Adrian Rogers: The Freedom of Forgiveness (2422)


THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR
TODAY’S PROGRAM. ADRIAN ROGERS WAS A MOTIVATOR, AN ENCOURAGER
AND A LEADER OF THE FAITH WHO PRESENTED A CLEAR INVITATION
TO FOLLOW JESUS AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. HE WAS ALSO
PASSIONATE ABOUT PRESENTING SCRIPTURAL APPLICATION TO
EVERYDAY LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES. AND YOU’LL SEE THAT IN EACH
MESSAGE OF THIS SERIES THAT WE’RE CALLING, “UNDER THE
GREAT PHYSICIAN’S CARE.” FORGIVING OTHERS IS NOT
JUST A GOOD SUGGESTION, IT’S A COMMAND. IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE
EASY, BUT, WE AS BELIEVERS ARE PROMISED HELP. AND IT IS THE
POWER OF JESUS CHRIST, WHO FORGAVE US, THAT ENABLES US
TO FORGIVE SOMEBODY ELSE. AND DON’T YOU INSULT THE GRACE
OF GOD BY SAYING, “I CAN’T FORGIVE.” YOU FORGIVE FREELY,
YOU FORGIVE FINALLY, YOU FORGIVE FULLY AND YOU FORGIVE
FORCEFULLY. HAVE YOUR BIBLES OPEN AND ASK THE GREAT
PHYSICIAN TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY. AND AS ALWAYS, YOU CAN
LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE AGAIN AND CHECK OUT PASTOR
ROGERS OUTLINES, NOTES AND TRANSCRIPTS ALL AT LWF.ORG.
NOW, LET’S JOIN ADRIAN ROGERS. FIND IN YOUR BIBLES EPHESIANS
CHAPTER FOUR IF YOU WILL, AND IN JUST A MOMENT WE’RE GOING
TO LOOK AT VERSES 31 AND 32. THERE ARE TWO PROBLEMS
THAT DO GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SPIRITUAL
DAMAGE TO ANYONE, AND PERHAPS TO YOU. ONE IS GUILT AND THE
OTHER IS BITTERNESS. GUILT IMPRISONS US; BITTERNESS
POISONS US. FORGIVENESS IS THE ANSWER BOTH TO BITTERNESS AND
TO GUILT. GUILT IS THE RESULT OF SOMETHING WE HAVE DONE
WRONG; BITTERNESS IS OUR REACTION TO SOMEONE ELSE’S
WRONG, OR OUR PERCEPTION THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRONGED US.
THEY BOTH HAVE US IN A PRISON, AND IT IS FORGIVENESS,
HALLELUJAH, THAT SETS THE PRISONER FREE FROM GUILT
OR FROM BITTERNESS. GOD’S FORGIVENESS OF US SETS US FREE
FROM THE PRISON OF GUILT, AND OUR FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS SETS
US FREE FROM THE PRISON OF BITTERNESS. LOOK AT IT HERE IN
EPHESIANS CHAPTER FOUR VERSE 31. DO YOU HAVE IT? OKAY. “LET
ALL BITTERNESS, AND WRATH, AND ANGER, AND CLAMOR, AND EVIL
SPEAKING, BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU, WITH ALL MALICE; AND
BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING
ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN
YOU.” NOW LOOK UP HERE AND LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. WHEN
YOU FORGIVE ANOTHER, TRULY FORGIVE FROM YOUR HEART, YOU
SET TWO PRISONERS FREE; ONE OF THEM IS YOU. WHEN YOU FORGIVE
ANOTHER, TRULY FORGIVE FROM YOUR HEART, YOU SET TWO PEOPLE
FREE. ONE, THE PERSON THAT YOU HAVE FORGIVEN; THE OTHER IS
YOURSELF. NOW, TO FORGIVE ACTUALLY MEANS TO PAY A DEBT.
THERE ARE NO BARGAIN PARDONS. THAT’S THE REASON OUR LORD
TAUGHT US TO PRAY THERE IN THE MODEL PRAYER, “AND FORGIVE US
OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.” SIN IS A DEBT THAT
WE OWE. WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST HEAVEN, AGAINST THE KINGDOM.
WE HAVE BEEN SUED FOR DAMAGES. AND IT’S A DEBT WE CANNOT PAY.
BUT GOD IN MERCY AND IN LOVE HAS FORGIVEN US AND PAID THAT
DEBT. YOU SEE, THERE ARE NO PAR, THERE ARE NO FREE
PARDONS. WHEN SOMEBODY IS FORGIVEN, SOMEBODY ELSE HAS
PAID. FOR EXAMPLE, IF MARK OWES ME A THOUSAND DOLLARS,
DON’T FORGET, [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] IF MARK OWES ME A
THOUSAND DOLLARS, AND I SAY, AND MARK SAYS, “PASTOR, I
CAN’T PAY,” AND I SAY, “ALL RIGHT, MARK, I FORGIVE YOU,”
THE MOMENT I SAY THAT IT COST ME WHAT? A THOUSAND DOLLARS.
YOU SEE, TO FORGIVE IS TO ACTUALLY PAY THE DEBT. THE
WORD FORGIVE LITERALLY COMES FROM A WORD THAT MEANS TO
BEAR THE BURDEN. WHEN OUR LORD FORGIVES US, DOES HE PAY A
PRICE? PUT IN YOUR MARGIN EPHESIANS CHAPTER ONE AND
VERSE SEVEN. THE BIBLE SAYS, “IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION
THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN, IN WHOM
WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN,
ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE.” OUT OF THE RICHES OF
HIS GRACE, HE PAID THE DEBT HIMSELF AND THEREFORE
CANCELLED THAT DEBT. THAT’S THE REASON WE CALL SALVATION
GRACE, G-R-A-C-E, GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE. NOW, WHEN
YOU CAME TO OUR LORD AND YOU SAID, “LORD, I’M A SINNER. I
NEED TO BE SAVED. JESUS DIED TO SAVE ME. HE PAID FOR MY SIN
WITH HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS. FORGIVE ME. SAVE ME,” GOD
DOES, AND YOU’RE FORGIVEN OF YOUR SIN. YOU’RE PLACED INTO
THE FAMILY OF GOD. BUT YOU’RE NOT DONE WITH FORGIVENESS
THEN. FROM THERE ON, YOU HAVE TO BEGIN TO FORGIVE OTHERS.
