“But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:8).
I’m struggling with this verse just a bit. Do non-Christians get chastened (disciplined)? I’m not sure, because of the second phrase “of which all have become partakers”. Is the “all” just Christians, or is it everyone? When I hear “all” that’s what I think. But, that can’t be possible, because that would make everyone sons. But still, it seems like even in the natural process of life everyone receives some discipline. Like with Romans 1:27.
Anyhow, I’m just trying to understand if God disciplines those outside the church?
The last I checked, non-Christians tend to have their shares of difficulties. In fact, their hardships tend to be greater than the hardships of a Christian because their own sins cause them misery. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Adversity pursues sinners, but the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity" (Proverbs 13:20-21).
The difference in Hebrews 12:8 is the writer is focused on the hardships that all Christians face. Those hardships are designed to build our character and strengthen our endurance. "He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).
The hardships of the wicked ought to be a wake-up call to change their lives, but the lessons never register. "The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble" (Proverb 4:18). Instead of improving, they become worse. "Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; he who hates reproof will die" (Proverbs 15:10).