Does God use sickness and disease to chastise His Children?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Gup20, May 18, 2009.

  1. Gup20

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    So how does God chastise his children? Is it with sickness and disease? Does God use "evil" or "death" to teach his children?

    Prov 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son [in whom] he delights.

    Hbr 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    So what does the chastening of the Lord involve?
     
  2. Alcott

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    Does God use sickness and disease to chastise His Children?

    Well, I doubt if they're his gold medal and blue ribbon.
     
  3. Jedi Knight

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    Choose to sin,choose to suffer. We can choose to sin,but cannot chose the consequences. I believe the Lord has built in consequences,but He's not limited to them. Can He use sickness....yes indeed. He can overrule also if He wishes and show us mercy by not letting the consequences take a full-blow course. Chastening can involve but not limited to anguish of spirit,loss of peace,sickness,broken relationships, even a BIG FISH....ask Jonah!:wavey:
     
    #3 Jedi Knight, May 18, 2009
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  4. Allan

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    I'll agree with Jedit Knight on this :)



    To chasten compared to scourge is a milder form of discipline.
    Chasten is to castigate with words - Verbal (such as lecture)
    Scourging is training by affliction - physical (whatever used to bring about physical pain)
     
  5. Thinkingstuff

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    I've always considered it to be allowing for us to reap the consequences of our sin. Also including in this failures in plans rather than success etc... You know there are so many evil people in the world that just seem over the top successful. I believe God is withholding his wrath until later when there is nothing they can do about it.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    I think the answer to the OP is yes. But I'm always hesitant to point out which sicknesses are punishment, and which are just the normal results of normal life activities.
     
  7. Gup20

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    Interesting to see most people would answer, yes, God does use sickness and disease to chasten (save for a couple). Here is my take on it -
    Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
    The preceding verse says don't even SAY that God is behind the evil in your life. God doesn't use evil. Death is a result of sin - mans sin - not God's sin.
    Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
    If Satan had the power of death, and we were in bondage to sin because of our fear of death, why would God use death (sickness and disease) to teach us? I think death is in the world, and we experience death because we too are in the world (a Cursed world), and because we sin (so we deserve the death that reigns in us).
    Jhn 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
    Here it says we'll have tribulations simply because we are in the world. It doesn't say "if"... it says "you shall have".

    But wouldn't God use sickness and disease to purge us of evil? I don't think so. Isaiah 55 says His ways are not our ways. It talks about us buying food and drink when we have no money, and having life instead of cursing because of God's mercy. It talks about fir trees growing where thorns once did. So what is God's way of purging us of evil?
    Pro 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.
    The fear of the Lord is reverence that leads to obedience. But it says that iniquity is purged by mercy and truth. Well that's definitely not how we do it here on earth. Don't we judge and correct by over-powering here on earth? Isn't that our way? Romans 2 talks about judging others:
    Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
    Wow... so mercy and truth purges iniquity, and God's goodness towards us along with his forbearance and longsuffering with us leads us to repentance. So does that mean then that God uses positive rewards as the primary way to motivate us?
    Hbr 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
    So death is in the earth, and is a constant for everyone. But the good news is that Jesus has come and made a way for us to have life. We can either choose to sin and participate in the curse that is in the earth, or choose obedience and make the life that God provided available to us. Not that we'll be free from sickness, disease, death -- we still live in the earth and we "shall have trouble" -- but now we have a means to have grace for it.

    Can you think of any New Testament examples of God causing sickness and disease on anyone?

    I say new Testament because of Jesus. The most often used OT example is the plagues, but I remind people how the Jews put blood on their door posts and the destroyer passed over their houses. Now, man has a mediator in Jesus Christ. Remember that the Veil from the Holy of Holies was rent. We all can now have unencumbered access to God.
    Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    We are to unconditionally (Agape) love our wives. I don't think the message here is if they sin we cause them physical pain or harm so they learn their lesson. But it is by our unconditional love that our wives turn from their sin or offensive ways. Would anyone interpret Eph 5:25 as meaning we should beat our wives?
    Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    When Jesus comes, finds us sick, full of disease and death, is he going to cure us from this condition by sending sickness and disease on us? Like Jesus said when they accused him of casting out devils by Beelzabub - a house divided cannot stand.