YOU RECEIVE MERCY; YOU SHOW MERCY. AND JESUS TAUGHT US TO
PRAY, “FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO ARE
OUR DEBTORS.” “FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO
SIN AGAINST US.” NOW, AH, ONCE YOU’RE IN THE FAMILY, ONCE
YOU’RE SAVED, ONCE YOU’RE BORN AGAIN, YOU MUST LEARN TO
PRACTICE FORGIVENESS TO ALL OTHERS, BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T,
YOU’RE GOING TO DAM UP THE STREAM OF GOD’S MERCY. I
CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF FORGIVENESS.
FIRST, FORGIVENESS WHEN YOU GET SAVED PUTS YOU IN THE
FAMILY OF GOD. BUT THEN IF YOU FAIL TO FORGIVE OTHERS OVER
SOME MATTER, THEN THAT, DEAR FRIEND, DESTROYS FAMILY
FELLOWSHIP. SO THREE THINGS I WANT US TO NOTICE TODAY. I
PRAY GOD HE’LL WRITE THEM UPON YOUR HEART. GET OUT A PIECE
OF PAPER AND A PEN, AND I WANT YOU TO WRITE DOWN, FIRST OF
ALL, WHAT I’M GOING TO CALL THE COMPELLING REASONS FOR
FORGIVENESS. WHY SHOULD YOU FORGIVE? LET ME GIVE YOU SOME
FACTORS. THE VERY FIRST FACTOR I WANT TO GIVE IS, AH, WHAT
I’M GOING TO CALL THE GRACE FACTOR. NOW LOOK AT THE
SCRIPTURE AGAIN. “AND BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER,
TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR
CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.” NOW, WHY SHOULD I
FORGIVE YOU IF YOU SIN AGAINST ME? BECAUSE GOD HAS FORGIVEN
ME WHEN I SINNED AGAINST HIM, “EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE
HATH FORGIVEN YOU.” GOD HAS WILLINGLY, LOVINGLY, FREELY
FORGIVEN US. WE CALL THAT GRACE. I READ ABOUT A YOUNG
EMPLOYEE IN A BUSINESS. THAT MAN IN A, IN A GROWING
BUSINESS, UNDER TEMPTATION, MISAPPROPRIATED SEVERAL
HUNDRED DOLLARS. IT WAS FOUND OUT. HE WAS SUMMONED, AH, TO
THE MANAGER’S OFFICE. HE KNEW THIS WAS MOST LIKELY THE END
OF HIS JOB. AS HE WENT UP THE STAIRS HE HAD A VERY HEART. HE
WALKED IN TO THAT EXECUTIVE’S OFFICE. THE MAN LOOKED AT HIM
FACE TO FACE AND SAID, “IS IT TRUE THAT YOU HAVE DONE THUS
AND SUCH?” THE MAN BOWED HIS HEAD AND SAID, “YES, IT IS
TRUE. I AM GUILTY.” THE MAN BEHIND THE DESK SAID, “LET ME
ASK YOU A QUESTION. IF I WERE TO FORGIVE YOU AND KEEP YOU IN
THE POSITION THAT YOU’RE IN, COULD I TRUST YOU IN THE
FUTURE TO BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST?” THE MAN SAID, “SIR,
IF YOU WOULD FORGIVE ME AND GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE, I’LL
BE THE BEST EMPLOYEE YOU EVER HAD.” THE MAN BEHIND THE DESK
SAID, “SIR, YOU’RE FORGIVEN. BUT BEFORE YOU GO, I WANT YOU
TO KNOW YOU’RE NOT THE FIRST MAN IN THIS COMPANY THAT MADE
SUCH A MISTAKE. YEARS AGO, AS A YOUNG EMPLOYEE, I DID ALMOST
EXACTLY THE SAME THING THAT YOU DID. AND I WAS FORGIVEN.
AND THE MERCY THAT WAS SHOWN TO ME, I’M SHOWING TO YOU,
AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY UPON US BOTH.” THAT’S THE SPIRIT OF
THIS VERSE OF SCRIPTURE, “BE KIND, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING
ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN
YOU.” SAM JONES WAS A GREAT EVANGELIST OF YESTERYEAR. HE
SAID SOMETHING I LIKE. HE SAID UP, HE SAID, “I MADE UP MY
MIND I’M NEVER GOING TO FALL OUT WITH ANYBODY UNTIL THEY
TREAT ME WORSE THAN I TREATED JESUS CHRIST.” AMEN? “BE YE
KIND, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR
CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN US.” YOU SEE, WE FORGIVE
BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN FORGIVEN. I GOT A LETTER, BROTHER MARK,
SOMETIME AGO, BUT I’VE SAVED IT BECAUSE IT’S A TREASURE
LETTER. IT’S WRITTEN FROM A WOMAN IN BAPTIST HOSPITAL.
SHE SAID, “PASTOR ROGERS, I’M WRITING YOU BECAUSE I DON’T
KNOW WHO TO WRITE. I’M FROM ROME, GEORGIA. I’M OVER HERE
BY MYSELF. I NEEDED SURGERY. I NEEDED SOME EXTRA BLOOD.” SHE
SAID, “TWO YOUNG MEN FROM YOUR CHURCH CAME OVER HERE AND
DONATED BLOOD FOR ME. THEY DIDN’T KNOW ME AND I DON’T
KNOW THEM. I DON’T EVEN KNOW THEIR NAME,” BUT SAID, “I WANT
TO TELL YOU THE NOTE THEY LEFT TO ME.” AND HERE’S WHAT THE
NOTE WAS. “WE GAVE OUR BLOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE JESUS GAVE
HIS BLOOD FOR US.” [AUDIENCE: AMEN] ISN’T THAT BEAUTIFUL?
