Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ticket to Heaven, Forgive!

But the world, the flesh, and the devil don't forgive sins and they don't forget sins. In this, there is real danger.

Every heart needs godly repentance, forgiveness,
and love. It's the narrow road we seek....”

God forgives perfectly and God forgets perfectly.” I like to tell this to my friends who confess they are bothered by the guilt of past sins. But the world, the flesh, and the devil don't forgive sins and they don't forget sins. In this, there is real danger.

Daily, we see politicians, the establishment, the world, the media, government, business, even the church, seek out the sins or alleged sins of a target to proclaim--for excitement, sexual intrigue, or character assassination. No matter, how true or false. No matter the details. No matter how deep in the past. No matter how previously resolved, or forgiven, or paid for. No matter the consequences.

It's too easy a task to condemn others!

For there is none sinless. No, not one. And it's just as much fun to go into a feeding frenzy over someone else's sins, be they true or totally contrived.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and and the truth is not in us,” says John the Apostle (1 John 1:8 NIV). Have you ever met some goodly persons who claim to be without sin? There's nothing more nauseating.

God has a reply for the contrite.

I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15 NIV).

Jesus told us about the tax collector who prayed beating his breast, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13 NIV).

Forgiveness demands repentance.

Think of the repentance of King David, (politician) who committed adultery and murder, (2 Sam 12); the sinful woman (unwed mother) who washed and kissed the feet of Jesus in repentance (Luke 7); the woman (harlot) taken in adultery, about to be stoned (John 8); the last minute thief (criminal) on the cross who accepted Jesus (Luke 23).

Think of the denial of Peter (church leader) (Matt 26); of Paul (evangelist), guilty for the persecution, arrest, and death of the early Christians (Acts 8:3, ch 9, 22:4, 26:10). All these are forgiven.

Those who accuse falsely or even seek out the resolved sins of others are guilty of slander. People create their own slander, and they believe their own slander they create.

God has a reply for slander.

Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10 NIV).

Jesus warns us to forgive.

Jesus wants us to look on others with the same love as he looks on us. The same love, that we want for ourselves.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt 6:14-15 NIV).

It is a serious mistake with eternal consequences not to forgive others with the love of Jesus. There's no one in Heaven who bears a grudge!

--Bill Hunt

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