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8. I have read in one of your writings that ‘God chastens His children because He loves them’ (you took Hebrews 12:6 as a starting point for saying those words). What do you mean by ‘chastening and scourging’? Many Churches teach that among these chastenings is also sickness so they regard God as the one who sends evil in order to bring up His children!!!

 

 

 

When I say that God chastens and scourges us I mean that He strikes us even with sickness when we refuse to obey Him. The fact that God chastens or punishes His children through sickness is confirmed by the Scriptures of the New Testament. For instance many believers of the Church in Corinth were struck by God with sickness because they partook of the Lord’s Supper unworthily: here is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation [judgement] to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). As you can see, many saints of that Church were judged by the Lord with sickness because they partook of the Lord’s Supper without discerning the Lord’s body. That judgement was part of God’s discipline, that they should not be condemned with the world. Have you never read in the Scripture: “For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17)?

The fact that God strikes those among His people who refuse to obey Him by bringing some diseases on them, is confirmed also by the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Here are some passages of the Scriptures that teach this clearly.

God said to the children of Israel: “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26). As you can see, God said that if the Israelites heeded His voice they would not be sick; but if they refused to heed His voice, God would bring on them the diseases He had brought on the Egyptians, or rather, many more diseases, as God said to the Israelites: “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:58-61). Is it then God, who brings diseases on the saints? Yes, sometimes it is God who brings diseases on the saints. I have said ‘sometimes’ because the Scriptures teach also that sometimes believers are struck with diseases by Satan for God allows Satan to strike them in order to test them, as it happened to Job who was a blameless and upright man who feared God yet he was struck by Satan with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the top of his head, for God allowed Satan to strike Job (2:7). However, after a certain period of time, God healed Job. Therefore, we must distinguish between a judgement and a trial; the former is sent to punish a believer, the latter is sent to test his faith, his love, his patience, and his faithfulness. Unfortunately, in the midst of the people of God, because of lack of discernment, many judgements of God are regarded as trials, and vice versa. Many people who are like Diotrephes (3 John 9) and Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), as well as many hardened rebels who mock at the Word of God and trample it underfoot, are regarded as men like Job, that is, as blameless and upright men, so the judgements of God against them are regarded as devil’s attacks!! On the contrary, there are believers who fear God, who always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men, who are tested by God through a disease but they are regarded as enemies of God!!!

What should we do when God disciplines us through a disease? We must acknowledge those sins of which we have refused to repent, and must forsake them pleading with the God of mercies to forgive us. The Lord will certainly hear our sincere cry and will raise us up.

And what should we do when God tests us through a disease? We must pray to God always so that He may heal us.

 

 

 

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