SHE SAID, “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO TO THANK. I DON’T KNOW WHO
THESE YOUNG MEN ARE BECAUSE THEY DID NOT LEAVE THEIR
NAME.” “WE GAVE OUR BLOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE JESUS GAVE HIS
BLOOD FOR US.” FRIEND, WE FORGIVE OTHERS BECAUSE HE HAS
FIRST FORGIVEN US. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT YOU AND I NEED TO
FORGIVE IS THE GRACE FACTOR. SECOND REASON, NOT ONLY THE
GRACE FACTOR, BUT THE GUILT FACTOR. NOW, NOTICE WHAT JESUS
SAID IN MATTHEW CHAPTER SIX VERSES 14 AND 15, “FOR IF YE
FORGIVE MEN THEIR TRESPASSES, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILL ALSO
FORGIVE YOU; BUT IF YE FORGIVE NOT MEN THEIR TRESPASSES,
NEITHER WILL YOUR FATHER FORGIVE YOUR TRESPASSES.”
NOW, YOU THINK ABOUT THAT. THE PERSON WHO REFUSES TO FORGIVE
DESTROYS THE BRIDGE OVER IT, OVER WHICH HE MUST TRAVEL.
AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT IS UNFORGIVABLE. FORGIVING AND
BEING FORGIVEN GO TOGETHER. THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN AFFORD
NOT TO FORGIVE IS THE PERSON WHO WILL NEVER NEED
FORGIVENESS. NOTICE THE PRAYER, “FATHER, FORGIVE US,
AS WE FORGIVE THOSE.” NOW, FRIEND, IF YOU DON’T, HEH,
INTEND TO FORGIVE THAT PERSON WHO’S WRONGED YOU, THAT’S A
VERY FOOLISH AND EVEN A STUPID PRAYER FOR YOU TO PRAY.
“FATHER, YOU TREAT ME LIKE I’M TREATING THEM. FATHER, FORGIVE
ME AS, IN THE SAME MANNER, I FORGIVE OTHERS.” NOW YOU THINK
ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE PRAYING. YOU SAY, “WELL, I’M NOT GOING TO
FORGIVE THE OTHER PERSON.” THEN, “FATHER, DON’T FORGIVE
ME.” “WELL, I’LL FORGIVE HER, BUT I’LL NEVER HAVE ANY MORE
TO DO WITH HER.” GOD SAYS, “OKAY. I’LL FORGIVE YOU AND
NEVER HAVE ANY MORE TO DO WITH YOU.” [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]
YOU SEE WHAT YOU, WHAT YOU’RE ASKING? “FATHER, FORGIVE US
AS, IN THE SAME MANNER, THAT WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN
AGAINST US.” MAY I TELL YOU, FRIEND, LISTEN CAREFULLY,
AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT IS NOT MERELY YOUR MISSING A
BLESSING; IT IS A WICKED, VILE, [THUMP] GROSS [THUMP]
SIN, IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS STEALING OR BLASPHEMY. WHY?
BECAUSE WHAT IS GOD? GOD’S NATURE, BROTHER JIM, IS A
NATURE TO FORGIVE. THAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD. AND AREN’T WE
GLAD THAT HE IS A FORGIVING GOD? [AUDIENCE: AMEN] WE’RE SO
GLAD OF THAT. WELL, THEN, IF YOU DON’T FORGIVE, YOU’RE NOT
LIKE GOD. AND IF YOU’RE NOT LIKE GOD, WHAT IS THAT?
UNGODLINESS. AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT IS UNGODLY. IT IS
UNGODLY. IT IS A TERRIBLE THING. JESUS ILLUSTRATED THIS
WITH A STORY. TAKE YOUR BIBLES AND TURN TO MATTHEW CHAPTER
18. JESUS, SPEAKING ABOUT FORGIVENESS, ILLUSTRATES IT
THIS WAY. HE GAVE A PARABLE. MATTHEW 18 BEGINNING IN VERSE
23, “THEREFORE IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN LIKENED UNTO A
CERTAIN KING, WHICH WOULD TAKE ACCOUNT OF HIS SERVANTS. AND
WHEN HE HAD BEGUN TO RECKON, ONE WAS BROUGHT UNTO HIM,
WHICH OWED HIM TEN THOUSAND TALENTS.” NOW JUST UNDERSCORE
THAT: TEN THOUSAND TALENTS. HERE’S A MAN TAKING INVENTORY.
AH, HERE IS A MAN WHO’S HAVING AN AUDIT DONE. AND HE FINDS
OUT THAT A MAN OWES THE KING TEN THOUSAND TALENTS. “BUT FOR
AS MUCH AS HE HAD NOT TO PAY, HIS LORD COMMANDED HIM TO
BE SOLD, AND HIS WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND ALL THAT HE HAD,
AND PAYMENT BE MADE.” THAT IS, HE’S TO BE PUT IN DEBTOR’S
PRISON. “THE SERVANT THEREFORE FELL DOWN, AND WORSHIPPED HIM,
SAYING, ‘LORD, HAVE PATIENCE WITH ME, AND I WILL PAY THEE
ALL.’” BUT WE’RE GOING TO SEE THAT WAS A VAIN BOAST BECAUSE
THERE WAS NO WAY HE COULD HAVE DONE IT. “THEN THE LORD OF
THAT SERVANT WAS MOVED WITH COMPASSION, AND LOOSED HIM,
AND FORGAVE HIM THE DEBT.” “LOOSED HIM” MEANS THAT HE SET
HIM FREE. NOW, DON’T MISS WHAT JESUS IS SAYING IN THIS
PARABLE. IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL, YOU’RE GOING TO
MISS IT. WHEN HE SAID “TEN THOUSANDS TALENTS,” HE IS
TALKING ABOUT AN ENORMOUS DEBT. AH, A TALENT WAS THE
LARGEST MEASURE OF MONEY KNOWN IN THE ROMAN WORLD. THE
RESEARCH THAT I DID SAID THAT IT WOULD BE EQUAL TO THE WAGES
FOR 10,000 MEN FOR 17 YEARS. IN TODAY’S DOLLARS, IT
WOULD BE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. WHEN
SOLOMON, AH, BUILT THE TEMPLE, THE WONDERFUL TEMPLE THAT HE
