Questions I had and the Biblical answers I accepted afterwards:
1. Did God punish me? No.
This might seem like a strange question to ask first; but I don’t ever remember being taught in Catholic grammar school that God loves us. There was too much fear at times; although saying so is not meant to diminish the dedication of the priests and nuns, the quality education received and the Christian values stressed. It took the death of my Dad for me to realize God’s love in a way never before experienced. I do not believe that God punishes anyone; figuring that the Day of Judgment will take care of everything. I also believe that there is a difference between God allowing something “bad” to happen compared to God causing something “bad” to happen. Although I may not be able to understand the reason or reasons why; my spiritual and mental stability is secure by trusting that God knows best, loves everyone, wants everyone to go to Heaven and doesn’t hurt anyone. Whether you agree or disagree with me is up to you.
Mt. 7:9-11 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
Romans 5:6-8 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1John 4:16 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1John 4:19 19 We love, because He first loved us.
2. What about disciplining and chastening as recorded in Hebrews 12:5-13?
5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; 6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
Revelation 2:4-5 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
Revelation 3:1-6 1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 3:19 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
This is not a punishment; but a verbal instruction, warning or situation allowed to happen for our betterment and done as a result of God’s love for us.
3. What about homosexuals and AIDS?
Did God cause AIDS? No.
2Peter 3:9 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Romans 2:4 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
1Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Job 42:7 7 It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.
What about Romans 1:26-27? 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
There is a difference between making or causing someone to do wrong compared to allowing someone to do wrong. In my opinion AIDS is a natural consequence of doing something that God does not consider natural. Otherwise it would be very difficult to convince a homosexual on his deathbed, dying of AIDS, that God loves him.
4. Is God partial in that He would “punish” one and not another for the same sin? No.
Matthew 5:44-45 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Romans 2:11 11 For there is no partiality with God.
Colossians 3:25 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
5. Where does the confusion come in?
John 8:44 44 You [speaking to the Jews seeking to kill Him] are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
1Corinthians 14:33 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Peter 5:8 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Revelation 12:9 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Job 4:1-2 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, 2 “If one ventures a word with you, will you become impatient? But who can refrain from speaking?
6. Can I be “innocent” and yet my heart condemn me? Yes.
1John 3:19-20 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
Proverbs 28:26 26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.
7. Can a “Why?” be a result of my sin or in other words my own fault? Yes.
Romans 14:22-23 22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
Galatians 6:7-8 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
James 4:17 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Ezekiel 18:20 20 The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.
8. Can a “Why?” be caused by someone else? Yes.
What should one do?
Matthew 6:14-15 14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 18:21-22 21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Luke 17:3-4 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
9. Is Jesus aware of our “Why?” Yes.
Matthew 10:29-31 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Hebrews 4:13 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
10. What about the seemingly unanswerable “Why?”
Book of Job
Psalm 68:19 19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Luke 13:1-5 1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
2Corinthians 12:7-10 7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
1Peter 5:6-7 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
11. Can good come out of a “Why?” Yes.
Romans 8:28 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
John 14:15 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
2Corinthians 1:2-4 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
James 1:2-4 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
2Thessalonians 3:16 16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
12. Is it possible that a “Why?” won’t eventually matter? Yes.
Romans 8:18 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
1Corinthians 2:9 9 but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
Revelation 21:4 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
13. Does God want everyone to go to Heaven? Yes.
1Timothy 1:15 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
1Timothy 2:3-4 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1Timothy 4:10 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Titus 2:11 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,