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By Curtis Pugh

The Bible is as clear on this fact: God child-trains those whom He loves. You may not like the idea that God spanks His children or the idea that there are some people whom God loves, but both those ideas are taught in the Bible. Consider Proverbs 3:12 in the Old Testament: “For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth:” and in the New Testament Hebrews 12:6: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” It is a fact: none of those whom God loves gets by without parental discipline: that of God the Father being exercised upon them. That means that those who are not chastened are not the beloved children of God.

The prophecy was that Christ should die for some Jews, but: “...not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad,” (John 11:52). It was God's children also known as Christ's sheep for whom Jesus died and gathered together in a vital union with Him. Jesus spoke of this in John 10:16 saying: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Wise and good fathers care for their families by exercising loving discipline over their children. Wise and good shepherds similarly care for their own flock. And so it is with God's care and chastening of His own.

This is true also of the Lord's congregations (called in the King James Bible “churches”). Christ's letter to the lukewarm congregation in Laodicea included this warning: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent,” (Revelation 3:19). Repentance – a change of your mind about sin or in this case the minds of the members of a church averts the chastening hand of God toward them.

There is both consolation and warning in all this. For, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all [sons] are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons,” (Hebrews 12:7-8). In Bible days those who were illegitimate children were neither cared for, educated, disciplined nor made to inherit from their natural fathers. This is the idea here. God does not care for or spank the children of the devil.

In the middle of trials, tests and those sufferings that befall us because of the sin of Adam we must also recognize that God may use sickness and suffering in the child training of His children. But there is something worse. The Jews in the wilderness desired flesh and while God sent them an abundance of quails: He “...gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul,” (Psalm 106:15). What a grievous chastening it is to experience famine in the inner man!

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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