Why does God punish people

Why does God punish people when he forgives everything?

"Christ not only took on our sin, but also the punishment for it."

The view that God forgives everything but still punishes people is not found in the Bible. In the early Christian community it was still believed that God forgives sin (1 John 1: 9) because Christ bore the penalty for it. Therefore the believer need not fear punishment (1 John 4:18; Isaiah 53: 5).

This seemed too easy to later theologians. So they developed the following idea: God forgives the guilt and declares people righteous on the basis of his belief in Christ's sacrifice, but the sinner still has to "atone" (through ritual prayers, sacrifices, pilgrimages or other religious achievements).

In the 4th century Augustine developed the doctrine of purgatory from this: After his death, believers are punished in fire for their sins, even though they have been forgiven. The church has been teaching since the 6th century: Through masses - the relatives pay for the dead and celebrate priests - the time of punishment can be shortened and the believer can go to heaven earlier (this of course meant that the rich could shorten their suffering in purgatory ). On the other hand, all who have not received forgiveness go to hell. There they must suffer forever.

However, as the scriptures mentioned above show, Christ has them too punishment taken upon ourselves for our sins. We no longer need to suffer for our guilt, therefore, when God has forgiven us. And according to Isaiah 1:18 and Proverbs 28:13, God forgives everything - if we ask! However, if a person is completely indifferent to what God says about his behavior, he continues to lie and cheat unabashedly, he kills and torments without remorse, if he is full of hatred and envy and he doesn't care about the good, God will hold him accountable (Romans 2,4-8). After all, God is righteous and will therefore do justice. And that's what we want ourselves to do too - especially when the injustice of others hits us personally.

God only forgives us our guilt when we sincerely repent of our behavior, but also our evil thoughts and feelings, when we are sad about what we have caused (2 Corinthians 7:10). However, many are just about that consequences sad about their behavior, but neither regret it nor change it. You have no real remorse and would do evil again. You can tell when they justify themselves, try to talk themselves out of it, play the buck to others or cover up the matter with lies - a clear sign that they actually don't really regret it.

But if we repent of our guilt, confess it before God and ask for forgiveness, then He forgives us. We can trust this because God has promised it. We also feel this because Christ then frees us from feelings of guilt and adjusts our world of thoughts and feelings. Through this experience of the love of Jesus we know that God will not punish and condemn us (1 John 4:16, 17), but has given us eternal life (1 John 5: 11-13).