Q18: Will God Allow Our Disobedience and Idolatry to Go Unpunished?

New City Catechism: Question 18

Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor of Parkside Church outside of Cleveland, Ohio, answers the question, "Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?”

Ephesians 5:5-6 (ESV)

5For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous ( that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

We can respond to question eighteen with the following answer: no, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness, and goodness of God, and against His righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in His just judgment both in this life, and in the life to come.

Alistair said we cannot escape the punishment of sin and idolatry. God will judge sin once and for all. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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One day, God will judge sin and evil. It’s a fixed day where God will punish sinners with utter fairness, and His verdict will be final.

Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through Ephesians 5:5–6. Take a moment to reflect on what it means for God to punish sin. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of God’s judgment, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize Ephesians 5:5–6. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you follow Him.

 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here