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Divine Chastisement
June 26, 2006

-------Divine Chastisement-------

Does God send calamities? Is God responsible for Katrina, the Tsunami, earthquakes, and tornadoes?

Some people say, "Why would God allow this to happen?"

Point number 1: The only reason you are alive today is because of God's grace. Romans 3:23 states For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

What is the penalty for sin? Romans 6:23 states The wages of sin is death

Since every man, woman, and child is born a sinner, they deserve to die and they will die. Death cannot be avoided unless you are lucky enough to be alive when Jesus calls His church home. When a calamity strikes such as Katrina, people will inevitably say, "He or she didn't deserve this. Why is God so cruel?"

That's a gross misunderstanding of who God is. Even though we all die because of sin, God has provided a way for us to live even if our bodies die. Romans 6:23 goes on to state the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus our Lord

It is the desire of God for all men to have this gift of eternal life and be spared from eternal death. We are in the age of grace. It is up to God how long you will live. God also allows man to make his own choices and sometimes man will die earlier than he should have based on his choices when God would have allowed him to live longer had the man made better choices.

Many children die in natural disasters but their sins are washed by the shed blood of Jesus and they leave earth to enter paradise. Although the Bible does not specifically state this and we are not supposed to speculate I personally believe that these children could have grown up to reject God. This choice would have caused them to never be admitted to heaven. You can find God's grace in natural disasters.

I cannot imagine any child being sent to hell for their sins especially since the blood of Jesus washes away all of man's sins.

Point number 2: Going back to the Garden of Eden, man had authority of this planet and had a direct union with God. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the authority of this planet was handed over to Satan. Satan has a legitimate claim on your body. It is rightfully his. Flesh and blood cannot enter into heaven because they have been tainted by sin. In order to enter heaven, we must shed our bodies. God promises that we will receive new ones.

When we die, our sinful body is buried or burned. The rotten stench of a decaying body is evidence of Satan's claim on it. That stench is what God feels when we sin.

Satan is the one who brings the tornadoes and earthquakes because this is his territory for the time being. A study of the book of Job shows that God allows Satan to do things but Satan can do nothing to us without God's okay. If a person rejects Christ, then that person belongs to Satan. That person will also find that Satan will pretty much leave him/her alone since they are not perceived as a threat.

Calamities are a reminder that this is not our home.

Point number 3: If you have not received the pardon that Christ offers you through His shed blood, your spiritual father is Satan. We are all natural children of the devil. Christ takes us from Satan's family and places us into His own family when we put our faith in the redemptive work of the cross.

Those of us who were fortunate to be born with a loving father knew we would be punished if we did something wrong. Did our father punish us because he enjoyed inflicting pain upon us? No he did it to prevent us from doing things that were self destructive.

Point number 4: A Christian is an adopted child of God. A Christian will be subject to Divine Chastisement and Divine Correction because God loves us. He is shaping us and molding us for a life in eternity.

Some Christians who have a saving faith in Christ but have allowed sin to enter their lives and never repenting of it are taken to paradise before their time simply because God could not allow them to continue in that sin. These people will be saved by the skin of their teeth. They will also experience a loss of heavenly reward and will be ashamed of themselves when they stand before Christ.

King David was a man after God's own heart but sin entered into his life and he suffered many hardships. God did send a great calamity upon David for ordering a census to be taken of Israel. He disobeyed God and God offered David to accept one of three choices of punishment. So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, "Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me."

Selfishness is the root of all sin and David's reply showed man's natural tendency toward selfishness. Instead of choosing to flee 3 months before his enemies which would have made David the only one to be punished for his sin, he said, "I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."

What was the result of this choice to avoid accepting the consequences for his actions? So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died.

This seems like a very harsh judgment but God had chosen Israel to be a light to the world so sin had to be dealt with harshly. Even after the harsh judgments God sent upon Israel, they still chased after idols and lost God's blessing.

What does this say to us who are under grace and have our sins washed away by the blood of Christ? Hebrews 12: 5- 8 says it best. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

Copyright 2006 by Gary Goodworth

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