Does God send natural disasters as a punishment on unrepentant sin?
Natural (and manmade) disasters seem to be occurring more and more often around the world. When they happen, it seems some claim these are from God and people need to repent from sin. The go even further by predicting more suffering and pain for those who refuse to repent from certain sin, usually sexual sins.
I am not supporting sin, nor am I against people repenting from sin, but I do have a problem with those claiming God sends natual disasters upon the world because on sin . This is not scriptural and is not inline with the true nature of God.
I believe these statement need to be backed up by the Word of God, if not, then you should ignore it, and keep away from those who preach such things. I also believe if you are going to walk in the office of a prophet, or claim to have a Word from God; it should be checked against scripture.
Unfortunately some Christians listen and accept these words without understanding the true nature of God through direct revelation of the Word of God. This is not a word against such Christians, or words against preachers and prophets, but an encouragement for individuals to seek direct revelation from the Word of God, not just their Sunday service or weekly Christian show.
What about those who have visions of God sending natural disasters, and then they come to pass?
I personally don't have a problem with a person claiming to have a vision from God about a natural disaster. Actually, natural disasters do line up with Gods Word, especially in these end times.
However I do have a problem with them saying the disaster was sent by God.
Matthew 24:7-8 (NLT): 7 The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.
Note: Scripture says these things will happen – it does not say God will cause them. It so happens that we live in a fallen world with people who have free choice – this in itself causes the problems; it does not mean God is the author of the problems.
Example: A city is full of pollution, does this mean God caused the pollution and the suffering caused by pollution? No, the people of the city who have a free will, living in a fallen world have created this problem through sin, such as greed and selfishness.
God has given mankind authority over the earth. Mankind did a good job managing it until sin came along.
Genesis 1:28 (NLT): 28 Then God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground."
Natural disasters are going to happen more and more. Like birth pains, they will become closer together in the last days. So the doom and gloom prophets are correct, there will be floods and earthquakes (this lines up with the Word of God). But, these disasters are not from God, just part of sin in a fallen world, and they are not due to unrepentant sin.
Turn or Burn
We will now deal with the "repent from sin or God will punish" statement tacked on the end of the doom and gloom messages, as one prophet said "Are the QLD floods the result of Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel?".
First up, I believe we have to repent from sin – turn away from temptations. Remember repentance of sin and forgiveness of sin are two different things.
Romans 6:12-13 (NLT): 12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.
As you can see, God wants us to keep away from sin, to turn from it, and turn to Godly practices.
Here is the big bomb; to say that being in sin will cause God to punish you is misleading and non-scriptural in the New Testament Church.
This is where a lot of people get it wrong, and only because they are not getting direct revelation from God's Word, but relying on the second hand revelation of others to feed them. I don't have a problem with second hand revelation, praise God for the teachers and preachers that have taken up the call, but it should not be your only source of revelation of God's Word. A Christian must know the difference between the Old Testament Law and New Testament Grace.
New Testaments Church – (by faith and not be works)
WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF GRACE – NOT THE LAW OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
The difference is in the New Testamant,
- the sin of the world has been forgiven, sin is not the issue, it has been dealt with
- the death of Jesus on the cross dealt with it once and for all
- the punishment for sin has been paid for, on our behalf by Jesus
- this was a free gift, deserved,and did not depend on our works, but Gods Grace
- there will be a time of judgement (yet to come), we are under the grace of Gods
The Old Testament,
- law was based on death, fear and mans works
- the law was to show mankind that their works could not deal with sin
- we needed God to deal with it on our behalf
- the law did not deal with sin, it exposed it
- the Jews took the law as being their relationship with God, not what God intented
The Jews of the day refused to accept that the goodness of God as sufficient motivation for people to turn from sin. The Jews insist that fear of punishment of the law was a superior motivator.
Romans 2:3-4 (NLT):3 Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and not judge you when you do them, too? 4 Don't you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don't you care? Can't you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?
Old Testament Law is based on you doing something for God to move. God's actions were based on your actions, your effort and works. Having a law mentality is a belief that God only moves by your works. (The law is your work, for your salvation and forgiveness, not a free gift of God by the Cross of Calvary). Many Christian falls into this way of thinking without knowing it.
- Example 1: The more I pray, keep asking God, and even get others to pray on my behalf, well eventually get Gods attention, and He will answer my prayer.
- Example 2: If I pray daily, and the longer the better, read my bible, again every day and the longer the better, worship Him in song daily, the more God will love me, bless me and the more I will succussed in the things I do, especially the things I do for God.
God's love for you is not based on your works; it is free and undeserved. God’s blessings and your success in life, either secular or spiritual is based on faith and not by your efforts. Simply, believe God wants you blessed more than you do, He wants you to be financially blessed, spiritually blessed, blessed when you come and blessed when you go.
So the question then is. If a person's good efforts did not gain God's love and blessings, then how can their bad works cause them to lose it, and God to send natural disasters and bad things upon mankind?
Again, it is all based on faith and knowledge of God or a lack of it. It all depends if you think God is happy with you and on your side, or unhappy and against you, ready to punish you at the first chance.
This law mentality builds a picture of God being unhappy and at war with mankind, mainly due to their sins. This belief is alive and well in a lot of churches today.
GOD IS NOT AT WAR WITH MANKIND BECAUSE OF SIN – SIN HAS BEEN OVERCOME.
