Are We Accountable For the Sins Of Past Generations?


It doesn't matter if you never invaded this native american continent or any of your living relatives, etc. did or whatever other horrible event happened in the past. As Believer's in Jesus Christ, we are  accountable for the iniquities that our deceased family members participated in.

Each generation reaps what the previous generations have sown unless there is repentance all the way back to Adam and all the way back to Eve. This breaks generational curses.

The Lord...visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:6-7, Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

Leviticus 26:39-41:
39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.

40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;

41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:

The generations to come who experience the penalty of the fathers’ sins are those who hate God.

We are not told how the fathers’ sins become the children’s sins. But what we are told is that when the father’s sins are visited on the children it is because the children are really sinful. That is the form in which the fathers’ sins are visited. Therefore, all judgment is really deserved by the person who is punished.

The Bible mentions “generational curses” in several places (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9). God warns that He is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”

It sounds unfair for God to punish children for the sins of their fathers. However, there is more to it than that. The effects of sin are naturally passed down from one generation to the next. When a father has a sinful lifestyle, his children are likely to practice the same sinful lifestyle. Implied in the warning of Exodus 20:5 is the fact that the children will choose to repeat the sins of their fathers. A Jewish Targum specifies that this passage refers to “ungodly fathers” and “rebellious children.” So, it is not unjust for God to punish sin to the third or fourth generation – those generations are committing the same sins their ancestors did.

There is a trend for Believers to try to blame every sin and problem on some sort of generational curse. This is not biblical. God’s warning to visit iniquity on future generations is part of the Old Testament Law. A generational curse was a consequence for a specific nation (Israel) for a specific sin (idolatry). The history books of the Old Testament (especially Judges) contain the record of this divine punishment meted out.

The cure for a generational curse has always been repentance. When Israel turned from idols to serve the living God, the “curse” was broken and God saved them (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). Yes, God promised to visit Israel’s sin upon the third and fourth generations, but in the very next verse He promised that He would show “love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). In other words, God’s grace lasts a thousand times longer than His wrath.

For the Christian who is worried about a generational curse, the answer is repentance all the way back to Adam and all the way back to Eve, then accept the free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

After you repent and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). How can a child of God still be under God’s curse (Romans 8:1)? The cure for a “generational curse” is repentance of the sin in question, faith in Christ, and a life consecrated to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2).

Because of God’s grace, which is finally secured by Jesus Christ, the children can confess their own sins and the sins of their forefathers generations and be forgiven and accepted by God. This breaks ALL generational curses.


With a humble heart, go before the Lord.


Tell the Lord: "Father, I repent for all the iniquities of my family member all the way back to Adam and all the way back to Eve. Father, I ask you to break ALL generational curses in my life and the lives of my children (if you have children) AMEN." God is faithful to hear and answer the prayers of the righteous in Him.



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