    Finally, I would ask those who think that God uses sickness and disease to consider - If you believe that God gave you an illness for your good, wouldn't it be disobedience to get treatment?
     
  8. ktn4eg

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    God may sometimes use sickness or disease as a means of chastisement. In I Cor. 11:27-32 Paul warns the Corinthians to be careful not to partake of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner because this may cause God to chastise us by means of sickness.

    Of course, not all sickness or disease is necessarily God's chastisement. John 9:1-3 tells of a man born blind. This wasn't as a result of any sin, "but that the works of God should be manifest in him." (v. 3)
     
  9. Allan

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    First, sickness is not 'evil' - as in spiritually. However the verse you are specifically refering to in James is speaking of spiritual.
    Also, you can not equate God testing us with evil, with God disciplining His children with sickness to bring them back to repentance IF He so chooses to do this (which I don't think is often).

    Yes God does in fact use sickness and even sends it to His people.
    Most people love to quote
    But you will find them quite often over-looking or in fact ignoring the previous verse which states WHY they would Turn back to God:
    So you have droughts (little or no water), infestations of bugs (destuction of food supplies) and diseases were ways that God Himself states He can choose to discipline His people to make them turn around and repent.

    As another poster pointed out, the instructions for the Lord's Supper where by the people can get sick (from the Lord) because they partook unworthily.

    Another passage is in James which deals with those who are sick amoung you to have them call for the elders/pastor(s) of the church. What is most interesting about this sickness that is being sought to be healed from is this verse shortly following:
    The people in the we see in the gospels with Jesus had taken this understanding (of God using sickness for discipline 'at times') 'TO far' so as to assume that ALL illness or calamity was due to God's disapproval or anger over ones sin. This is why they thought the blind man was such because either he did some sin or that his parents did. Not all sickness and diseases are chastenings from God. Those that are will bring people back to Him and they KNOW that it was something from God as discipline.
    The 'power of death' refers again, to spiritual death. He was the beginning of sin and thus the Father to lead people into seperation from God. He had that power 'of death' / seperation from God. Scripture tells us that he uses that power to try to keep people blind and in darkness.

    We do deserve death, but Christ has removed the consequences of sin/death and we are no longer under the condemantion (as believers) of sin and death. Thus Romans 8:1 God was merciful (not giving us what we deserve) and imparted to us His grace (giving us what we do not).

    Agreed, we will have trials in this life however this is refering to our general lives in the world as believers not refering to anything specific nor to God's discpline.

    With respect to the later verse.
    You are right that God's ways are not our ways and you illistrate it well here. God has said repeatedly in His word that He will and does use sickness and disease but man doesn't want to think that God would becuase to man 'it just doesn't seem right or fair' and yet by the will of God through this means men and women have come back to Him in repentance when "He uses them" as disciplinary means. However just because a person is sick we should never assume they are under Gods discipline



    Yes, by mercy - not giving us what we deserve - damnation.
    And by truth - revealing why and what is/has happened and where we need to turn

    Fear does speak of reverence but 'why' do they reverence Him?
    Because He is able and has every right to condemn all men to damnation. It is because of His power/authority as well as His grace and mercy which equates to His creation reverencing Him.

    Partly yes, but not always. God is both Just and Righteous and thus our disobedience must be dealt with, specifically as His children. Therefore those whom He loves the chastens AND scourges. His forbearance and longsuffering simply mean that He waits patently on us not that He does not discipline us.


    THis is completely taken out of the context it was written to be your proof-text. Please don't do this. That verse is speaking of those who are obediently seeking after God. It is NOT about those who are walking sin.

    Life mean unity and a relationship with God. It refers to a quality of life in spite of circustances and this includes His disciplining hand when needed to assure our hearts that He will not allow us to stray.
    Scripture states that this is eternal life, that you may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

    I have in the beginning of this post.

