Why Does God Punish?

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In this issue's lead article, I show from Scripture that God will chasten the American and British-descended peoples. "But," many will ask, "does the true God actually punish individuals and even punish nations?" That is something very few people truly understand. Yet your Bible is filled with the answers!


Many sentimental people say that since "God is love," it is wrong to think that He might punish people or nations.

But what is the Truth?

As on almost all religious topics, it comes down to this key point: "Do you really believe the Bible?" Many people claim that they believe the Bible, but their beliefs and words will disagree with Scripture again and again, even though the Bible describes who God is and how He acts.

So, what is the Truth? Jesus Christ said, "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17).

Notice what Scripture actually says: "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives" (Hebrews 12:5–6). So, Almighty God certainly does "chasten" or punish each individual that He is dealing with for that person's own good. But what about nations?

God told the ancient Israelites, "But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it" (Leviticus 26:14–16).

Then, we read: "And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power ; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze . And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit" (vv. 18–20).

Here, your Bible directly uses the word "punish" in describing how the Creator will deal with nations as well as individuals. If people who ought to know better turn completely away from the Creator—and "despise" His laws and His statutes by their words and actions—Almighty God absolutely will intervene and chasten them for their own good.

Elsewhere, we also read, "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 'Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me'" (Deuteronomy 28:15–20).

So why are so many things seeming to "go wrong" in our Western nations? Why are we having alternating drought and floods (Amos 4:7–8), the terrible debt crisis facing the U.S. and other Western nations, and other such crises? It all goes back to the fact that we are "despising" the God of heaven—the One who actually gave us the blessings we have begun to take for granted! We in America and the British-descended nations have sent out more Bibles, more missionaries and more food and medical supplies to countries in need than all other nations on earth combined. Now, we are turning away from the God who gave us these blessings in the first place! Speaking to the modern descendants of the ancient "House of Israel," God describes the coming "Day of the Lord"—the "time of Jacob's trouble" which will occur just before Christ returns and King David is resurrected to once again become king over all twelve tribes of Israel (Jeremiah 30:4–9).

In that prophecy, God describes why He will have to punish His people just before Christ returns: "All your lovers have forgotten you; they do not seek you; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased. Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you" (vv. 14–15).

God will chasten us because, as He says, "Your sins have increased." Does anyone deny that our sins have increased as we have increasingly turned away from the God of the Bible?

Why have we turned away from the true God? Why have we gone off into confusion and all kinds of strange philosophies and concepts in direct contradiction to the Bible and its teachings? Again, the Bible is very clear about the reason behind our pursuit of false religion and confused ideas! Notice this prophecy, "For the shepherds have become dull-hearted, and have not sought the Lord; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered." Nearly all scholars recognize that, throughout the Bible, the word "shepherds" often means ministers. These particular verses certainly are describing false ministers who have "not sought" the true God of the Bible (Jeremiah 10:21).

God describes the modern, Bible-rejecting ministers of our people, "'Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!' says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: 'You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,' says the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:1–2).

Again, God refers to these false "prophets" or ministers who prophesy out of their own imagination, "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. They continually say to those who despise Me, "The Lord has said, 'You shall have peace'; and to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you"'" (vv. 16–17). This attitude is spreading throughout Britain, Canada and America. It will continue.

The time will soon come when hundreds of millions of deceived people—most of them professing "Christianity"—will literally fight Christ as He returns to this earth as King of kings! Describing how "ten kings" from the revived Roman Empire "give their power and authority to the Beast," God's inspired word reveals, "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful" (Revelation 17:12–14).

I pray that all of you dear subscribers may be inspired by God to "wake up" and escape the prophesied punishment, before it is too late! After describing this whole foul religio-political system called "Babylon," God commands: "Come out of her my people lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4)! The time of these prophecies is drawing very close indeed. Jesus Christ commanded all of us who understand His word and the prophetic events now underway: "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).

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