Suppose that a person is faithful and counted among those in Christ, and the person is disobedient in some manner. What is the Biblical basis for the idea that God will punish this Christian beyond the immediate natural consequences of their actions?
What is the biblical basis that God punishes this Christian beyond the immediate natural consequences of their actions?
Hebrews 12:6-8 (KJV): For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
The concept of punishment is not the same as the concept of correction.
The sins of Christians have already been paid for. Christians may suffer consequences such as diminished relationship with God, hindered prayers, etc. but they are no longer going to be judged and punished for their sins.
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
You can make the case that in extreme situations where a Christian has become unprofitable, he is allowed to die and return to the Lord.
Acts 5:9: Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
1 Corinthians 11:29: For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:6 (KJV)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
The parable of the talents:
And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Ananias and Sapphria:
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
Dying because of lying is not an "immediate natural consequence" (or else almost everyone would be dead); it is a punishment of God.
The Bible is clear that God punishes disobedience.
The most obvious passage relevant to this is 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 (KJV):
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
This is written to Christians, not unbelievers, as the letter is addressed to the church. Paul not only says that Christ will judge our deeds and we will receive something as a result, but even uses the term "terror" with respect to the prospect of receiving punishment for wrong doing from the Lord.
The parable in Luke 12:42-46 is relevant as well. There Jesus tells a parable of three servants who are punished.
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
This can be interpreted, and I have seen it interpreted, that the servants denote Christians (that much seems fairly obvious), and that the servant who in the parable is "cut in sunder" went to hell, while the servants who were beaten with many or few stripes, get punished somehow yet still go to heaven.