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Emmanuel (12)
Q: If you do something wrong will the lord punish you?
A: Dear Emmanuel,
Thanks for writing!

God is a loving God who delights in mercy (Micah 7:18). The punishments of God work two ways, directly and indirectly. There are times when God Himself has brought a punishment upon His people. For example, when Adam and Eve sinned, God banished them from the Garden of Eden. But He did it so they could be saved, not lost.

There are other times when God works through the consequences of our wrongdoing. For example, If I choose to take poison and I die, it isn’t because God killed me. It is because I ate poison. Or if I decided to disobey my parents’ rule not to eat too many sweets, and I get sick, it isn’t because God made me sick, but because I chose to eat too many sweets. And although God doesn’t make this bad things happen, He allows these consequences because they teach us that we have done wrong.

The important thing to remember is that God wants more than anything for us to be saved. The Bible tells us that God is “not wishing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). Even if God punishes, it is always for our good, because He loves us and wants to save us. He says “Those whom I love I reprove and discipline” (Revelation 3:19). If He didn’t love us, He wouldn’t punish us. He would just let us do whatever we wanted until we had destroyed ourselves. I hope that helps.

Thanks for writing, and remember, there's never been a better time to share Jesus!

Your friend,
Pastor Howard

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*Note: All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise indicated.