    The blood on the doorposts has nothing to do with sickness or diseases.
    Secondly, God after this states in the law which he gave to Moses in Duet 28:58-62 - that if they did not continue to walk in obedience he would add to them all manner of sickness and disceases. (also in Ex 23, and Duet 7).
     
    #9 Allan, May 19, 2009
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  10. Allan

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    PART 2

    This in no way changes anything in relation discipline but actually establishes that God will do all that is necessary to maintain and keep us near His side.
    Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    Again completely out of context. Of course this isn't about pain but for husbands to do all within their power to make sure their bride is blameless just as Christ did. He gave Himself to give her all she would need. What God does isn't because He desires to instill pain but to bring us to repentance though other means because we will not listen anymore to His voice/words. A husband should not allow his wife to run around either and live ungodly. There is conquences to and for what we do. God states those He loves He chastens (verbal) and scourges (physical) If you wont take God's word on it there isn't much anyone can say regarding the matter.

    Again, you are seriously out of context here. This refers to sinners (those who are not believers and thus in a relationship with God). Christ came to those who realize they need someone to heal them. God isn't going to given them sin to help their sin. God is going to cure their sin with Christ. Sickness and disease are not sin nor is it evil (spiritually). Yet it can be the result of sin in which God allows to upon them to bring them back to repentance that they will find forgiveness (James 5)

    A misapplication of logic. In the book of James where it states are any sick amoung you, let him call for the elders/pastors that the prayer of faith might save them and Lord raise them up; and if they have sinned it will be forgiven them. Sick - seek help - find healing and forgiveness.
     
  11. Eric B

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    I don't see thisprinciple as consistent enough today. In Biblical times (when you still had the miracles and supernatural gifts), this happened, but today I see the things that happens to Christians as being the same thing everyone else suffers, only we try to interpret it as God working some good, punishing, or if a bad thing has no known reason or someone else doing evil gets no bad thing happening to him, then the answer we fall back on is "we do not understand what God is doing".
    But it seems we have overspeculated on this principls in the first place.
    The sun and the rain fall on everyone.

    This teaching causes a lot of problems (though it sells a lot of books), because it leads to disillusionment when it doesn't "work" the way it's supposed to; and then we plead ignorance, or judge those suffering something and not "accepting if from God's hands".
     
  12. Gup20

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    Sickness is a form of death. Paul calls death an "enemy".

    1Cr 15:26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.

    I think it doesn't happen often either. I am not saying God "can't", I am saying he doesn't. Remember, truth and mercy lead us to repentance (prov 16:6)

    The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is the blood of Jesus. Once shed, there is a mediator between us and the wrath of God.

    I'll get to this in my next post, because the answer is more involved.

    This passage is about forgiveness. Jesus says the Father will not forgive us (heal us of our physical ailments is "bodily forgiveness") if we do not forgive others. The passage in James 5 deals with forgiveness.

    I agree, we should never assume. And even if I am wrong all together about God using sickness and disease, this is the approach that I would take.

    I would point out, however, that God is eternal. If we are saved, it means the blood of Jesus covers us. When we are saved, our sins are forgiven, going all the way back in the past, and all the way forward in the future. If God were to chastise us with sickness and disease, it would mean chastising us for sin that has already been forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus. This would mean that Jesus' blood was insufficient.

    When we become saved, it doesn' t mean we stop sinning. This is not a "proof text" it says exactly my point. We have faith - hope in that we do not see - that God is a rewarder, not a punisher for those in Christ. The reason being, we live in a world punished (judged) and cursed, and are subject to that curse. Therefore to see God as a rewarder and not a punisher is a matter of fatih. His ways are not our ways. Describing God as a rewarder reveals something about his character that we - living in a cursed and dying world - don't understand.

    Jesus was the passover lamb. I think it has everything to with healing our sickness and diseases, and defeating all forms of death.

    It means there is a buffer between man and the wrath of God. Man is no longer directly exposed to God's wrath as Jesus is our mediator, advocate, and intercessor.