BUILT THERE AND OVERLAID IT WITH GOLD, THE BIBLE SAYS
THERE WERE EIGHT THOUSAND TALENTS OF GOLD, THAT
MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE. THIS MAN OWES [TAP] TEN [TAP] THOUSAND
[TAP] TALENTS. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE WORD, AH, AH, TALENT
HERE IS, UH, LITERALLY MEANS WITHOUT NUMBER. IT WAS USED
WITHOUT NUMBER. SOMETIMES THE BIBLE TRANSLATES IT MYRIADS,
JUST MYRIADS. IT’S THE GREEK WORD WE GET OUR WORD MYRIAD
FROM. IT MEANS, IT’S JUST SOME ASTRONOMICAL FO, AH, AMOUNT
OF MONEY. THIS MAN IS IN DEBT. THERE IS NO WAY POSSIBLE
THAT HE CAN PAY. AND THE KING FORGIVES HIM. AT THAT MOMENT,
IT COST THE KING TEN THOUSAND TALENTS. NOW WHAT HAPPENED,
ACCORDING TO THIS STORY? WELL, IF YOU FIND OUT THAT THAT MAN
WHO HAD BEEN FORGIVEN GOES OUT AND FINDS SOMEONE THAT OWES
HIM MONEY. LOOK IF YOU WILL IN VERSE 28, “BUT THAT SAME
SERVANT WENT OUT, AND FOUND ONE OF HIS FELLOW SERVANTS,
WHICH OWED HIM A HUNDRED PENCE.” NOW, A PENCE IS A
DAY’S LABOR, “AND HE LAID HIS HANDS ON HIM, AND TOOK HIM BY
THE THROAT, SAYING, ‘PAY WHAT YOU OWE. PRAY ME THAT THAT
THOU OWEST.’” NOW, HERE’S A MAN WHO’D BEEN FORGIVEN
MYRIADS. HERE’S A MAN BEEN FORGIVEN BILLIONS, AND HE
HAS SOMEBODY THAT OWES HIM A HUNDRED DAY’S WAGES, TAKES HIM
BY THE THROAT, AND SAYS, “PAY ME.” AND THE MAN SAYS, “I
CAN’T PAY YOU RIGHT NOW. HAVE MERCY.” BUT MATTHEW 18 VERSE
30, “BUT HE WOULD NOT: AND WENT AND CAST HIM INTO PRISON,
UNTIL HE SHOULD PAY THE DEBT.” DO YOU SEE IT? DO YOU SEE THE
ANALOGY THAT JESUS IS MAKING? AND JESUS SPEAKS OF THE
WICKEDNESS OF THAT MAN, WHO HAD BEEN FORGIVEN AND SO
HERE’S WHAT JESUS SAID IN VERSE 35. HE TALKS ABOUT THEN
THE KING WHO IS VERY WROTH AND HAS THAT MAN WHO HAD BEEN
FORGIVEN TAKEN AND PUT IN PRISON HIMSELF, AND HE SAYS
IN, IN MATTHEW 18 VERSE 35, “SO LIKEWISE SHALL MY HEAVENLY
FATHER DO ALSO UNTO YOU, IF YE FROM YOUR HEARTS FORGIVE NOT
EVERY ONE HIS BROTHER THEIR TRESPASSES.” NOW, WHAT IS
OUR LORD SAYING? OUR LORD IS SAYING IT IS ABSOLUTELY WICKED
FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN SO MUCH TO REFUSE
TO FORGIVE SOMEBODY ELSE. IS THERE SOMEBODY WHO’S WRONGED
YOU? AND YOU’RE FORGIVING, YOU, YOU’RE HOLDING BACK
FORGIVENESS? AND YOU HAVE HAD OUR LORD WITH THE GOLD OF HIS
BLOOD AND THE SILVER OF HIS TEARS TO PAY YOUR SIN DEBT?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT JAMES SAYS IN JAMES TWO VERSE 13? “FOR HE
SHALL HAVE JUDGMENT WITHOUT MERCY, THAT SHEWED NO MERCY;
HE SHALL HAVE JUDGMENT WITHOUT MERCY, THAT SHEWED NO MERCY.”
JESUS TAUGHT IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT; MATTHEW 5:7,
“BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY.”
WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE? LISTEN, FRIEND, I NEED TO FORGIVE
BECAUSE OF THE GRACE FACTOR. I HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. I NEED TO
BE, I NEED TO FORGIVE BECAUSE OF THE GUILT FACTOR. I WILL
STILL NEED TO BE FORGIVEN DAY BY DAY. AND ONLY A PERSON WHO
NEVER SINS CAN AFFORD NOT TO FORGIVE, WHICH IS NO ONE.
THIRD REASON, WE, WE TALK ABOUT THE GRACE FACTOR, THE
GUILT FACTOR. THE GRIEF FACTOR IS A REASON WE OUGHT TO
FORGIVE. BECAUSE YOU SEE, THIS MAN WHO FAILED TO
FORGIVE ENDURED THE SEVEREST DISCIPLINE. THE BIBLE TEACHES
HERE IN HEBREWS, CHAPTER 12 VERSE 15 THAT WE’RE TO BE,
“LOOKING DILIGENTLY LEST ANY MAN FAIL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.”
THAT IS, YOU FAIL TO RECEIVE AND GIVE GRACE, “LEST ANY ROOT
OF BITTERNESS SPRINGING UP TROUBLE YOU, AND MANY THEREBY
BE DEFILED.” IF YOU DON’T FORGIVE, FRIEND, YOU’RE GOING
TO KNOW UNUSUAL GRIEF, YOU’RE GOING TO BE TROUBLED, AND
OTHERS AROUND YOU ARE GOING TO BE TROUBLED. AN UNFORGIVING
SPIRIT DOES YOU PERSONAL HARM. AH, IT’S NOT JUST SIMPLY WHAT,
AH, YOUR UNFORGIVENESS DOES TO SOMEONE ELSE; IT’S WHAT IT
DOES TO YOU. NOW, SOMETIMES SOMEBODY SAYS, “HE DID ME THUS
AND SUCH HARM. I’M GOING TO GET EVEN.” HAVE YOU EVER
THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS, YOU’RE GOING TO GET EVEN?
YOU’RE UP HERE. HERE’S SOME MISCREANT WHO DOES SOMETHING
BAD TO YOU AND HE HARMS YOU, AND YOU SAY, “LOOK WHAT HE DID
TO ME. I’M GOING TO GET EVEN.” THAT’S WHAT YOU DO. YOU COME
DOWN TO HIS LEVEL. WELL, YOU SAY, “THEN I, I WON’T GET
EVEN. I’LL JUST CONTINUE TO HATE.” WELL, IF YOU CONTINUE
TO HATE, WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS COMMITTING EMOTIONAL SUICIDE.
