Why does God not punish the wicked on this earth?
#1
I’ve been trying to read the Bible every morning, and I keep seeing all these references, especially in the Old Testament, about God destroying the wicked. Is this referring to death and the afterlife, or destruction well on this earth? Scripture seems to imply that God is going to thwart the path of the wicked while they are on this earth, but I sure don’t see any evidence of that today. In fact I see the opposite; rich and evil people control the world with no consequences whatsoever, and their legacy continues long after they die as their evil minions carry out their plans even further.

Does God only punish the wicked in the next life? If so, that sure is a pretty strong argument against Christianity. It seems ludicrous to tell people to suffer and hope that they make it to heaven (since salvation is never guaranteed) while the wicked run roughshod all over us and God doesn’t intervene.

I feel like God is asking too much of us to suffer terribly while on this earth in poverty and misery while watching wicked people around us live abundant lives with their every need being attended to, all while we Christians hope we might squeak in to heaven someday. Heaven seems like a vain hope sometimes, and poor consolation for the suffering we endure on earth. Surely God knows how hard it is for humans to suffer even in the short term; how does he expect us to suffer on earth for a lifetime and still not have guaranteed salvation?

I mean, the basis of Christianity is literally “you will have a horrible life on this earth, you will be poor, you will suffer, you will die, you watch the wicked destroy your family, your children, and everything you ever hoped for, but don’t worry, after living a lifetime of suffering on this earth, you might get into heaven someday. Might.“

I’m sure some here will point out that Jesus was poor and suffered and died too, but he was God, and he took that suffering upon himself voluntarily to save the world. My suffering has no such value.

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#2
(01-14-2022, 08:57 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: I’m sure some here will point out that Jesus was poor and suffered and died too, but he was God, and he took that suffering upon himself voluntarily to save the world. 

And we can -- indeed, we are called to -- unite our own suffering to that Cross upon which Our Lord suffered and died. It is by doing so that our suffering in fact assumes value, through Him. 

Sent by dictation to a very clever monkey.
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#3
Not to derail the thread, but I love the creative variations of Tapatalk ads now :D


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St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pillar of Families, Glory of Domestic Life, Pray for Us!

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.
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#4
Today in Adoration, I will remember you in my prayers. My heart aches for you because so many of us have wondered at these things. Personally, I find comfort in the lives of the Saints, but also in people from history who inspire me. I attach a link for you I just randomly found on the Internet that gives a quick account of the life of one man I've found great inspiration from. He''s not a Saint, and might even be a bit of a heretic since he consorted with Jansenists in his day, but he had a private experience that he wrote down. When I am sad, I read his few lines that attempt to describe what he experienced. A great writer who was inadequate with words when trying to describe this personal divine intervention, which forever changed his life. His name is Blaise Pascal and here is the link:

https://thefederalist.com/2017/11/23/bla...ear-grace/

These words he wrote in a feeble attempt to describe what we can only surmise as a visit from the Divine Jesus, meant so much to him that he had this scrap of paper sewn into his doublet so it would be as near his heart for the remainder of his life. Alas, it was upon his death that they found it on his person in his clothes. 

The line in particular that may help you is as follows (and I highly recommend the link to read the full text, which is short):

"Eternally in joy for a day''s exercise on earth."

We do not yet comprehend how fleeting our suffering here is. He experienced true eternity in that moment, so it appears, and realized how brief our time is. It is as if he is saying: what an easy trade! 2 minutes in pain here for an eternity of  ineffable joy!

The article in the link shows both sides to the argument of Pascal and his vision, and is fair in my opinion. But I'm not writing about that. I'm writing about how we can endure these dark moments and for me, reading things like this inspire me and remind me of God's personal care in each of our lives that cannot be experienced by others as it's too subjective. We can't know if what Pascal saw was true, but we can be encouraged.

