Monday, December 7, 2009

Forgiveness…

Mark 11:25…“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

Matthew 6:15…“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Taken literally, these scriptures would not make much sense. Consider that God is love (1 John 4:16) and God directs us to forgive others….but then if we don’t….he doesn’t forgive us? Does that make sense to you? It sounds hypocritical to me, and I know God is not that. I’m convinced that these scriptures are really talking about fellowshipping with God, communing with God. You see, God doesn’t change (Mal 3:6). In Him is no shadow of turning (James 1:17). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). For us to commune with God, we have to go where He is. You might say that God lives on that narrow road that Jesus speaks about in Matthew 7:14. Indeed, if we fail to forgive, hold grudges and ill will, etc, we cannot stay on that narrow path because it is the path of love, light, and life. Indeed, anytime we allow bitterness, hatred, ill will, anger, vindictiveness to control us, we are tormented (gnashing of teeth), and you might say, cast out into outer darkness. We will stay there until we learn otherwise (pay the last penny).

Personally, I don’t think these scriptures relate to salvation. If you truly have accepted God’s provision…namely Christ....you are saved. That doesn’t mean you will not fail at times. What that does mean, though, is at times you will fall out of true fellowship with God. Hopefully we will notice very quickly, repent, and enter back into fellowship with Him.

Matthew 18:34-35… In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Matthew 5:25…"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.”

Matthew 13:34…Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.