This question is of paramount importance because it profoundly affects our view of God. Fear of penalty is a serious obstacle for Catholics in developing a close, intimate, secure and trusting relationship with God the Father. The suspicion of punishment is not generally associated with Jesus or the Holy spirit, but in our relationship with the Father, and the frequent fallacy of Him as a distant, exasperated and penalise God, inspecting down upon us with a critical gaze while scrutinizing our every step.
To begin, tell us first examine the testimony of Jesus in the Gospels on this whole issue of sin and sanction. Frequently in the New Testament, Jesus informs His listeners of the sanction of hell. For speciman, in the Gospel of Matthew, we speak that’ the Son of gentleman will transmit his angels, and they will gather out of his field all causes of sin and evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fuel, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ At first glance, this moving suggests that by Jesus’ direction, evildoers will be hurled into hell.
But how do we reconcile this with the constant witness of the Gospel of Jesus’ actual care of sinners? He did not penalise a single person He gather. Instead, to the consternation of the legalist Pharisees, Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them. As St. Paul assures us in Romans,’ It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.’ In Jesus’ kindness and tender compassion, He forgave sinners. Amongst many others, He forgave the paralytic, the woman caught in adultery and the repentant lady who wept at His feet.
One rule of biblical theology is to avoid drawing judgments based on a single excerpt from the Bible. Rather, each moving should be interpreted with the whole of Scripture in recollection. In the Gospels, Jesus forgave every sinner who came to him asking for mercy. Accordingly, we can properly read Jesus’s earlier terms on the penalty of inferno. The evildoers that the angels of the Son of lover throw into the furnace of volley are unrepentant sinners who refuse His mercy and essentially opt inferno for themselves.
I have heard many Protestant preachers have shown that sin somehow requires that God immediately punish us, but that Jesus took our plaza and sucked the penalty for us. This is not the training courses of the Catholic Church. In the Catechism, we predict that ‘. . . rewards was not able to thoughts of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the nature of sin’( 1472 ). When we freely choose to sin, we take upon ourselves the consequences of sin, which we often can be attributed to as reward. In essence, we penalise ourselves when we sin , not God. What a consolation and consolation to be deep convicted of this truth: God does not punish us for our blasphemies.
If God does not punish us for our sins, why is it so common for some people to fear the punishment of God? First of all, at an academic elevation, many beings are not clear on the actual teaching of the Church. Secondly, I think we fear the penalty of God because of our own guilty conscience, and we project our feelings about ourselves on to God. Our own agitated conscience can accuse us of our blasphemies and flunks, together with the insidiou utter of Satan, the accuser of humankind. If we are absorbed in ego, we may become trapped in our own bad conscience, incarcerated in self-condemnation.
St. John writes that’ whenever our mettles criticize us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.’ Most English translations follow the Greek original, accurately decoding’ kardia’ as’ heart.’ However, I recollect other translations of’ kardia’ as’ conscience’ can be helpful, offering a slightly different nuance: ‘( we) reassure our conscience before him whenever our shame condemns us; for God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.’ Implicit in this statement,’ God knows everything, ’ is the understanding of God’s perfect knowledge of us, with all our guilts, weaknesses and falls. It is a knowledge imbued with forbearance. Accordingly, even though they are our conscience condemns us, God will never censure us. As St. Paul reminds us in Romans,’ It is not possible to denunciation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’
During His lifetime on earth, Jesus forgave guilts with a merely oath, as with the paralytic:’ Child, your sins are forgiven.’ Yet Scripture also testifies that Christ died for our blasphemies. Now is not the place to attempt to explain the deep mystery of sin and saving. Saints through the centuries have meditated on this question of the inevitability of Christ dying on the Cross, to offer the Father the atoning sacrifice which takes away the guilt of the world countries and reconciles humanity to the Father. For our purposes, give us simply point out that Christ’s death on the Cross offers us the ultimate proof of His love for us.
Christ died for our guilts. He suffered His Passion for my sins and yours. The Catechism states that’ sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the stands the discern Redeemer endured’( 598 ). In human relationships, how quickly we take offense at those who hurt us, even to the point of trying vengeance. Yet when you and I tortured and crucified Christ by our guilts, He absorbed all this evil into Himself and in return offered mercy and forgiveness:’ Father, forgive them. They know not what the fuck is do.’
On the Cross, Jesus reveals the perfect affection He has for every human being. As St. John writes so famously,’ nervousnes has to do with punishment . . . perfect enjoyed casts out fear.’ Whenever we catch ourselves fearing the beating of God the Father for our guilts, make us pause and see the Crucifix. Let us remind ourselves of the truth: Jesus perfectly discovers the Father, who is love and relief itself.
The ministry of boon which Jesus accomplished during His lifetime extends through the ministry of the Church. Jesus continues to forgive sinners in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Furthermore, when God forgives, He also’ forgets’ our sins.
Some people are familiar with the notorious fib from the life of St. Claude de la Colombiere, the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary. When she firstly approached him, she explained that Jesus had appeared to her, and questioned Fr. Claude to be her spiritual director. To test the veracity of her contend, he apprise her to ask Jesus what was the last mortal sin that he( Fr. Claude) committed himself. When Jesus next was reported to her, she questioned the question. Jesus reacted quite simply:’ I don’t remember.’
Scripture itself watches to the same truth. In Isaiah:’ I will not remember their sins.’ In Micah,’ You will shed our sins into the depths of the sea.’ Psalm 103:’ As far as the east is from the west, so far He removes our sins from us.’ These beautiful allegories from Scripture testify that when God forgives our blasphemies, in a sense He decimates them as if they never existed. When we are forgiven, it is as if we had never sinned. Accordingly, we will not fear the punishment of God if we truly believe in the forgiveness of our sins.
God does not punish us for our guilts. Perfect enjoyed directs out fear. These two truths, if received into the heart, can help heal our perverted image of God, and allow us to approach Him with confidence, as the most loving, tender, blessed and forgiving Father.
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