Non-Denominational/Curses of God
The bible says God will curse some to the 4th generation. Does that mean some have no chance of salvation?
You asked a good question; one that has puzzled many.
The generations to come who experience the penalty of the fathersí sins are those who hate God. We are not told how the fathersí sins become the childrenís sins. But what we are told is that when the fatherís sins are visited on the children it is because the children are really sinful. That is the form in which the fathersí sins are visited. Therefore, all judgment is really deserved by the person who is punished.
On the other hand, because of Godís grace, which is finally secured by Christ, the children can confess their own sins and the sins of their fathers and be forgiven and accepted by God.
You know the verses in the Bible that speak of visiting the sins of the Fathers upon their descendents, even unto the 3rd and 4th generations. You also know verses that say that the sons shall not be made to suffer for the iniquities of the fathers, or vice versa. Itís like this: the sins that the Lord visits unto the 3rd and 4th generations are those sins that are not dealt with in the generation they occur.
The Old Testament, which most born again Christians dispose of, gave a very good judicial system for man to follow. If a person was convicted with the proper number of witnesses, he was convicted and suffered according to Godís Law. The sonís did not do the crime, so they didnít suffer the consequences. However, on those sins that were done in secret and never revealed and concealed, this is societyís sin, and that generationís hidden sins will be visited upon subsequent generations. Idol worship is obvious. If the Idol Worshippers were not executed, the sin would be visited upon the 3rd and 4th generations. If, for example, a murder was committed and no perpetrator was found the blood that was spilled would cry out to God and he would curse the land, if they did not do their best to find the culprit and performed the ritual to absolve themselves of this. Interracial breeding is another.
The guilty are the ones who will suffer the consequences. If your grandfather was a sex addict and your dad was one too, and you decide to follow in their footsteps, you will have to face God one day and suffer the consequences! However if you decide not to be influenced by your grandfatherís and dadís influence, and you decide to obey God instead, no condemnation will be held against you!
Here's the verse again...
"Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus: 20:5, 6)
Please note that there are only two groups mentioned here. It is these two groups that get the reward-be it positive or negative. It is important to note that God does not say that those who don't know Him will receive the curse but, rather, those who "hate" Him. You cannot hate a person or love a person unless you know that person. Obviously, the ones who have known God, and deliberately reject Him after seeing His goodness, deserve to be cut off from His goodness. But God says this rebellious action will have an influence, or bearing, only till the third or fourth generation. But on the other hand, you need to see the goodness of God; He says the influence of a good action will have a bearing unto thousands, or "a thousand generation" (Deuteronomy 7:9). So we see clearly that God takes pleasure only in the bestowal of good things and not in the negative aspect. What a merciful God we serve!
ONE MIGHT SAY: Is it fair for the next two or three generations to be punished for the actions of their ancestors? But I ask you-Is it fair for a thousand generation to receive blessings for the action of their ancestors? We have no complaints on the blessings part! Why then complain on the punishment that is relatively insignificant?
Before we proceed, let us consider man's judgment. There have been many bandits, terrorists and various criminals who have been punished for their crimes in our earthly courts. But their children or descendents, who have not participated in their crimes, are not punished. If man can use discretion and be just in his judgment, how much more the all-knowing and merciful Judge of Heaven!
I hope this helps Barney. Please message again with any further confusion.