Earthly punishment!?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Ok, I want to know what is the stance of the Coptic church on the issue of Earthly punishment.

Does God punish people for their sins on earth?
for example if you commit a sin will God do you harm because of your sin?

Please provide examples and facts about this issue; they help me understand more.


  • As far as I know, no. I think it's based on the belief that God does not return evil with evil. God corrects out of love, but will not punish until judgement day. The devil, however, may do that. Not as punishment, but to get you to attribute it to God. I'm saying this from personal experience.
  • We did discuss this a little while ago and I said the following..

    We shouldn't think of chastening as punishment. It is not punishment at all, even if it is sometimes hard to deal with.

    A football coach will chasten one of his players who is not performing well. He will make him run round the track. He will make him stay behind and do more repetitions. He will even shout at him. But this is not punishment. It is not punishment because it is not designed with justice in mind. It is designed with the health and wellbeing of the subject in mind.

    Punishment is for the sake of the one who is punishing. Chastisement is for the sake of the one being chastised.

    Chastisement has the dictionary meaning of refining and purifying. And this is what happens when we are chastened. Punishment takes place until the punishment is completed according to the judgement. Chastisement is dynamic and flexible. As we embrace the refining purpose of chastisment then it eases because it is not a punishment. Punishment would be God saying, you are going to have a month of terrible things happening because you deserve it. Chastisement would be God saying, I want you to learn to trust me and so we are going to go through this or that situation together until you do learn this lesson.

    We are chastened by God allowing situations to occur, or by God withdrawing from us so we have a sense of what it is like without him. But this is not punishment, even if it might look like it or feel like it. It has a different, entirely positive purpose, of healing us of our moral and spiritual sicknesses, and of making us stronger.

    When we are not being chastened then we should be more concerned. It is sometimes a sign that we are separated from God. Those whom he loves he chastens. We should not be afraid of being chastened, nor flee from the necessary lessons it teaches us. God will never ask more of us than he will give us grace to cope with.

    Father Peter
  • It depends, as people thaat need help to be guided into the right path, the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour assists us, it is like a wakeup call to us,
    Hope i helped :)
  • My earthly punishment is in knowing that Oprah is still on broadcast television.
  • Is suffering post-death/judgement day considered punishment?
    I get this question a lot in sunday school actually. If punishment is for the sake of the one who punishes, then what is the point in God creating a person who ends up refusing to repent and fullfilling God's commandments, to punish him/her later on for eternity?
  • God gives everyone a chance.
    we have free will.
    it is a big subject, i'm sure more people can comment on it!
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