WHAT, WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS FILLING YOURSELF WITH
BITTERNESS, WHICH IS AN ACID WHICH WILL DESTROY YOU AND
HURT YOU AS MUCH OR MORE THAN IT DOES THE PERSON ON WHOM IT
IS POURED. YOU SAY, “BUT, BUT NOW, WAIT A MINUTE, PASTOR. IF
YOU KNEW WHAT THEY DID TO ME, YOU WOULDN’T LET THEM OFF THE
HOOK.” WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL YOU IS YOU’RE ON THE HOOK WITH
THEM. YOU ARE ON THE HOOK WITH THEM. YOU NEED TO FORGIVE
BECAUSE OF THE GRIEF FACTOR, THE GRIEF THAT THE BITTERNESS,
THE UNFORGIVING SPIRIT WILL DO TO YOU. YOU FORGIVE THEM FOR
THEIR SAKE. YOU FORGIVE THEM FOR JESUS’ SAKE. FORGIVE THEM
FOR YOUR SAKE. REMEMBER, WHEN YOU FORGIVE YOU SET TWO PEOPLE
FREE, AND ONE OF THEM IS YOURSELF. FOURTH REASON YOU
NEED TO FORGIVE. NOT ONLY THE GRIEF FACTOR, BUT THE GAIN
FACTOR. NOW LISTEN TO MATTHEW CHAPTER FIVE, VERSE 24. OUR
LORD TALKS ABOUT SOMEBODY COMING TO THE TEMPLE TO, TO
WORSHIP, AND THEY’RE BRINGING A GIFT TO THE TEMPLE. AND
THEY REMEMBER THAT THERE’S A PROBLEM BETWEEN THEM AND
SOMEONE ELSE. HERE’S WHAT OUR LORD SAYS YOU’RE TO DO. “LEAVE
THERE THY GIFT BEFORE THE ALTAR, AND GO THY WAY; FIRST
BE RECONCILED TO THY BROTHER, THEN COME AND OFFER THY GIFT.”
IF YOU’RE HERE THIS MORNING WHEN THE OFFERING IS GIVEN AND
YOU HAVE BITTERNESS IN YOUR HEART, KEEP THE OFFERING.
DON’T SPEND IT, ‘CAUSE IT’S TAINTED MONEY; TAINT YOURS.
[AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] DON’T SPEND IT. BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR
OFFERING AND THERE’S SOMEBODY THAT YOU NEED TO GO MAKE
THINGS RIGHT WITH, AND YOU KNOW IT, YOU GO BE RECONCILED
TO YOUR BROTHER. THEN COME AND BRING YOUR OFFERING. LISTEN
AGAIN TO MATTHEW 18 AND VERSE 15, “MOREOVER IF THY BROTHER
SHALL TRESPASS AGAINST THEE, GO AND TELL HIM HIS FAULT
BETWEEN THEE AND HIM ALONE. IF HE SHALL HEAR THEE, THOU HAST
GAINED THY BROTHER.” IN BOTH OF THESE SCRIPTURES, ONE
SAYS, “BE RECONCILED TO YOUR BROTHER,” THE OTHER
SAYS, “THOU HAST GAINED THY BROTHER.” A BROTHER IS A
PRECIOUS THING, A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE. WHEN YOU
FORGIVE, YOU HEAL A BROKEN RELATIONSHIP AND YOU GAIN BACK
A BROTHER. THINK ABOUT IT. THINK ABOUT WHEN PEOPLE
COME TO CHURCH WITH BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS. THINK ABOUT
WHEN PEOPLE WHO NAME THE NAME OF JESUS LIVE WITH BROKEN
RELATIONSHIPS, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT DOES? LISTEN TO
ME. IF THERE IS IN YOUR HEART TODAY BITTERNESS AND GRUDGE
AND UNFORGIVENESS, FIRST OF ALL, YOU DISGRACE ALMIGHTY
GOD. WHEN YOUR CHILDREN FUSS AND FIGHT, IT DISGRACES
THE PARENTS, DOES IT NOT? IT DISGRACES THE FATHER. I’LL
TELL YOU WHAT ELSE IT DOES. IT DISCOURAGES THE SAINTS.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A CHURCH WHERE’S A CHURCH FUSS OR
FIGHT? THE DEVIL HAD RATHER START A CHURCH FUSS THAN SELL
A BARREL OF WHISKEY ANY DAY, DID YOU KNOW THAT? IT
DISCOURAGES THE SAINTS. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT ELSE IT DOES; IT
DRIVES AWAY THE LOST. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE GREATEST
EVANGELISTIC OUTREACH BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCH HAS? IS THE
LOVE THAT WE HAVE ONE FOR ANOTHER. PEOPLE COME AND SAY,
“BEHOLD, HOW THEY LOVE ONE ANOTHER. I SENSE THE
FELLOWSHIP, THE LOVE OF GOD IN THAT CHURCH.” BUT AN
UNFORGIVING SPIRIT AND RANCOR AND DIVISION AND HOSTILITY
DRIVES AWAY THE LOST. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT ELSE IT DOES;
IT DELIGHTS THE DEVIL. IT DELIGHTS THE DEVIL WHEN YOU
FAIL TO FORGIVE. THERE IS THE GAIN FACTOR. THINK WHAT WE
GAIN WHEN WE GAIN A BROTHER, WHEN WE GAIN A SISTER. I HAD A
BROTHER WHO DID ME WRONG, NOT A BROTHER IN THE FLESH, BUT
A BROTHER IN THE LORD, A MAN THAT I DEARLY LOVED. HE DID
WRONG. SOMETHING ROSE UP IN ME, SAID, “WELL, THAT’S IT.
CUT HIM OFF.” THE LORD SAID, “DON’T DO THAT. FORGIVE.
RESTORE.” AND I DID, AND I DON’T HAVE A BETTER FRIEND ON
EARTH TODAY THAN THAT PERSON. THAT IS THE, THE GAIN FACTOR.
