Pastor’s Pen: No punishment
I’ve enjoyed subbing over the years, but have made a few mistakes. I’ve discovered that one of my easy mistakes is being too soft on rules. You want every student to do well and to learn. You want all of them to have that opportunity, but there are times one or two act up and must be sent out of the room. I hate to do that, but have learned that I must.
If I don’t enforce the rules that have been set in place then the result is chaos. Students who may be acting up a little will continue to act up more and more. Students who wish to learn will become frustrated and want to leave. If there is no punishment to go along with the rule then there will be no order and only chaos. Rules without punishment result in chaos.
God laid down rules a long time ago. The Bible isn’t full of simple suggestions, but contains rules with consequences. If I don’t follow God’s rules then I am sinning. The Bible says the wages or punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). The result will be eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). It is a continual form of death.
God must have some sort of punishment or there will be never-ending chaos in His kingdom. Just as a teacher expects a classroom to be a place where “teachers can teach and students can learn”, God expects His kingdom to be a place where He is glorified and we can worship Him without sin’s hindrance.
But since we all sin (Romans 3:23), we cannot get into this Kingdom of God, except by one way. God paid the punishment for our sin. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
‘Life’, the opposite of death. This is what is in store for those who believe. And once we do, God changes us. We become a new creation, where the old ways of sin are passed and a new life begins (2 Corinthians 5:17).
God doesn’t punish nothing. He set rules. We broke them. We deserve punishment. But He loves us. He died for us. Now we can be changed and have life everlasting.
This is Good News.