Feeling the Discipline?
By Dennis Huebshman
To start, Romans 3:23 says, “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 1: 18-19 says, “For the WRATH of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness because what can be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them.” Romans 1:32, “Although they fully know God’s righteous decree, that those who practice such things (listed in v. 20-31) deserve to die; they not only do them but approve of those who practice them.” (all emphasis is mine.)
Romans 2:6-8 says, “He will reward each one according to his works; eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality; but WRATH to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness.”
What all this says is God loves those who love Him. For those who do not love Him or His Son, He has prepared a special place for them where they will be separated from Him forever. The place was originally prepared for satan and his demons, but all who reject the Lord will be with them. (Revelation 20:10) God knows who will not turn away from the ways of the world as He has given them every opportunity to do so, and eventually will pour out His Wrath on them. This is something that is no real surprise and we expect Him to respond this way. Because God knows they have no place in their hearts for the truth, so He will send a deluding influence to them so they will believe what is false. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11)
But, what about those who have chosen to accept Jesus and still think they suffer WRATH from the Father? Remember Romans 3:23 – all have sinned. Just because we accept Jesus does not mean we will live a sin-free life. Only one person on earth has ever done that and that was Jesus. Besides, wrath is a “strong vengeful anger or indignation; punishment for an offense or crime”. (Merriam Webster Dictionary) “Discipline is control that is gained by requiring rules or orders to be obeyed and punishing bad behavior”. (Also, Merriam Webster). There is a distinct difference in the severity of Wrath vs Discipline. It’s the degree of the actions that matter.
God has said we can be forgiven for our sins by confessing them to Him. (1 John 1: 8-10) However, He never said we would not suffer consequences for our actions. There are numerous verses that refer to discipline of which I will give a few below.
Revelation 3: 19-20: As many as I love, I rebuke and chastise; be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with Me.
Proverbs 3: 11-12: My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord and do not loathe his rebuke. For the Lord disciplines those He loves just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.
(Note: these two verses are repeated in Hebrews 12: 5-6)
Proverbs 12:1: The one who loves discipline loves knowledge, but the one who hates reproof is stupid. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 11:32: But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world.
Hebrews 12:8: But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons share in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons.
Finally, Hebrews 12:11: Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.
This should give an idea as to why the Father sometimes disciplines us. It’s not a hate thing, but He truly loves us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8-9). If we do something wrong and our conscience does not bother us, or we don’t have any penalty at all, that would be a good time to go to the Father in prayer and ask what is wrong with our relationship with Him. If we open our hearts and minds to Him, He will reveal His will for us. He gives us the opportunity to get back on the right path.
For those who are outside His will and who do not accept His Son, they will experience His wrath. Those who are alive during the tribulation will see this earth go through punishment the likes of which have never happened before. Those who have died prior to the tribulation, but were outside His will are in for an eternal wrath in the Lake of Fire. It’s a place of total darkness because all the light will be in heaven, and their bodies will be imperishable but designed for an eternity of misery.
Personally, I prefer the discipline and forgiveness and not to be condemned (Romans 8:1). Once we are away from this earth in our new bodies designed for a wonderful eternal life and a new mindset that is not subject to any kind of temptations or any sin, it will be proven constantly we made the best decision ever that we accepted God’s Son Jesus as our Savior. We will be with Him forever
God will not force anyone to accept Him, but the alternative is horrible. It’s totally up to each and every person to make their decision for or against Him. Time is getting short so the decision (If you already haven’t done so) could make a difference for all your eternity. Call on the name of the Lord today and the peace that surpasses all understanding will be yours.