In an earlier post, we saw that not all sins are equal. Sins are classified into forgivable and unforgivable sins. Forgivable sins are further divided into sins leading to death and sins not leading to death. Sins leading to death are greater sins than sins not leading to death. In this post, we will explore different levels of punishments for disobedience to God.
Parable of Punishments
Luke 12:42-48 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
- Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
- But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
- And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
- But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.
For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
There are four groups of people in the parable in which three groups received punishments. The first group of servants do what the Master wants. They never disobey Him even in His absence and always prepared and ready to face Him. These are the servants whom the Master will make them ruler over all that He has. We will tabulate the offence of other servants and the level punishment for their offences.
The servant was aware of what the Master wants, yet noticed His delay and then, does harm to fellow others.
|The servant will be cut in two and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.|
The servant was aware of what the Master wants, but did not prepare himself or did not do anything according to His will.
|The servant will be beaten with many stripes|
The servant was not aware of what the Master wants. He did things deserving stripes, that is, did not prepare himself or did not do anything according to His will.
|The servant will be beaten with few stripes|
A licentiousness Christian is someone who is well aware of God’s will, yet disobedient and even rebellious, doing harm to his fellow Christians. These are the Christians who Jude warned about, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness.
Jude 1:11-13 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
Jude gave us three examples, and all these people caused harm to God’s people.
- Cain murdered his brother
- Balaam caused Israel to stumble
- Korah rebelled against Moses
All these three people – Cain, Balaam and Korah knew about the God of Israel and His laws, yet did harm to those who truly follow God.
A careless Christian is someone who is well aware of God’s will, but he neither prepares himself nor does anything according to His will. In other words, he is a careless Christian who don’t care about God’s will. These are lukewarm Christians as mentioned in the book of Revelation.
Rev 3:15-18 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
One of the important reason why these Christians are lukewarm is because of their wealth and riches.
1Sam 15:13-14 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
Saul is another example where he didn’t care about obedience to God’s will. He claims to be obedient but careless in obeying fully what God told him to do.
Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
Luke 3:10-14 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.” Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
The last group of Christians are ignorant of God’s will. They are like sheep without a shepherd, not knowing the will of God and do things that does not please God. These Christians receive the least punishment.
It is very important that we must never be a licentiousness to take for granted the grace of God, or careless to fully obey and follow Him, or ignorant of the will of God. We must always be like the faithful and wise steward, who not only prepared himself but also did the will of God.