Non-Denominational/curse of God


The Bible says that God would curse some men's sins to the 3rd and 4th generation. Does that mean that some of those generations have no chance of salvation? I thought every man had a free will to be saved?


There is a question waiting for you in the category of "Non-Denominational".

Hi Barney,

You are correct.  Salvation is available to all (Isa. 49:6, Acts 13:47, 1Tim. 2:4) and all men have free will (Deu. 30:15-19, Jer. 21:8, Rom. 8:6). [All scriptures are KJV unless noted otherwise.]

You asked about a statement made by God:  "You shall not bow down yourself to them [idols], nor serve them: for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Ex. 20:5, and repeated by God in Ex. 34:7, repeated by Moses in Nu. 14:18 and Deu. 5:9).

Are we accountable to God for the sins of our parents?  Will our children be held accountable to God for our sins?

God said "No".  "The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."  (Eze. 18:20, see also 1-32).

In the context of sin and the eternal life or eternal death of the soul, every person stands or falls on his or her own.

While death is a curse, not all curses involve physical or spiritual death.  Some curses are automatic, just like gravity is automatic.  Just because a sinner repents, does not mean that all of the physical or emotional consequences of his sins will be removed.  It is possible, but it is not likely, based on observation.

While a long-time alcoholic may repent of his excessive drinking begin to live a righteous life, he will still have the liver of an alcoholic and his children and grandchildren may tend to be alcoholics, and may bear physical or emotional scars of living with an abusive alcoholic.  The physical problems can be healed through anointing and the laying on of hands, but that appears to be very rare now.

Whether it is alcohol abuse, legal or illegal drug abuse, excessive use of steroids, sex with partners who have AIDS or other STDs, or regular tobacco use (the idolatry of addiction), the sin can be forgiven when there is true repentance, but the physical effects can be passed on to the third or fourth generation, both though environment and through one's genes.

Salvation is available to all.  Curses are also available to all, through the sins of our ancestors, our peers and ourselves.  Many say "(My personal sin) doesn't affect anyone but me."  That is never really true.

When Christ spoke of "no greater love has any man than this" by "laying down our lives for others" (Jn. 15:13), it was not about physically dying for others (although parents, siblings, military, police and firemen sometime do that, physically).   He was explaining that in spiritually crucifying our carnal nature (mind), and taking on the nature (mind) of Jesus Christ, shows a love for others.  Failure to do that, shows a lack of love (hate) towards others, because our sins are a curse on all those with whom we come into contact.  

By not repenting of our sins, we curse our own children and grandchildren.   

God does not have to do it on an individual basis, it's automatic.   We sin = we curse others, especially those of our own household.

We hope this helps.  If you have further questions on this or other topics, feel free to write anytime.


Mel and Guyna  
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Mel and Guyna Horne


We will direct you to the scriptures that can help you to answer for yourself, any serious question about the Bible, Christian Living, or Bible study. We can answer many questions about the history of the Christian churches and about comparative theology. We can discuss why many are leaving denominational, traditional and institutional churches to seek a real and meaningful relationship with God through personal Bible study, private prayers and meditation on God's word. Christian fellowship can be enjoyable and beneficial and teachers can sometimes be helpful, but salvation is between you and God through Christ, who died so that you can have direct access to God apart from any human priesthood (Heb.7:23-27).


Over 50 years of personal Bible study and research. Thirty years of working with church organizations, teaching, speaking and counseling. Ten years of working with those who do not attend institutional churches, those who have no available fellowship, and those who meet in house churches. Over a year of prison ministry. Fourteen years of answering questions at in other religion categories.

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"If a man would teach others, he must first teach himself." - Source Unknown. B.A. in Theology from an accredited University, over 50 years of personal study, the last 18 of which have been full time study and research resulting in publication of several books and many articles.

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