Five

 
Forgiveness

The Act Of Forgiving... What Did Jesus Really Say About Forgiving Others?

I recently read an article which was sent to me by way of email from, "got questions.org." Either they lacked understanding or they are New Agers telling partial truths.

"Partial truth" is the same as a lie. I'll list a few excerpts from this article to make my point.

If I seem to come across as a bit angry, I am! So please be forgiving towards me as I am tired of those who misuse the teachings of Jesus. New Age Teachers are crafty. Jesus warned us many times. Their article comes across as holy, kind, sweet and many other descriptive words that describe methods that false teachers use. Some of them do it out of ignorance, some are deliberate.

This is from their article:

The question they pose: "Since God does not forgive until a person confesses/repents, does that mean we can withhold forgiveness from those who sin against us until they confess/repent?"

Excerpt from the answer they gave:

They wrote: As Christians we are certainly obligated to forgive others who sin against us when they are repentant if we are to expect God to forgive us when we sin against Him (Matthew 6:14-15, 18:23-35; Mark 11:25, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:31-32, Colossians 3:13).

In the paragraph above, the writer mentioned the key words but then in the article they failed to apply them in their teaching article... the very principal, upon which, Jesus apparently based HIS lesson. I'll repeat Jesus' qualifier... "when they are repentant!"

Pay careful attention to the phrase that I highlighted and underlined in the sentence above.

On this page I will simply respond to this one point. Follow this scenario:
Let's say a person rapes and kills your daughter. This person does not earnestly confess and repent of the act. Let's say they just uttered a few words asking forgiveness or some such apology... or perhaps said nothing at all. Let's say you just do as the writer of the attached article suggests you must do in order for you to be forgiven by God of your sins.

Let's say that this killer doesn't even know God. In other words he is not a "Brother" in Christ. He never repented. That person remains the same but you forgive him/her unconditionally. You even ask for leniency and the judge lets this person out of prison in a few years. This murdering, rapist has your forgiveness and the judge exercised pity and in light of your attitude, gives the person a light sentence... A few years later, he comes back and kills your other child and 10 other people who are at your child's birthday party. Let's say that a few of the adults who were killed had not yet accepted Christ and they are condemned to hell. Now their souls are lost eternally because you did not understand Jesus' teachings. You listened to a New Age devil, a wayward preacher or a website that did not teach the true word of God. Now YOU are guilty of being an accomplice to murder! The blood is now on your hands!

As far as I can see, you are responsible for the lives of these innocent people and all the lives that were ruined by your blind ignorance of bible scripture and lack of understanding of Jesus' teaching. You didn't know that Jesus said that you must forgive ONLY if the sinner is "a "Brother" and if he sincerely repents." Most folks don't seem to know the definition of "repent." To "repent" means to earnestly change and vow to never repeat that transgression... the person will be grieved that they committed the foul and honestly promise to themselves and to God they will change and never repeat that sin. That's the tip of the word. It goes even deeper.

For those who don't know; a "Brother" means a "saved," or "born of God," Christian Brother... Not an unrepentant devil who is hell bound and does not even know Christ.

Now... To fully understand what Jesus said and how HE meant it, go to the following link for the entire story... Read my entire page: www.john33.com/forgive.htm.

Most preachers in the modern church teach the same thing. Be careful... few people teach the true word of God. The world has become rotten because the church has not performed the way Jesus intended! Jesus intended HIS church to be built upon Peter; Jesus' hand-picked disciple that HE worked tirelessly with to perfect as the "Rock" upon which HE would build HIS church. Instead, the Council at Nicaea, 325 AD, chose to make Paul's doctrine, the doctrine upon which to build the New Covenant Church. The New Testament is "All Paul." Constantine and his council determined that. Paul's doctrine is a doctrine of "grace" that leaves the teachings of Jesus and God's laws in the dust... That's another page.

Below is the entire article they sent to me. Read it carefully and you will see that they teach unqualified forgiveness.

Here's their article, my comments are in red.

Question: "Since God does not forgive until a person confesses/repents, does that mean we can withhold forgiveness from those who sin against us until they confess/repent?"

Answer:
The Bible speaks of two kinds of forgiveness—human forgiveness, that of people extending forgiveness towards others, and divine forgiveness, God’s forgiving human beings. Is there a difference? God’s forgiveness is conditional upon repentance, but as we’ll see, our forgiveness is neither conditional on being asked for it, nor on seeing fruits of repentance.

The Bible teaches us that God withholds forgiveness towards people who are not repentant (2 Kings 24:4 and Lamentations 3:42). God is able to do this because of His very nature: He is sinless. He is perfect. He is holy. He simply will not tolerate sin. Paul warns those who choose to transgress God’s law in Romans 2:5, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” But there are also times in the Old Testament when God forgave those who did not seek His mercy and forgiveness. He did so for His own purposes and in accordance with His perfect will.

As Christians we are certainly obligated to forgive others who sin against us when they are repentant if we are to expect God to forgive us when we sin against Him (Matthew 6:14-15, 18:23-35; Mark 11:25, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:31-32, Colossians 3:13). This holds true even if someone sins against us repeatedly (Matthew 18:21-22). However, this does not give us license to withhold forgiveness in the same way. The key to remember is this: God can judge a person’s intentions because He knows what’s in a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Hebrews 4:12-13), whereas we don’t. We are not God. We are not the Judge. For us to play God by refusing to offer forgiveness is an act of judgment on our part, and Jesus tells us that God will judge us according to the way we’ve judged others (Matthew 7:2).

When Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive someone, Jesus answered that we must forgive as many times as necessary. Then He illustrated forgiveness with a parable about a man who, although forgiven by his master of an overwhelming debt, refused to forgive another for a meager debt. When this man’s master heard about his ingratitude and injustice, he was outraged and had him thrown to the tormentors. “This is how My heavenly Father will treat each one of you, unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).

NOTE FROM JOHN: Agreed! However, Jesus did say what the offender must do to expect to be forgiven. "If a brother, confesses and repents, forgive him." (paraphrased as usual) Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth... not bits and pieces of the truth. A partial truth is a lie. We should quote Jesus completely and accurately.

Back to the article...
Surely, by receiving such a massive pardon, we should not be so mean-spirited as to withhold forgiveness from others. Rather, we should emulate the example of our Savior. In truth, offering forgiveness is an act of will, and failure to acknowledge this will only encourage us to justify our own disobedience. Forgiveness is not a fruit that needs time to grow in our lives. It is not a result of some special encounter with God. Jesus makes that clear in Luke 17:4 when He commands that if someone sins against another seven times in one day and repents as many times, that person should be forgiven. Forgiving someone for the same offense several times in one year would be a major test of sanctification, so seven times in one day drives Jesus’ point home. The disciples were so staggered by this that they immediately requested an increase in their faith (Luke 17:5). Jesus then told them what such a tiny amount of faith can achieve by explaining that a servant does not receive praise for carrying out orders—for simply doing his duty. He’s telling us that we do not need great faith to forgive, but only to choose to carry out the Master’s instruction.

Remember, it was Jesus who cried out from the cross, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Stephen asked that those who were stoning him be forgiven (Acts 7:60). In both cases, forgiveness was unconditional. Those around the cross were not asking for forgiveness, and neither were those stoning Stephen. And, obviously, someone who sins against us seven times in one day is not demonstrating fruits of repentance. By emulating Jesus and Stephen, the action of extending forgiveness releases us and allows us to receive forgiveness. To wait until we are asked may mean we never get an opportunity to forgive and would also prevent us from being forgiven. In all this we must realize that God never asks us to do the impossible. Were it beyond our ability to forgive from the heart, Jesus would never have directed us to do it.

NOTE FROM JOHN: Let's say the interpretation of the biblical account is correct and we correctly perceive HIS words... Then it is correct; Jesus forgave them while hanging from the cross, BUT... On judgment day, Jesus will throw them into hell... An everlasting, tormenting punishment! How's that for forgiveness? Did HE really forgive them? If HE did then they will not be punished in hell. Even though they cried out that HIS blood be charged against them... We can twist words and make them read any way we want. That's why HE sent the Holy Spirit to HIS kids... so we can know the difference between right and wrong.

This is the way false teachers and New Age devils change the word of God and send you to hell... As for Stephen asking that his killers be forgiven; Stephen could not forgive the sin of murder, not even his own. Nice gesture on his part but he had no authority to forgive them of murder. It is out of context to even consider that type of forgiveness be exercised by the victim. Don't be too hard on yourself if you are not able to practice those saintly gestures to which those false teachers hold us. Let's try to be realistic. If you are forgiving killers and rapists for their sins you are playing God! You can dismiss the sin committed against you but all those other sins are against God and you have no right to pretend that you can forgive them. You cannot forgive murder. That is one of "the 10" and not for you to play with. Catholics believe that their priests can forgive sin but protestants do not. Or do they? Perhaps it's time to reconsider things that wayward preachers teach?

Back to their article...
But what if there is no indication of repentance? The law given to ancient Israel is akin to the New Testament teaching: “Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:17-18). An unforgiving spirit leads to bitterness, anger, and seething resentment against another. Such a heart attitude cannot have true fellowship with God. Not holding grudges allows a state of mind that is ready and willing to forgive. Reconciliation is the goal, and if there cannot be reconciliation, an attitude of willingness to forgive must be maintained. There can be no excuse for withholding a forgiving spirit towards others (Matthew 5:22–24).

NOTE FROM JOHN: Forgive them if they are a "BROTHER" AND IF THEY REPENT AND IF THEY ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. That's the way Jesus taught it. Luke 17: 3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Remember; tell the whole truth! We complain about judges being too soft on criminals yet many sweet-mouth Christians are sucked in as fools.

Back to the article... THIS IS FOM THEIR ARTICLE (BELOW) - NOT FROM ME...
As stated at the beginning, human forgiveness and God’s forgiveness have differences. The Lord’s Prayer teaches that we are to ask for God’s forgiveness regularly, just as we are regularly to forgive others who have sinned against us. But human nature wars against this. As Paul said, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me” (Romans 7:21). Like Paul, we must know that of our own strength, we are powerless to do the right thing. But as Christians who possess the Holy Spirit, when we rely on His power, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Now don't confuse their article with my writing. Read my entire page www.john33.com/forgive.htm

Your friend,

John
www.john33.com

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