If we are in Christ, we need not fear that we will be exiled from the blessed presence of God forever. However, God may still discipline us for our sin, and we may feel the effects of His disciplinary rod on the covenant community just as the righteous remnant went into exile along with the unfaithful Israelites. But if we live a life of repentance, we will learn from the Lord’s discipline and experience joy even in our pain and struggle.
“It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). Sometimes God shakes the church when He brings judgment, punishing those who falsely claim to believe and disciplining those who truly confess Jesus as the resurrected Lord. Righteous men living in wicked nations may also suffer when the Lord judges those nations. We should not be dismayed at this, but trust God’s sovereign wisdom that is working to renew once for all His fallen creation.