I recently heard this popular view: "There are consequences for sin, but God is loving so He never punishes anyone."
It's true there are consequences for sin. But God determines those consequences and they vary according to a man's motives, opportunities, and influence (Luke 12:47-48).*
Some people prefer to differentiate between the words punish and discipline because there is no eternal punishment for believers. That's a wonderful truth!
However, the Bible warns believers of earthly punishment as well as earthly discipline.
For thousands of years, Christians never doubted this aspect of God's character. But modern culture defines love as unconditional tolerance and acceptance, and Christians have come to believe that God not only forgives their sins, He also overlooks their sins. Not true.
God is incredibly patient and merciful not punishing us to the extent we deserve (Psalm 103:8-14), but He still "disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child." Hebrews 12:6
The question we each must answer is this: Do we trust our loving God to know what's best for us (Revelation 3:19)?
* But we must be very careful not to assign blame when a person is going through hardship unless the hardship is a direct result of an obvious sin. See No Karma and What Did They Do to Deserve This?
To read more Scriptures on this subject and do a short Bible study, check out today's Bite Size Bible Study.