FRIEND, THERE IS SOMEBODY THAT YOU NEED TO BE RECONCILED WITH
AND YOU, AH, BRING THEM BACK INTO THE FELLOWSHIP AND
INTO THE FOLD. NOW, THOSE ARE COMPELLING REASONS FOR
FORGIVENESS. NOW, LET ME TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE COSTLY
REQUIREMENTS FOR FORGIVENESS, BECAUSE, SEE, THERE’RE NO
BARGAIN FORGIVENESSES. WHAT DOES OUR SCRIPTURE SAY? “BE YE
KIND, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR
CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.” NOW JESUS IS THE MODEL
OF OUR FORGIVENESS, AND YOU’RE GOING TO SEE THE, THAT JESUS
PAID THE PRICE. WE TALKED ABOUT REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS
BLOOD. AND, FRIEND, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO KNOW A
LITTLE PERSONAL GETHSEMANE AND CALVARY IF YOU TRULY FORGIVE
SOMEBODY WHO HAS DEEPLY HURT YOU. NOW HOW, THEREFORE, IF
WE’RE TO FORGIVE AS JESUS FORGAVE, HOW DID JESUS
FORGIVE? MAY I LIST SOME WAYS? FIRST OF ALL, WE ARE TO
FORGIVE FREELY, FREELY. HIS FORGIVENESS IS FREE,
SPONTANEOUS, AND QUICK. DON’T FORGIVE AFTER YOU HAVE
COLLECTED YOUR REVENGE. YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES PEOPLE HURT US
AND WE SAY, “THEY DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH THEY HURT US, AND I’M
GOING TO TEACH THEM HOW MUCH I’VE BEEN HURT, AND I’M GOING
TO EXCORIATE THEM, I’M GOING TO BLAME THEM, I’M GOING TO
CASTIGATE THEM, I’M GOING TO MAKE THEM SUFFER. AND
AFTER THEY’VE SUFFERED, AFTER THEY’VE WEPT, AFTER THEY’VE
PLED, AFTER THEY’VE BLED, AFTER I’VE GOTTEN MY POUND
OF FLESH, THEN PERHAPS I’LL FORGIVE.” HAS ANYBODY EVER
TREATED YOU THAT WAY AND THEN FINALLY SAID, “WELL, I’LL
FORGIVE YOU?” WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE SAYING? “HEY, I DON’T
NEED TO BE FORGIVEN. I’VE ALREADY PAID.” YOU FORGIVE
FREELY. YOU SHOULD BE SO ANXIOUS TO FORGIVE A PERSON
THAT YOU CHASE THEM AND CATCH THEM IN ORDER TO FORGIVE THEM.
ISN’T THAT WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US? WE LOVE HIM WHY?
BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. WHEN ADAM AND EVE SINNED
AGAINST GOD IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, GOD DID NOT SIT UP THERE
IN HEAVEN AND SAY, “WELL, I’M GOING TO WAIT, AND IF,
PERHAPS, THEY COME TO ME, I MIGHT BE PERSUADED TO FORGIVE
THEM.” GOD CAME TO THE GARDEN AND GOD SAID, “ADAM, ADAM,
WHERE ARE YOU?” THAT WASN’T THE VOICE OF A DETECTIVE.
THAT WAS THE VOICE OF A BROKENHEARTED GOD WHO WAS
SEEKING SOMEONE WHO HAD SINNED AGAINST HIM, FREELY SEEKING TO
FORGIVE. MATTHEW 18 VERSE 15, LISTEN TO IT AGAIN, “MOREOVER
IF THY BROTHER SHALL TRESPASS AGAINST THEE, GO AND TELL HIM
HIS FAULT BETWEEN THEE AND HIM ALONE.” IT DOESN’T SAY TO GO
AND TELL HIM OFF. “GO TELL HIM SECRETLY, PRIVATELY, LOVINGLY,
AND IF HE, IF HE SHALL HEAR THEE, THOU HAST GAINED THY
BROTHER.” FREELY. PETER ASKED THE LORD, “LORD, HOW MANY
TIMES SH, IF A PERSON SINS AGAINST ME, SHALL I FORGIVE
HIM? SEVEN TIMES?” THAT’S A PERFECT NUMBER. JESUS SAID,
“NO, SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.” FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY. AND
BY INFERENCE, HE DIDN’T MEAN YOU STOP AT FOUR HUNDRED AND
NINETY-ONE. WHAT OUR LORD SAYS IS, “GET THE MATHEMATICS
OUT OF IT. DON’T KEEP SCORE. FORGIVENESS HAS NO LIMIT.
AH, FORGET THE MATH. FORGIVE FREELY, EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO
CHASE SOMEBODY IN ORDER TO FORGIVE THEM.” NUMBER TWO,
LISTEN, NOT ONLY SHOULD YOU FORGIVE FREELY, BUT YOU
FORGIVE FULLY, TOTALLY. MAKE SURE THAT YOU FORGIVE. NOW, IF
SOMEBODY COMES TO YOU, AND BY THE WAY, I HAD SOMEBODY COME
TO ME AND SAY, “I WANT YOU TO FORGIVE ME,” MY FIRST
INCLINATION WAS TO SAY, “DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. THAT’S OKAY.
AH, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.” BUT I REALIZED THAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN WRONG FOR ME TO DO THAT, BECAUSE THAT WAS NOT
FORGIVENESS. AND WHAT THAT INDIVIDUAL NEEDED AND WHAT
THAT INDIVIDUAL DESERVED WAS FORGIVENESS. SO I DIDN’T JUST
SAY, “DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. FORGET IT.” I SAID, “I FORGIVE
YOU. I FORGIVE YOU.” THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT. YOU SEE,
SOMETIMES WHEN WE DO WRONG, WE DON’T GO TO ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL
AND SAY, “FORGIVE ME.” WE SAY, “IF I HAVE HURT YOUR
FEELINGS, I’M SORRY. I WANT TO APOLOGIZE.” VERY TRICKY. “I
WANT TO APOLOGIZE. LET ME TELL YOU, LET ME EXPLAIN IT TO
YOU WHY I DID WHAT I DID.” THE WORD APOLOGIZE COMES FROM A
GREEK WORD, AP, APOLOGIA, WHICH MEANS TO MAKE A DEFENSE.
IN APOLOGETICS WE’RE DEFENDING THE FAITH. SO MANY OF US WANT
TO APOLOGIZE. WHAT WE’RE DOING IS REALLY DEFENDING OURSELVES.