Take heart friend.
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#5
well, you know, i don't know how to put all this together so i'm just going to put down a few thoughts without trying to connect them, so here goes...

if we say that abraham lived around 2200 bc then all the post-flood examples in holy writ of the punishment of the wicked took place over more than two millennia, and i mean one instance that comes to mind is ahab and jezebel martyring some two hundred prophets who wouldn't sacrifice to heathen gods and ahab reigned for decades afterwards. there's an elvis song called "run on" that goes "you may run on for a long time but let me tell you god almighty's gonna cut you down." ahab and jezebel ran on for a long time but in the end ahab was killed while wearing a disguise and jezebel was torn apart by wild dogs

another thing is that it seems to be a mystery of our holy religion that god seems to only punish those he loves, although i forget the verse in st. paul that alludes to this. i remember reading someone say "i would not spend one night in the house of a man who had never suffered," so i mean, as far as i'm concerned when i see the wicked prosper it just makes me fearful for them, like they're really running up a big bill and they're not going to like it when it comes due and it will come due sooner or later

and i have to say, when i look at my past conduct, and all the temptations i'm still prey to, i'm thankful god doesn't punish the wicked as i would like him to, or i would certainly be in hell now... so i try to remember to always give thanks to the lord that he has been so merciful to me and implore his mercy for others

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#6
A priest told us during an SSPX retreat that God grants temporal blessings to worldly people because they are going to hell and this is the only way God can reward them for the good things they do in this life.
"[I]t is vain to hope to attract souls to God by a bitter zeal."  Pope St. Pius X.

"If anyone deludes himself by thinking he is serving God, when he has not learned to control his tongue, the service he gives is vain.  If he is to offer service pure and unblemished in the sight of God, who is our Father, he must take care of orphans and widows in their need, and keep himself unstained by the world."  James 1:26-27.
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#7
(01-14-2022, 02:51 PM)Clare Brigid Wrote: A priest told us during an SSPX retreat that God grants temporal blessings to worldly people because they are going to hell and this is the only way God can reward them for the good things they do in this life.

And its a certainty they are going to hell? Are you sure this wasn't a Calvinist retreat? :-)
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#8
Yes, worldly people who are not in a state of grace are going to hell.

Don't be a brazen beeyatch.
"[I]t is vain to hope to attract souls to God by a bitter zeal."  Pope St. Pius X.

"If anyone deludes himself by thinking he is serving God, when he has not learned to control his tongue, the service he gives is vain.  If he is to offer service pure and unblemished in the sight of God, who is our Father, he must take care of orphans and widows in their need, and keep himself unstained by the world."  James 1:26-27.
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#9
(01-14-2022, 08:57 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: I mean, the basis of Christianity is literally “you will have a horrible life on this earth, you will be poor, you will suffer, you will die, you watch the wicked destroy your family, your children, and everything you ever hoped for, but don’t worry, after living a lifetime of suffering on this earth, you might get into heaven someday. Might.“

I don't see it that way at all.  Christianity shows us the way to approach and deal with all that suffering that will be here regardless.  Sincerely following the Word transforms us so that we can share in His divinity. 

And that transformative process benefits us greatly in the here and now, as well as allowing us to "get into heaven".
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#10
(01-14-2022, 08:57 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: Does God only punish the wicked in the next life? If so, that sure is a pretty strong argument against Christianity. It seems ludicrous to tell people to suffer and hope that they make it to heaven (since salvation is never guaranteed) while the wicked run roughshod all over us and God doesn’t intervene.
No, the wicked have no true happiness in this life either, but our rewards are chiefly in the next life. That is not at all a strong argument against Christianity. Salvation is indeed guaranteed provided we coöperate with grace and persevere to the end, which itself is a grace that we can pray for. Our salvation is not outside of what we can reach with God's help.
Quote:I feel like God is asking too much of us to suffer terribly while on this earth in poverty and misery while watching wicked people around us live abundant lives with their every need being attended to, all while we Christians hope we might squeak in to heaven someday. Heaven seems like a vain hope sometimes, and poor consolation for the suffering we endure on earth. Surely God knows how hard it is for humans to suffer even in the short term; how does he expect us to suffer on earth for a lifetime and still not have guaranteed salvation?

I mean, the basis of Christianity is literally “you will have a horrible life on this earth, you will be poor, you will suffer, you will die, you watch the wicked destroy your family, your children, and everything you ever hoped for, but don’t worry, after living a lifetime of suffering on this earth, you might get into heaven someday. Might.“

I’m sure some here will point out that Jesus was poor and suffered and died too, but he was God, and he took that suffering upon himself voluntarily to save the world. My suffering has no such value.

Sent from my Browning Automatic Rifle
The virtue of hope consists in expecting to reach Heaven with God's help. It does not mean "hope" as in "I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow", but rather, I am confident that I will make it with God's help. That's the Christian attitude.
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