    In Jesus sacrifice, we see the kind of love poured out. In that - while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. At the moment when we most deserved wrath, he instead died for us. Do you think God desires greatly to save us from wrath and judgment? I do - so much so that the Father sent his own son to die in our place.

    Agreed, and as I said before, even if I am completely off base on this toopic, I would still take that approach.

    He bore our stripes (scourges) and died for us (consequences).

    I don't think I am. Again it shows the nature of God here. If Jesus came to chastise or judge he would have gone around killing, cursing, and making people sick. But he didn't come to do that. He went around healing people, and reversing the curse.

    Jhn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    It says "if they have sinned". This means that their sickness is not tied to their sin. Rather, their sickness is tied to unforgiveness, which disqualifies them for the forgiveness of God (Jesus equates forgiveness and healing Matt 9:5)

    Mar 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
     
    #12 Gup20, May 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
  13. Gup20

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    1 Cor 11:30 is talking about coming together for Communion - the Lord's Supper. It says many are weak and sick because they eat and drink communion unworthily - bringing damnation upon themselves.

    What is communion? What is the Lord's Supper? It was Jesus, the night of his betrayal (the beginning of his 3 days "in the earth") partaking of the Passover feast.
    Luke 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
    8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat
    .​
    Of course, the Passover feast is prophecy of Jesus Christ. The lamb who is slain, and the blood that causes the destroyer to pass over. If you look at the passover feast from Exodus, it says that they are not to eat leavened bread, and leaven isn't to even be found in their house during the feast.
    Exd 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
    Jesus talks about leaven:
    Matt 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
    Matt 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
    Matt 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
    Matt 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade [them] not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
    Remember 1 Cor 11:19 - which is context for verse 30:
    1 Cor 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
    The Apostle Paul brings this up in Galatians as well - in a virtual echo of 1 Cor 11.
    Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
    5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
    6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
    He prefaces by saying that salvation is by faith, not by the law. He talks about those who were trying to say that the Gentiles needed to be circumcised to be saved (in other words, follow The Law to attain salvation).
    Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
    8 This persuasion [cometh] not of him that calleth you.
    9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
    He says they were believing right, until someone introduced this false doctrine (persuasion not of Him that calleth them). He then calls the heresy (salvation by works) "leaven".
    Gal 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
    Paul then says that the person with the heretical doctrine will "bear his judgment". The Hebrew word for Judgment here is krima. This is the same word (krima) that is translated "damnation" in 1 Cor 11:29

    1Cor 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
    Paul goes on to say in Gal5:12 that he would that the persons who trouble the saints with heresy would be cut off - again a reference to Passover and Exodus 12:19.
    Gal 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
    Paul brings it all together in Galatians 5 by saying why and what they should do:
    Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    And finally, I would remind everyone of what is said in Psalms regarding the day after passover when the Israelites left Egypt:
    Psalms 105:37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and [there was] not one feeble [person] among their tribes.
    So when it speaks of taking communion unworthily, it is referring to the non-believer - one without faith in Jesus Christ - because the only way you can be unworthy is to be unsaved (not made righteous by the blood of Jesus), and the only way to be saved is by faith, not by works. Communion represents the direct communion with God (the Holy of Holies veil being torn), therefore those not redeemed by the blood of Jesus are judged - that is how sickness comes upon them. The sin within them is judged in the presence of God.

    Of course, you are not covered by righteousness if you are in unforgiveness (Mar 11:26), this this would make one "unworthy" as well.
     
    #13 Gup20, May 22, 2009
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  14. billwald

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    So the righteous in your local congregations are healthy and the gross sinners are sick?
     
  15. Gup20

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    I don't think it works like that. Death row demonstrates that the worst of all sinners can be the healthiest people (they have to be in good health to be executed).

    But death is in the world. We are in the world. We experience death because we and death are both in the world. We deserve the death we experience because we have all sinned. But the death we experience is not from God, it is of ourselves.

    Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
    To be clear, I am not saying sin doesn't lead to or cause death. I am saying death doesn't come from God,

    Jhn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

    I think those who think that God uses illness and disease on his children are confused as to which one (according to John 10:10) they are giving credit for their illness.
     

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