YES, GOD PUNISHES CHRISTIANS ALSO
Many times, I would say most of the times, God punishes human beings; both, in order for them to learn something, and because their deeds deserve punishment. Many other times though, God punishes because what was done requires punishment without trying to educate the person education. The fact that Christians are saved by Jesus does not mean that we can sin with impunity. The most that it means, is that if our sins don't reach a certain level, also hardening us, we keep our salvation; but even within this state of salvation we are going to receive the punishments that fit our sins. Let's read what Paul says:
"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." ( I Co 11: 31-32 )
A Christian has to go very far in sinning for him to loose his salvation; but he doesn't have to go farther than an unbeliever to receive the same earthly punishments for his sins, or even harder punishments. On the authority of Jesus Christ in Luke 12: 47, a servant who knows his master's will and won't act accordingly, will be punished harder. According to the Apostle Peter, in Acts 10: 34, God does not favor a person over another and therefore, in the presence of the same sin and circumstances, He inflicts the same punishment.
"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." ( Luke 12: 47 )
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said: Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." ( Acts 10: 34 )
Sin has earthly and eternal consequences. Both consequences have to be suffered. Our eternal consequences were forgiven in Christ, after our sincere repentance; but not the earthly ones, which will grab us, as we saw in I Co 11: 31-32. We will find the same thing in Heb 12: 6-8. Let's see:
"For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you, as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." ( Heb 12: 6-8 )
There are those who sin, and at the same time suffer. These people, instead of understanding the existing link between their sins and their sufferings, prefer to believe that they have no consequences to pay for any sin they have committed and will further commit, while on the other hand, they do not understand why they are suffering.
People who think like this believe that God makes two wrongs at the same time: Firstly, they think that He punishes the bad deeds of an unbeliever, but He does not punish the same bad deeds in of a Christian. Secondly, they believe that He sends sufferings to Christians though they do not give any reason for having to suffer. Why do we have to be that foolish?
I suppose that Christians that think that way, do so as sort of a psychological subconscious defense, in which they protect their lusts. They deeply love their lusts, and do not want to leave them even though they make themselves suffer. They also do not want to loose their salvation, which they love just a little more than their lusts. They know, or sense, that if they recognize that God is punishing them, and still persist on sinning, this could become a rejection to the Holy Spirit, which is an unforgivable sin. Though, they prefer to "convince" themselves that this is not what is happening; instead, they choose to believe that all their sins were forgiven immediately after being committed, while their sufferings and punishments are due to some "unknown mystery". That is why we hear foolish explanations like, "God is testing me, brother", or, "In this life we cannot be happy, brother", or, "These are mysterious happenings, brother".
In Tthis way, they feel artificially "free" to keep "enjoying" their lusts, without loosing their salvation. It This is something similar to what goes on in the minds of drunkards, drug addicts and sexual addicts. Though they see clearly that their lusts are causing them great suffering, they prefer to undergo those sufferings in order to keep "enjoying" their lusts.
It is very clear in I Co 11: 31-32, that God punishes not only as a teaching method, but also as a way of making justice. If it says that by being judged (verse 32) we are punished, then this punishment is not for teaching purposes, because, to be taught, we do not have to be judged.
Christians are not going to pay for their sins in eternity; we are going to pay for them here. Here we are punished. That is why instead of Christians being above all other peoples, we are many times under them. Being children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, we are the treaded ones. We have to pay here for the bad deeds that we have committed here, because later we will not have to pay anything. However, the contrary happens with the unbelievers. Their good deeds have to be paid to them on earth, because later, in eternity, they are not going to receive any reward.
The same doctrine is taught by the Apostle Paul in Ga 6: 7 and Col 3: 25, where he says the following:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap." ( Ga 6: 7 )
"But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons." ( Col 3: 25 )
In spite of all these clear passages, there are some who think that God does not punish Christians, but only teaches them. Paul, speaking to Christians and referring to them, says that Christians should not harm their brethren, because God avenges those bad deeds. Vengeance is not a teaching act, but a punishing act. It is just logical that it must be like this, because God is not a respecter of persons.
"That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified." ( I The 4: 6 )
Therefore, according to all that we have read, not only does correction for education exist, but so does punishment without education. And iIf this occur occurs to us, Christians who are saved, it is also logical that it has to take place here and now, because after our deaths there will not be punishments for us.
In the last verse we read, we see that Paul had already told the people about this matter, because he says: "as we also have forewarned you and testified". If he uses the word "forewarned", it is because they hadn't obeyed him. Similarly, nowadays there are Christians that do not want to believe that the Lord punishes Christians also. It is best for them to awake on time, so that when the punishments come, they don't start with foolish complaints like: "These are tests, brother" or "These are mysteries, brother".
See also articles numbers 26 and 39 in this website.
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