Why are certain people punished immediately for their sins, and the rest are not?


Why are certain people punished immediately for their sins, and the rest are not?

It is true and obvious that certain people are punished immediately

for their sins, and the rest are not. If we look at the Biblical

evidences we see a systematic pattern in the judgments of God.

God is a righteous and a great Judge. Sometimes He executes

His Judgments immediately, but most of the time He waits. But none

escapes the final judgment of God. Whether one likes it or not:

We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to

God. (Romans 14:10, 12)

Yes, there is a day of reckoning for all.

Adam and Eve were supposed to die the same day they sinned.

God said:

For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely

die. (Genesis 2:17)

But why didn't Adam and Eve die that same day? A substitute stood

in their place! Jesus, the Son of God, declared that He would die in

their stead. Their punishment was deferred. They could even escape

it according to the provision devised in the plan of salvation.

God gave humanity another chance to come in-line with the

divine precepts. He would help them by His grace, and the power of

the Holy Ghost.

The life we now live is a life of probation. It is during this

period we either qualify or fail for Heaven. The Bible declares:

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

(Romans 3:23)

There is none righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10)

In God's sight, we are all on the same platform. Therefore His

kindness will extend to all, equally, for all are in the same boat of

sin; some are at the top of the boat, and some at the bottom of it!

Talking about the attitude of our Heavenly Father, Jesus said:

He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (Luke


Again Jesus said:

For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,

and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew


That is the reason why we see both-the righteous (believers) and

the wicked (unbelievers)-being protected, and provided with many

good things. Not because we are good, but because He is good!

The Psalmist understood the longsuffering and goodness of

God, and gratefully declared:

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded

us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10)

He is giving us so much time to repent and turn back. This is

where many are making a fatal mistake. Solomon wrote:

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed

speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully

set in them to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8:11)

Many have come to believe that God has now accepted the ways

of man, and has become more gracious, not knowing what could be

the reason for His longsuffering and goodness. Paul cried out:

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance

and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness

of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans 2:4)

Yes, because God wants all to come to repentance, He holds back

the due judgments. Nevertheless the natural course of every evil act

shows up in the fruits. What is sown is reaped. Paul wrote:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man

soweth, that shall he also reap.For he that soweth to his

flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. (Galatians 6:7, 8)

There have been cases, however, where God executed His swift

judgment, and there is a reason. If you notice these cases, it was

either because under great light they sinned, knowing what they were

doing, or it was an important person defying the God of Heaven.

Look at the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10). They

had seen the mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of

Pentecost. In all probability, they would have seen Christ while in

His public Ministry. They had witnessed and heard of the miracles

the disciples performed by the power of God. In spite of having all

the evidences before them they dared play a fatal trick. This was a

sin under great evidence and great light, and God had to execute a

speedy judgment. That act of God would be a reminder and an

example for the rest not to sin against great light.

Look at David's case when He took Bathsheba, Uriah's wife

(2 Samuel 11, and 12:15-19). The child that was born outside

wedlock, died soon after birth. But there are many children today,

too, who are born outside wedlock, and they are allowed to live.

Why was it different in David's case? He was a prophet of God, the

king of God's own country, and a man who had great light-therefore

the swift punishment!

Look at Nebuchadnezzar when he proudly declared in the

palace of his kingdom:

Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house

of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the

honour of my majesty? (Daniel 4:30)

God struck him, and for seven long years he was like unto a beast

eating grass as oxen. "His hairs were grown like eagles' feathers"

and "His nails like birds' claws" (Daniel 4:33).

Aren't many people like Nebuchadnezzar today? But why did

God strike him at once? He sinned under great light. God had given

him a special privilege. He had the great dream (in Daniel Chapter

2), and he had Daniel, the great prophet, interpret the dream. And

God had told Nebuchadnezzar through Daniel:

Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven

hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and

glory. (Daniel 2:37)

And Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged it:

The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is,

that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and

a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this

secret. (Daniel 2:47)

So God had to punish him swiftly when he made that proud statement.

Look at what happened to Herod in Acts Chapter 12. People

attributed his voice to that of a divine being, saying:

It is the voice of a God, and not of a man. And immediately

the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave

not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave

up the ghost. (Acts 12:22, 23)

This man, Herod, had the evidence of God's power in the lives and

works of the apostles. Having all these proofs, he took the glory that

belongs to God to himself, and therefore the swift judgment.

Also we have the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, who

offered strange fire in the sanctuary who were at once consumed by

God's judgment. They were priests that God directly appointed

while His visible presence was with them. They dared sin in God's

awesome physical presence and paid the price at once, right before

the Lord.

And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange

fire before the LORD. (Numbers 26:61)

Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament God acted

swiftly whenever He saw fit. When people in high positions and

those who have had great light commit such grave sins, God will act

swiftly, if not, their bad example will influence many under them.

It does not mean that we, common people, can do those grave

sins and yet escape judgment. If God decides, the judgment can

come down swiftly, as seen in the cases with many we know, even


But one thing is for sure: There is a final day of reckoning, and

each one will give a complete account to God. Listen to the wise

man in Ecclesiastes:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear

God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole

duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment,

with every secret thing, whether it be good, or

whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14)