TEXT: Matthew 6:14-15
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Chuck Swindoll said, “We are most like beasts when we kill. We are most like men when we judge. We are most like God when we forgive.”
Last week, we talked about the importance of forgiveness in the body of Christ and in the larger society. Those who have offended should confess their sins and seek forgiveness. Those who have been offended should be ready to freely forgive as Christ forgives us. Those who have offended should repent and seek to not offend again.
People are often encouraged to forgive others, to “let it go,” as a way of freeing themselves from the burden of animosity, bitterness, and resentment toward others. But, as we look around at our society today, it seems that many are not getting the message.
Now we have politicians openly calling for and applauding the public harassment of government officials with whom they disagree. (And the last time I checked, disagreement was not a trespass.) We have individuals on both sides of the political spectrum treating their opponents like mortal enemies, heedless to the Bible’s command to “rejoice not when thine enemy falleth.” According to statistics, 20% of relationships end because of unresolved issues that leave one or both parties angry. The number of road rage incidents that end in death have increased at a rate of 7% each year; and 37% of those fatalities occur not as a result of a car crash, but as a result of the driver getting out of his car and using a weapon to attack the person he is angry with.
What many of these people don’t realize is that their disposition toward others in this matter is the same disposition that they should expect from God. Jesus said, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, then your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This verse is self-explanatory. You can’t expect forgiveness if you won’t extend forgiveness. Forgiveness is not necessarily forgetting, reconciling, condoning, or dismissing. Forgiveness is a transaction that releases you, the one offended, from the offense. When you forgive, you are no longer bound in the grip of another person’s sin.
John MacArthur writes, “Failure to forgive will bring at least four unpleasant results for the believer. First, failure to forgive will imprison believers in their past. Second, unforgiveness produces bitterness. Third, unforgiveness gives Satan an open door. Fourth, unforgiveness hinders fellowship with God. A person who forgives has a concern for the Lord, a concern for people, a concern for fellowship, a concern for knowledge, a concern for glory, and a concern to be a blessing.”
Make a determination to be a forgiving person today. If you do so, you are setting yourself up for blessing and continued fellowship with God. You will also be setting an example in a world which desperately needs daily demonstrations of forgiveness.
One hymnist wrote:
Christ the Lord our debt has paid—
All our sins on Him were laid;
We like Him should try to live,
Always ready to forgive!
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.