Forgiveness & Punishment

forgiveness

Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

And Moses said to the Lord: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’  And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying,  ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice,  they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.  Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” ~Numbers 14:11-25 NKJV

Even though God forgave the Israelites at the behest of Moses, He still knew that this choicespresent generation (20 years of age and older are considered adults in the eyes of the Old testament.) Even though man is forgiven his transgression and iniquities which he has committed, He still must receive punishment and chastisement for them. We are not immune from the judgment of God.

Even though, we as followers of Christ, believers in the Lord Jesus, and are saved by the grace of God…we are also sinful men who always remain in the nature of man, i.e. sinful and evil. Otherwise, under the grace of salvation of the One True God through the Lord Jesus the Christ, we would no longer possess our greatest gift and curse…choice. There are those who believe, choices1“Once saved always saved.” I, of course, do not believe this and believe it to be a misinterpretation of the biblical doctrine. To follow Jesus and live under God’s laws and commandments is, and always will be, a choice. A momentary, daily, weekly, annual, and life choice with eternal consequences. If we are, “Once saved always saved,” what prevents any of us from choosing to do evil? Think on that! Because if we are in such a state of grace by God, and at such a point in time that we cannot do any wrong that we lose our salvation, then we are free to do as we please…much as a heathen or hedonist. Throughout the Psalms and all that was written on King David, we see, despite his being a man after God’s own heart, the apple of His eye, he also knew that he was in constant danger of judgment by his own Creator. We are much in the same boat, if you will.

consequences

All throughout the biblical text, we are constantly in a struggle of good versus evil. We are steeped in evil from our youth and when we face the music and see our path is going in the wrong direction we then seek to better ourselves. With that said, we tend to screw-up and revert back to our old selves. Which, regardless of how you look at it, is a choice; whether it is coaxed, cajoled, enticed, lured, or guided…you chose to give in to the “dark side”! (Sorry, couldn’t help the STAR WARS pun! lol)

While reading Stu Weber’s book SPIRIT WARRIORS, I came across this tid-bit:

“The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong and sinful, but it never holds a demon accountable for it. It is a human sin and a clear human responsibility, not a demonic problem.” page 141

It is very true that not just homosexual behavior is wrong & sinful in God’s eyes, but I will go one step further by saying that anything going against the Commandments of God are wrong & sinful in God’s eyes! After all, they are NOT the Ten Suggestions, are they??

forgive-punish

Forgiveness and punishment go hand in hand, God, our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, etc. will forgive us if they are true. God is always true, but we must be true in our hearts and He can see our hearts. But eventually we will be punished for out life of wrongs as there are consequences for our actions…each and every one of them.

For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil. ~Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJV

While this is from the Book of Ecclesiastes, a poetical book of wisdom, and if the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom…wouldn’t it be wise to pay attention to to the wisdom passed on to us from those generations from days long gone by? Especially if that wisdom was, in-fact, inspired by God as put forth in the Epistle of 2 Timothy?

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

While we may have been forgiven of all our sins, our punishment may be a lower positioning in the heavenly realm – as inspired by Dante Alighieri’s  Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise and the multiple levels and stations within each of those realms.

What we as the species of man fail to either remember or understand is the fact that when we do something wrong, something must compensate for such wrongness and iniquity. Until we get right with God by asking His forgiveness – we are separated from God until we recognize we did such and admit to such. We are reminded that:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

But we are also reminded that when we cry out to God from our perceived grave of separation from God, that He will hear our cries and pleas in the Book of Jonah:

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice…So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. ~Jonah 2:1-2, 10 NKJV

There are many of you out there that will disagree with my belief, or assessment, be that as it may as I have stated several times throughout my writings…DO NOT TRUST ME OR ANYONE ELSE…VERIFY WHAT IS SPOKEN TO YOU AND ENSURE WHAT IS TAUGHT TO YOU IS ASCRIBED TO IN THE BIBLE!

Understand this, if nothing else is taken away from any of my writings, that YOU as well as I and everyone else were commanded to and commissioned by Jesus to:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ~Matthew 22:37 NKJV

What this means to all of us is we are to use our intellect and reason to understand and our hearts share with others and our souls as an umbilical cord to God in order to understand what is being taught to us. We are to pass this information on to (The Great Commission) our fellow man, our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors in order to help guide them to salvation. In so doing, we are to follow the command of Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves, as spoken in The Great Commandment and of the Old Testament Great Commandment. So, do you think we can uphold the two commands of Jesus which were a synopsis of 10 commandments and numerous laws? Man being steeped in evil from his youth it is not likely as we will fail time and again…BUT God is Great and will forgive us if our hearts are truly repentant!

Hope you enjoyed this one…God Bless you all!

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

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