Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
Attention!
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Dictionaries
Punishment

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Search for…
or
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
Prev Entry
Psalms, Book of
Next Entry
Purification
Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

As the supreme Lord and the perfect judge, God is the source of all justice. He loves what is good and is the giver of all blessings (Zephaniah 3:5; Matthew 19:17; James 1:17). He also hates what is evil and requires just punishment on the sins that people commit (Psalms 94:1-2; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30).

Order in society

God desires that human society function justly and orderly. Therefore, he has given to human beings the responsibility to administer justice in society and to carry out fitting punishments on wrongdoers (Romans 13:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-14; see GOVERNMENT).

Such punishments must always be just. They must not be relaxed to favour people of power and influence such as the rich; nor must they be imposed rashly to take advantage of defenceless people such as the poor (Exodus 23:3; Exodus 23:6; cf. Romans 2:11; James 2:6). Always the punishment must be in proportion to the crime (Exodus 21:22-25; Deuteronomy 25:1-13; Galatians 6:7). Where the wrongdoing involves loss or damage, the wrongdoer should compensate the person who suffers the loss or damage (Exodus 22:1-6; Luke 19:8).

Punishment of wrongdoers should be carried out primarily because they deserve it, not because the ruling authorities want to use them to teach others a lesson (Deuteronomy 13:10; Deuteronomy 19:19; Deuteronomy 25:2; Luke 23:41; Hebrews 2:2). If, however, the punishment serves to warn others or reform the wrongdoer, so much the better (Deuteronomy 13:11; Deuteronomy 19:20).

Eternal punishment

Being a holy and righteous judge, God must punish sin (John 5:26-29; Romans 2:1-6). But God’s holiness and righteousness are not separate from his love. He has therefore provided a way of salvation so that when people repent of their sins and trust in his mercy, they can receive forgiveness. Christ bears the punishment of their sins for them (Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24; see JUDGMENT; PROPITIATION). Those who repent are forgiven and receive eternal life. Those who refuse to repent remain unforgiven and suffer eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

The word ‘eternal’ indicates the nature, rather than the length of time, of the life or punishment. They belong to the eternal and spiritual world in contrast to the temporal and material world. Nevertheless, there is a terrible endlessness about the punishment, as Jesus clearly pointed out (Mark 9:43-48; see HELL).

There is no indication in the Bible that God’s judgment of condemnation on the wicked will be reversed. The judgment is final, and therefore the punishment is eternal (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 13:41-42; John 3:36; Romans 2:5-11). The punishment is not for the purpose of correction. It is for the purpose of carrying out the penalty that the person, because of his sin, deserves (1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 16:6).

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Punishment'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​bbd/​p/punishment.html. 2004.
 
adsfree-icon
Ads FreeProfile