IF YOU’VE WRONGED SOMEBODY, DON’T APOLOGIZE, SAY, “WOULD
YOU FORGIVE ME? I WAS WRONG. I WAS WRONG.” NOT AN
APOLOGY THAT I WANT. I WANT FORGIVENESS. AND IF SOMEBODY’S
WRONGED YOU, DON’T JUST SAY, “OH, FORGET IT. NEVER MIND.”
SAY, “I FORGIVE YOU.” DO IT FULLY. THEN IT’S BURIED IN THE
GRAVE OF GOD’S FORGETFULNESS. FORGIVE FULLY. NOW, AH, NEXT,
FORGIVE FINALLY. THAT IS, DON’T BRING IT UP AGAIN.
ISAIAH 43, VERSE 25, “I, EVEN I, AM HE THAT BLOTTETH OUT THY
TRANSGRESSIONS FOR MINE OWN SAKE, AND I WILL NOT REMEMBER
THY SINS,” SINS THAT ARE BURIED IN THE GRAVE OF GOD’S
FORGETFULNESS. IF YOU FORGIVE, DO IT FINALLY, ONCE FOR ALL.
YOU SAY, “WELL, NOW, PASTOR, THAT’S BRING UP A PROBLEM TO
ME. GOD DOESN’T REMEMBER OUR SINS ANYMORE? I THOUGHT GOD
WAS OMNISCIENT. HOW CAN GOD EVER TRULY FORGET ANYTHING?”
WELL, INTELLECTUALLY, GOD CANNOT FORGET. GOD DOESN’T
LOSE HIS MEMORY. WHEN GOD SAYS, “I WILL REMEMBER THEM NO
MORE,” THAT MEANS, “I WILL NOT BRING THEM UP. I WILL NOT
USE THEM AGAINST YOU. IF I REMEMBER THEM, I REMEMBER
THEM AS FORGIVEN SINS. I DON’T CONTINUE TO HAVE THAT, AH,
SPIRIT OF RESENTMENT THAT HUMAN BEINGS TEND TO HAVE.
THE SIN IS BURIED.” NOW, MANY TIMES WE SAY WE HAVE FORGIVEN,
BUT WE’VE NOT FORGIVEN FINALLY. I READ ABOUT A
MAN WHOSE OFFICE FILES WERE GETTING SO FULL OF EXTRANEOUS
PAPERS. HE WAS A MAN WHO COULDN’T BEAR TO THROW
ANYTHING AWAY, AND THE FILES GOT FULLER AND FULLER AND
FULLER. ONE DAY HE SAID TO THE SECRETARY, SHE SAID, “SIR,
CAN I CLEAN OUT THE FILES?” HE SAID, “WELL, OKAY, CLEAN
THEM OUT. BUT BEFORE YOU THROW ANYTHING AWAY, MAKE A COPY OF
IT.” [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] IS THAT THE WAY WE FORGIVE? “YOU
KNOW, I, I, I, I’M GOING TO GET RID OF IT, BUT I’M
GOING TO REMEMBER IT.” NO, YOU FORGET IT, FORGIVE FINALLY.
NOW, LAST OF ALL, YOU FORGIVE FORCEFULLY. WHAT DO I MEAN
FORCEFULLY? I’M TELLING YOU, FOLKS, IT IS NOT NATURAL TO
FORGIVE. OUR SPIRITS DEMAND JUSTICE. “THEY NEED TO PAY.
THEY HURT US AND THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND JUST HOW BADLY THEY
HURT US.” IT HAS WELL BEEN SAID, “TO ERR IS HUMAN; TO
FORGIVE IS DIVINE.” YOU NEED JESUS TO BE FORGIVEN, AND,
FRIEND, YOU NEED JESUS IN ORDER TO FORGIVE. “BE YE KIND,
TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER.” WHERE DO WE GET THAT
KINDNESS? WHERE DO WE GET THAT TENDERHEARTEDNESS? IT COMES
FROM JESUS. THE SAME ONE WHO HAS FORGIVEN US IS THE ONE
WHO PUTS HIS SPIRIT IN US AND ENABLES US TO HAVE THE FORCE
AND THE POWER TO FORGIVE. MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD OF OR READ
OF CORRIE TEN BOOM, A PRECIOUS DUTCH GIRL BACK IN WORLD WAR
II. WAS TAKEN BY THE NAZIS AND PUT IN A NAZI CONCENTRATION
CAMP, ALONG WITH HER SISTER. AND THE REASON THAT CORRIE TEN
BOOM WAS INCARCERATED AND PUT IN THAT, AH, PRISON CAMP AT
RAVENSBROOK WAS BECAUSE SHE’D BEEN HIDING THE JEWS AS A
GENTILE TO KEEP THE NAZIS FROM THEIR HOLOCAUST AND
ATROCITIES. HER HIDING PLACE WAS FOUND OUT. CORRIE TEN
BOOM, WITH HER SISTER, WERE PUT IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP.
CORRIE’S SISTER DIED IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP. WHEN
SHE WAS THERE IN THAT, AH, CONCENTRATION CAMP, SHE WAS
TREATED WITH UNIMAGINABLE BRUTALITY: ALMOST STARVED,
HARD WORK. BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO,
UH, HER, SHE WAS FORCED BY A PRISON GUARD TO STRIP NAKED
AND TO TAKE A SHOWER WHILE HE WATCHED HER WITH HIS LEERING
EYES AND ALMOST RAPED HER WITH HIS EYES. HUMILIATED THIS
RIGHTEOUS AND GODLY GIRL. LATER, CORRIE TEN BOOM GOT OUT
OF PRISON, AND SHE WAS SERVING GOD AND BRINGING A MESSAGE
ON FORGIVENESS. AND AFTER THE MESSAGE, UP WALKED A MAN AND
PUT OUT HIS HAND AND SAID, “CORRIE, ISN’T THE GRACE OF
GOD SOMETHING WONDERFUL? ISN’T FORGIVENESS WONDERFUL?” AND
WHEN SHE LOOKED INTO THAT MAN’S FACE, SHE FROZE! BECAUSE
IT WAS THAT PRISON GUARD, THE ONE WHO HAD HUMILIATED HER,
THE ONE WHO HAD ABUSED HER, THE ONE WHO HAD MISUSED HER.