Luke 2:9-14 (NKJV): 9And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12"And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
This talks of peace from God towards mankind because of Jesus, who has dealt with the sin of the world on the cross.
Colossians 1:18-20 (NLT):18 Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything. 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.
In the Old Testament God was at war with the sin in mankind. But in the New Testament (new Covenant) God dealt with sin so there was no longer this war between God and sin in mankind. So be encouraged, God is not at war with you, Christian or not.
Jesus came for the whole world, not just a chosen few
The death of Jesus was for the whole world, not just Christians. God loved the whole world not just a few people.
John 3:16-17 (NLT): 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
John 4:42 (NLT) Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe because we have heard him ourselves, not just because of what you told us. He is indeed the Savior of the world."
John 6:32-33 (NLT):32 Jesus said, "I assure you, Moses didn't give them bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
John 6:50-51 (NLT):50 However, the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live."
1 John 4:13-14 (NLT):13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
John 12:46-47 (NLT):46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness. 47 If anyone hears me and doesn't obey me, I am not his judge—for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.
- Say what? Not judge the world?
- Does this mean not even with natural disasters?
So we can clearly see Jesus came to fogive the sins of the whole world. This is the true nature of God, His love for the whole world. Doom and gloom preachers need to understand the nature of God in the New Testaments age of grace, love not judgement, as the time of judgement has not yet come, and then it will be based on personal acceptance of Jesus, not sin.
Sins of the Whole World Dealt With
Here is another big one, not only did Jesus come for the world, but He dealt with the sins of the whole world. Not just the sins of those who believe in Him.
Note: Salvation, forgiveness of sin and repentance are three different things.
- Salvation is for those who believe by faith they are saved.
- Forgiveness of sin is for everybody and was done at the cross, once and for all time.
- Repentance, turning from away from sin even though it has been dealt with is something a person must do until they leave this earth.
SIN IS NO LONGER KEEPING MANKIND FROM GOD – ALL THE SIN OF THE WORLD, PAST AND FUTURE HAS BEEN DEALT WITH.
1 John 2:1-2 (NLT): My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. 2 He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NLT):18 All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.
John 1:29 (NLT): The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Only One Sin Left in the World
Still not convinced that the sins of the world have been forgiven for the lost as well as the saved? For this you need to turn your bible to John 16:5, just so you know I am not making this up.
John 16:5-9 (NLT): 5 "But now I am going away to the One who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I've told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Advocate won't come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world's sin is that it refuses to believe in me.
"And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin". One sin, not plural as in "sins". Remember, the sins of the whole world have been forgiven at the cross (note V8: coming judgement, judgement time is not now, but it is coming).
"The world's sin is that it refuses to believe in me". So this means there is only one sin left in the whole world, not believing in Jesus (the unforgiveable sin - not accepting Jesus for who He is). Simply put, people go to hell for not believing in Jesus, not unrepentant sin. Sin has been dealt with once and for all, this is called a Victory over sin.
1 Corinthians 15:56 (NLT): 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If God is going to send a disaster upon mankind to punish them for not repenting of sin in this age of grace then:
- The death of Jesus was in vain
- God's love upon the world was a lie
- God is still at war with mankind over sin
- We should still be sacrificing animals, as the sacrifice of Jesus did not overcome sin
Now we all know as Christians that the death of Jesus was not in vain, God does love the world, sin has been overcome and the sacrifice of animals did not deal with sin or bring salvation, otherwise the sacrifice of Jesus was not needed.
So how come some still believe that God would send a random disaster upon mankind as a punishment for not repenting from sin, when sin has been dealt with once and for all?
It does not make sense, and it definably is not scriptural. I believe that doom and gloom messages are not only unscriptural for this day and age, but they are not based on God's love.
1 Corinthians 13:2-3 (NKJV): And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
The message from the Word of God should be based on love. Doom and Gloom words might get some saved and help change some people's minds on a relationship with God, but the Good News is not based on this. It is based on Love, and if things in the Kingdom of God are not based on love, then it profits the Kingdom of God nothing.
Romans 2:4 (NLT): Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Romans 2:4 (NKJV): Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Warnings from God can be brought in an encouraging way, not direct 'do this' or God will 'do that' (Law based on works). Faith cannot work together with a law mentality, it actually smothers it with fear.
What about the Christians?
When these doom and gloom Prophets bring messages of Gods judgement upon mankind (such as the floods in Queensland) do they realise that Christians are also involved, and suffer as well. Do they have any understanding of God's love? God is for us, not against us, He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us, so for those who choose Jesus, will see everlasting life..
Romans 8:31-39 (NLT): 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So we can see from the Word of God, first hand, that God loves mankind, so much that he sent His only Son to be a sacrifice for all the worlds sins, Jesus paid the price of sin for us, the price has been paid for all time. Sin has been dealt with and is no longer a hindrance between God and man, man can come to God freely and ask to be saved. It is not through our efforts, but God reaching His love to us.
So if sin is forgiven and God loves us so much, why would God send a natural disaster upon parts of the earth to punish only a few people? Would God do this because he is board, needs a bit of fun? No, God does not do this, the reason for these events are not based on Gods punishment for sin, as sin has been dealt with. It is simply because man lives in a fallen world, and people have choice, this is the reason.