“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons” (Hebrews 12:6-8).
God’s express purpose of correction is to learn obedience.
Only sons and daughters of God will receive correction. To those who are not God’s children, chastening, discipline, and correction for the Lord’s sake are anathema. Of Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God, it is recorded:
“For Jesus, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong cryings and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared, though being a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8).
God’s express purpose of correction is to learn obedience. Those who love God will willingly receive that correction from whichever direction or by whatever channel or vehicle it may come; it does not matter to the one seeking to be obedient to God. Those who have been chastened by the Lord know well the reward:
“Now chastening for the present does not seem to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
There are many religious people in this world, who profess faith in and love for the Lord Jesus Christ, but when confronted with their need for correction, they display their true colors, exposed as those who wish to talk but will not walk. Of these Jesus said:
“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your Name, and through Your Name throw out demons, and through Your Name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22-23)
Lawlessness. The opposite of obedience. Here were many who did great works “for the Lord” and all He saw was not obedience but lawlessness, or as the King James puts it, “iniquity.” The religious world is full of “good works” and sacrifices in the Name of the Lord or of their gods, but God is not deceived:
“‘Tell me,’ Samuel said. ‘Does the LORD really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey Him'” (1 Samuel 15:22 CEV).
Correction is the chosen way to God.
“Offerings and sacrifices are not what You want. The way to please You is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts. This is the kind of sacrifice You won’t refuse” (Psalms 51:16-17 CEV).
Correction is the chosen way to God. Those who are willing to humble themselves will receive correction and learn obedience. Those who are serving other gods and agendas will be weeded out, refusing the chastening rod, refusing to relinquish their right to themselves, which is the essence of sin.
However, one will find that they may be quite willing to go to church, sing in choirs, serve on church boards and committees, operate a “spiritual” web site, talk about God, read the Bible, and even preach on street corners and go door-to-door, witnessing for their church, pastor and visiting evangelist. They will fast, pray and even tithe, but they will not receive correction because they are not sons of correction. What does the Lord have to say about their wonderful works? Here it is:
“I, the LORD, hate and despise your religious celebrations and your times of worship. I won’t accept your offerings or animal sacrifices– not even your very best. No more of your noisy songs! I won’t listen when you play your harps. But let justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry” (Amos 5:21-24 CEV).
To the sons of correction, those with faith, Jesus said:
“So likewise you, when you shall have done all the things commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, for we have done what we ought to do” (Luke 17:10).
Sons of rebellion say to those in the authority of God, “You are not going to tell me what to do! I have my rights, my dignity; I am my own person. Who are you to tell me what to do?” They find it easy to say these things to those who are sent by the Unseen Authority. They do not find it so easy to say to those who come in the name of temporal authorities, like the police or government rulers. How will anyone know if God is sending one to speak and direct? Jesus made it plain:
“If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself” (John 7:17).
Once a rebel against God, but no longer, by His grace,