SIN AND CONSEQUENCE (February 26, 2012) by Roger Hathaway
The New Covenant, which Christ secured, is a contract in which God promises that He won't even remember our sins. In other words, forgiveness is complete, so that oneís salvation is not endangered by any sins; one need not worry about that! But, neither Jesus, nor the New Testament, nor the New Covenant say that there are not consequences for our sins in our earthly lives. Consequences which result from sins are lessons which can help one to find and correct spiritual errors, and so "work out his salvation with fear and trembling." While sins are not an issue with our Father, much MUCH more is required of one who hopes to get a diploma from His tough school. Physical ailments can be most valuable lesson aids. Solve the spiritual problem and the symptom disappears!
The Christian religion seems to have missed this lesson about sin and consequence, which Jesus taught quite clearly, namely that physical infirmities ARE the symptoms of spiritual failings. Whenever Jesus healed a body, He told the person to "go and sin no more." He wasnít just commanding one to be a better person, rather He was telling him to stop doing whatever had caused the infirmity.
In one case, John chapter 9, the disciples wondered about the sin which caused a man to be born blind. "His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him." Jesus did not correct the discipleís understanding about the cause of infirmities, but said that this case was an exception for a special purpose. We can understand from this incident that it was common belief that physical ailments were consequences of sins, a fact which Jesus implicitly confirmed by explaining this case as an exception to that general truth. The exception proves the rule.
The question in my mind is why the Christian church has not acknowledged this fact and discussed it as something important to each personís life. If an ailment is a symptom of a sin, then it would be most wonderful to study this issue and determine how to diagnose which spiritual error causes which physical ailment. Instead, religionists simply beseech God to correct the symptom without ever addressing the sin which caused it. Wouldn't it be a proper function of Christians to research the connection between ailments and ungodliness?
Modern medicine freely admits that it treats ONLY symptoms, never attempting any kind of cure. Curing people would be detrimental to the business of medical practice. Ironically, modern scientists do have the tools to diagnose the causes of physical symptoms, except that they are constrained from acknowledging Godís Design. It seems that everyone just wants a magic bullet to kill the symptom without addressing its cause.
Some Religionists want the body healed without any change in the sinful practices behind the problem. Some groups make a religion around the magical healing of ailments. They feel very smug that they can call on God for a miracle and He provides it.
My personal belief is that God has His own children in a tough training program whereby we are to increase in wisdom by learning lessons from nature and from causes-and-consequences in our lives. It is part of Godís grand design that physical ailments indicate spiritual failures (sins); such lessons are there for us to learn. Correct the spiritual error and the symptom disappears! I am critical of those who seek miraculous healings as they arrogantly dare to ask God to intervene so that no spiritual lesson gets learned. If God really loves His child, He will refuse the request. I suspect that it is the lord of this world who is answering such earthly prayers in order to prevent spiritual growth among those whose religion is so shallow. Astoundingly, such people who arrogantly command the Holy Spirit do not study scriptural materials nor even acknowledge that the original Greek writings might help their understanding; they do not seek Truth at all, but over many generations have learned to be content that they have a KJV book to worship. They have made a religion around physical healings and emotional spasms while scorning any search for Godís Truth. In other words, just like modern doctors, they limit themselves to symptoms while ignoring the causes. They are stuck in the milk, despising the meat of the Word. Hebrews 6 says: "Let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ, and go on to perfection." We must leave the kindergarten stuff and listen to the tough words of Jesus. His masculine maturity is very different from the sweet effeminate religion which most people want.
Our Father has designed a path of struggle which is sometimes terrible, but which promises equally valuable benefit for those willing to learn. A biblical metaphor is that of a smelter which refines gold from other impurities by extremely high heat. Even a Johnny Cash gospel song contains a line, "and steel is strong because it knew the hammer and white heat." Yet, modern religions and modern cultures are content with whatever magical cure might temporarily relieve the symptom without requiring any change in lifestyle.
I think that religion has failed to understand that forgiveness does not assure heaven, but that Jesus gave many other commands, saying that unless one does this or that, he cannot see heaven. His requirements were so tough that most followers turned away from Him. "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!"
Preachers who sedate their customers with the simple platitude that nothing more is required than mere belief in Jesusí name, are false shepherds. They are equally wrong to teach that sins can condemn a person; they are simply ignorant of the New Covenant contract in the eighth chapter of Hebrews. Such false shepherds should tremble before the pronouncement of God in Zecharia, "Awake, O Sword, against My shepherds." And, we might remember what Jesus said, "Many will come to me in the last day and say, ĎLord, Lord, we believe;í And I will say to them, ĎDepart from Me, I never knew you."
Well, all that to simply suggest that you might benefit your life by seeking the spiritual cause behind any physical ailment, and by such spiritual progress climb that steep path home to your Father. It is YOUR path and YOUR struggle; neither Jesus nor your Father will do it for you. But, if you dedicate yourself to it, you will have the support and encouragement of the hosts of heaven who love you and want you to succeed. I cannot imagine asking for more than that!
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