From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

Sins of the Fathers

Isaiah 55:8+9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (NIV)

The big difference between the believer and the unbeliever is that the believer belongs to the Universe as a whole and not just the Earth. The Universe is God’s reference to life. It is vast beyond description and while it is impossible to image it just keeps on going; it is equally difficult to think there are boundaries to it.

If our thoughts struggle with the enormous sizes and distances involved in the creation, it is equally amazing at the detail in the very small. It can be easily concluded that the thoughts of God have no boundaries and the attention to detail is precise as it takes into account the smallest possible thing.

The believer has access to God’s way of thinking because we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

The Bible is the mind of Christ and The Word of God, (Hebrews 4:12) in it is the thoughts that express the limitlessness of God and his attention to detail.

If we encounter a seemingly insurmountable problem, then he has a solution. We are not likely to come across a problem that God can’t solve, it will have to be his first failure.

God causes the sun to shine on good and the evil, he makes it rain on both the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)  Everyone gets the same treatment; God is seen not to initially discriminate between believers and unbelievers.

The difference is that the believers have the opportunity to place faith in God as an after salvation privilege, while he unbeliever has not.

Whatever the problem; there is a solution for the believers. This is the difference between the believers and the unbelievers, only believers can understand the way God thinks because we have joined his universe.

A difficult emotional situation is the death of a child. Because the sun shines and the rain pours on everyone, this happens to believers and unbelievers. A tragic event today or at any other time that seems to have no solution, however there was a time when the Jews knew the solution and may still do. But if they worship idols instead of God he would not apply it.

The Ten Commandments were given to Moses at Mount Sinai and the second one prohibits the worship of idols, which would mean they have rejected (or hated) God and found a substitute.

The commandment states that if you sin in this way and this continues from generation to generation then God will punish the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.

Every person who reaches the ability to be accountable has to make up their own minds, decide for themselves.

Every responsible person lives or dies on what he or she decides. Therefore this curse can only apply to those who either die at a young age or are mentally incapable of such an important decision.

There has always been a certain mortality rate of children while they are very young. While it has always been a sad moment for all concerned, believers can apply faith that God has applied the solution to this tragic event.

While the solution is not written in The Bible, it can be understood through some knowledge of the way God thinks.

The punishment of hating God is no salvation and separation from him forever. Believers who are not under this punishment consider a life in Hell to be the worst thing that can possibly happen.

Because the punishment does not kick in till the third or fourth generation, it means that the first and second generation are not affected by this punishment and under certain condition neither is the third.

To believe in Jesus Christ is to love God, to reject him it to hate God. This principle has always been the same. It was so even before the Cross when salvation was only a promise and Jesus Christ was known as the Messiah.

So, how does this work?

Gwen and Fred get married and at least one of them is a believer.

They have a baby and it dies at a very young age. According to the curse the third or fourth generation of those that hate God will have their children punished for the sin of the father.

However in the case of Gwen and Fred at least one loves God; therefore they are the first generation so this curse does not apply.

Gwen and Fred have other children and at least one is an unbeliever and he or she marries an unbeliever. This unbelieving couple has a child who also dies at a very young age.

While Gwen and Fred along with the parents are devastated at another tragedy, this child is the second generation from someone who loves God. The punishment is not applied to the second generation and the curse is avoided in this case also.

If another of the next generation was to suffer under similar circumstances and now Gwen and Fred are Great Grandparents (third generation) and because they are still alive, the curse will extend to the fourth generation. They could comforted by knowing the curse of the sin of the father is not passed on to this child too.

The conclusion we can make is that any believing Parent, Grandparent and Great Grandparent whose has an immediate family member who dies at a young age, that child is not punished for the sins of its father.

 So if the curse is avoided, what happens to these children? The answer is that they are saved and belong to God’s universe to live with him forever; it is the least God can do for his people. Gwen and Fred are assured that their shortness of life did not cause these children to miss out on the salvation they enjoy.

God has always known these tragedies will happen, so he chose for this couple a person who was always going to believe so he or she will be saved.

Not only this but he has always known how this child would have grown up and how he or she would have lived their lives here on earth had the length of their time been longer.

Therefore the rewards this person will receive in Heaven is based on a life that would have occurred.

Today there are thousands of small children dying in poverty stricken countries and in refugee situations, what about them?

If their parents are unbelievers and come from line of unbelievers they have no interest in the salvation of their children, these children come under the curse of Exodus Chapter 20 and are not saved.

However anyone can break the chain and if there is a child who will do this God will make sure he or she lives long enough to make that commitment.

No-one, not a single person will miss out on Heaven if they will humble themselves before God and believe in Jesus Christ.

Trevor Topsfield


Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.


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