means that He does not let sin go unpunished.
My ex-husband, after 14 years of marriage, abandoned us, left me and the kids homeless, and went off and had six affairs, one of which with another married woman.
Whether my ex-husband is punished in this life or the one to come, he WILL be punished for his sin if he doesn’t give it all over to God and accept Him as Lord and Savior.
We can take comfort in knowing that the people who hurt us WILL have to answer to God.
But the question I want to pose to you today, is about God’s punishment to US. What happens when WE sin? I think that a lot of people don’t want to think about that. I know in my own life, I’d rather not think about my own sin. Although I know it’s there, often times, I try to hide it or pretend it’s not there. But the Bible is clear. He punishes His children when we disobey.
Sometimes when I punish my children, I think of God. I think of how I really HATE to spank them. It has moved me to tears at times when I have to punish them. I really cringe, because I don’t want to hurt them, and yet I KNOW, that I must punish. I must not allow them to get away with sin and disobedience. How can I provide an accurate picture of Christ if I let them get away with things they ought not to? How can I answer to the God of the universe that I allowed them to knowingly sin and have no consequences. I am a steward, now get this..FOR God OF them.
He put me in charge of them and I must do my duty as a Christian mother to do as I feel best and to teach them right from wrong. Being a mother is hard work. It’s not for the faint of spirits. It is day in, day out, constant sacrifice for the life of another. And that is, in a way, a picture of what Christ did for us. He sacrificed for us, to His own death.
If God is who He says He is (and He is), then He must punish His children. He has to if He is just and righteous. He simply cannot let sin go unpunished.
For a non-Christian, they will be judged and Jesus’ blood would not cover their sins and their punishment is a literal Hell. There are indeed, way too many people in my life on this side of His judgement, and I’m sure that you know many as well.
But for the Christian, this is much different.
Although we sin, and we are punished for our sins if we do not truly repent, there is no Hell for us. Jesus’ blood covers our sins and God remembers them no more. They are washed away with Jesus’ blood.
Does that mean that we do not have any consequences? What happens when a believer sins and truly repents? The truth is that, there STILL might be punishment. The natural course and laws of man are still present.
Let’s say a Christian gets so angry, they physically murder someone. They immediately repent, call on God, they truly ARE sorry, but the police show up to arrest them. What they have done was wrong, it was sin. Although they are completely forgiven by God, they still have to answer to the laws of man. Things are still set in motion here on Earth that may include punishment in the here and now.
This is the beginning of the fear of the Lord. Not that we should cower before Him, but that we should have the respect, love, and fear of the Lord, knowing that if we sin, we will be punished. It is mocking God to believe that sin goes unpunished, and living our lives according to that fallacy.
I think of my own life so much here as I write this to you. Again, my ex-husband has done some horrible things, even according to the world’s standards. And I look at him and it seems like he’s getting away with murder. It seems like there are no signs of punishment for him and what he’s done to our family. He’s hurt so many people and he continues to have no solemn thought about it all, and yet, there he stands. Still living life in a wicked way, openly mocking God.
And for me, here I am, a devout Christian woman, though not perfect, truly saved, truly trying her best to put all the pieces back together and to be strong for my kids and many of you, and yet, I am punished. Though I have a great life, a miraculously wonderful life, I still suffer. And I’m tempted many times to tell God it’s not fair. Why do I suffer while he is free to live in sin, openly mocking God?
Do you ever feel like that? Like you see someone else in your life, just living a horrible life seemingly getting away with it all?
The passage I always come back to when I feel like that is Scripture Psalm 37. It is my favorite passage in the Bible, mostly because of verse 23 where it says He will guide us and lead our steps. But, in Bible verse 1-2, it plainly says,
Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
When I am telling God it’s not fair, I am in sin. The Bible clearly says, DO NOT FRET. Do not worry. Don’t think about it. Don’t worry about it. God has it. He’s got it all under control.
Often times, we are so quick to be thankful for God’s punishment when it comes to others, myself included, but when it comes to our own punishment, we tend to gloss over that.
When I WAS married, seeing my husband’s sin so rampant, one of the things that got me through was to just simply focus on my own sin.
To not worry myself about his.
He stood before God for his own self, and it was all I could do to be a godly woman just to think about my own sin and not to focus on his.
This week, I have not been taking that advice and so I ask for your prayer that I will. That I will just stop thinking about the sin of another and focus on my own sin. Focus on how I can be a more godly woman. Focus on how I can please the Lord. What I can do to improve.
If we are to be godly women, we must not focus on the evil of another. We must simply focus on us, how WE stand before the Lord.
Although God loves us more than anything or anyone else in the universe, He also loves us enough not to let us get away with sin.
Is there anything that you’ve felt wrong about that you’ve tried to hide or gloss over? Is there anything there that stands in the way of you being completely reconciled to Christ?
If there is, I urge you my sister, to bring it to the Lord in prayer. I will be praying for everyone who reads this as well. 🙂 You are not alone in your endeavor to please the Lord, and believe me, I am right there with you. We ALL sin. We all fall short of the glory of God.