When bad things happen Christians sometimes think it is God punishing us for our sins. God’s word doesn’t comport with that view. Sins have bad consequences here on earth that have nothing to do with God’s intervention. God judges and punishes the unsaved, unrepentant, perpetually Christ-rejecting soul in the eternal realm. God knows the heart of everyone on this planet. Those who live in remote jungles as well as those who live in crowded cities and there will be some who live and die in a remote jungle who will meet Jesus and hear his name for the first time when they reach heaven. There are some who are born and raised in Church and who claim to be Christians but who will have a horrific awakening when they cross the valley of the shadow of death because the Jesus who knows all things will say to them: ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!.’ Matthew 7:22-23
Those individuals are ones who were never saved and never received the holy spirit because in their heart of hearts they never humbled themselves before Christ and rested their forgiveness on his work at the cross and resurrection.
For those that have rested all forgiveness on the name of Christ, they receive the holy spirit which gives them the power to repent and turn away from sin and be made new. To try and turn away from sin before asking Christ’s forgiveness is basically telling Christ that you have the power to make yourself holy and acceptable and when you boil it down, that attitude is a prideful insult to the face of the living God. The holy spirit and the help and power if gives to the individual to turn away from sin and towards healing and a new life in Christ only comes after asking Christ to save you and forgive you.
For those who have asked and received Christ’s forgiveness and subsequently received the Holy Spirit, those individuals must forgive themselves of their past sins and must keep forgiving themselves when they stumble into sin from time to time as they walk with Jesus. Satan will lie in an attempt to mislead and discourage. If a true Christian cannot forgive themselves after God has forgiven them, then they too have displayed pridefulness and have slapped God in the face with a huge insult in thinking their standards are more righteous than the living God’s.
42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
Believe in Christ and his power and ask for him to save you from God’s wrath, receive the Holy Spirit who will help and comfort you, forgive yourself, and you will be able to forgive others. At that point your joy will not be subject to this life’s circumstances but will transcend the present challenges, including cancer and even death. That is what he meant when he said ‘seek the truth and the truth will set you free.’ John 8:31–32
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