AND NOW HE SAUNTERS UP TO HER, PUTS OUT HIS HAND, AND
SAYS, “ISN’T THE GRACE OF GOD WONDERFUL? ISN’T FORGIVENESS
WONDERFUL?” SHE SAID, “AGAIN, I FROZE. I WANTED TO PUT OUT
MY HAND BECAUSE I HAD SPOKEN ON FORGIVENESS, BUT,” SHE
SAID, “I COULDN’T. AND I PRAYED, ‘O, JESUS, HELP ME TO
FORGIVE.’” AND SHE SAID, “I PUT OUT MY HAND AND PUT MY
HAND IN HIS HAND,” AND SHE SAID, “THE GRACE OF GOD AND
THE LOVE OF GOD BEGAN TO FLOW THROUGH MY BODY.” NOW FRIEND,
I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT HOW JESUS CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN US.
AND IT IS THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST, WHO FORGAVE US, THAT
ENABLES US TO FORGIVE SOMEBODY ELSE. AND DON’T YOU INSULT
THE GRACE OF GOD BY SAYING, “I CAN’T FORGIVE.” YOU FORGIVE
FREELY. YOU FORGIVE FINALLY. YOU FORGIVE FULLY. AND YOU
FORGIVE FORCEFULLY. NOW, OUR TIME HAS GONE. I WISH I HAD
MORE TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE RESULTS OF FORGIVENESS. I WANT
TO PUT IT UP ON THE SCREEN FOR JUST A MOMENT. AND I WANT YOU
TO THINK ABOUT THE THREE-FOLD RESULTS OF FORGIVENESS. WHAT,
WHAT WILL BE, AH, THE CERTAIN RESULTS OF FORGIVENESS?
AH, NUMBER ONE, NUMBER ONE, FRIEND, WHEN THERE IS
FORGIVENESS, THERE IS PERSONAL EMANCIPA, EMANCIPATION.
YOU’RE SET FREE. PERSONAL EMANCIPATION. SECONDLY, THERE
IS GOING TO BE RECONCILIATION. THERE’S GOING TO BE A
RECONCILIATION BETWEEN YOU AND SOMEBODY ELSE. YOU’RE GOING
TO GAIN YOUR BROTHER. YOU’RE GOING TO BE SET FREE. YOU’RE
GOING TO GAIN YOUR BROTHER. AND, AND, LAST OF ALL, FRIEND,
THERE’S GOING TO BE SPIRITUAL JUBILATION. THERE’S GOING TO
BE REVIVAL. DO YOU KNOW WHAT REAL REVIVAL IS? REAL REVIVAL
IS NOT JUST GETTING THE ROOF OFF AND GETTING RIGHT WITH
GOD. REAL REVIVAL IS GETTING THE WALLS DOWN AND GETTING
RIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER. IS THERE SOMEBODY WHO HAS WRONGED
YOU? IS THERE SOMEBODY, YOU SAY, “I OWE THEM; THEY’RE
GOING TO PAY?” FRIEND, FORGET IT. BURY IT IN THE GRAVE OF
GOD’S [TAP] FORGETFULNESS [TAP] AND FORGIVE. “PASTOR,
CAN I FORGIVE SOMEBODY WHO CONTINUES TO DO THE SAME
THING? CAN I FORGIVE SOMEBODY WHO HASN’T REPENTED, SOMEBODY
WHO CONTINUES TO HURT ME, TO WITHHOLD WHAT THEY OWE ME,
SOMEBODY WHO CONTINUES TO ABUSE OR TO LIE OR TO SLANDER?
CAN I FORGIVE THEM?” IT’S A HARD QUESTION BECAUSE EVEN
GOD DOESN’T FORGIVE WITHOUT REPENTANCE, DOES HE? WHAT IF
THAT PERSONAL HASN’T REPENTED? THEN IS IT UP TO YOU TO
“GET ‘EM?” NO, GOD SAYS, “‘VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL
REPAY,’ SAITH THE LORD.” AND IF YOU CANNOT FORGIVE THEM
BECAUSE OF THEIR CONTINUING PRACTICE, YOU CAN HAVE THE
SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS. WHAT DID JESUS DO ON THE CROSS? HE
PRAYED, “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY
DO.” WHILE THEY’RE NAILING HIM UP, HE’S PRAYING FOR
FORGIVENESS. I HAD SOMEBODY WHO SINNED AGAINST ME AND
THOSE THAT I LOVE HORRIBLY. I MADE UP MY MIND I WAS NOT
GOING TO CARRY A LOAD OF RESENTMENT. THE INDIVIDUAL’S
STILL IN AN ATTITUDE AND ACTIONS OF SIN. BUT ONE
MORNING, ABOUT TWO IN THE MORNING, I WROTE OUT A FULL,
COMPLETE FORGIVENESS, NOT ONLY FORGIVING, BUT RECEIVING BACK
THAT INDIVIDUAL. AND BEFORE GOD, I SIGNED MY NAME TO
IT AND I UPLOADED THAT FORGIVENESS AND PUT IT IN
THE DRAWER. ANYTIME THAT INDIVIDUAL WANTS TO DOWNLOAD
IT, IT’S THERE. IT’S ALREADY ON FILE. IT’S ALREADY
GIVEN! IT’S DONE SO FAR AS I’M CONCERNED! I DON’T BEAR
THAT BURDEN! WHETHER IT’S EVER RECEIVED OR NOT, IT’S OFFERED.
ISN’T THAT WHAT JESUS DID ON THE CROSS? NOT EVERYBODY IS
SAVED, BUT HE BOUGHT SALVATION FOR US ALL, AND ALL WE HAVE
TO DO IS RECEIVE IT. FRIEND, DON’T CARRY AROUND THAT
LOAD, EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO PUT FORGIVENESS IN ESCROW, WAITING
FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL TO COME ALONG AND WRITE THE CHECK OF
REPENTANCE AND FAITH. YOU HAVE UPLOADED IT AND THEY CAN
DOWNLOAD IT. BUT DON’T YOU GO AROUND IN THE PRISON HOUSE OF
GUILT, SWALLOWING THE POISON OF BITTERNESS. HOW FOOLISH.
HOW FOOLISH. LET’S BOW OUR HEADS. NOW, FRIEND, ALL
TRUE FORGIVENESS BEGINS WITH RECEIVING FORGIVENESS. AND IF
YOU’VE NEVER REALLY RECEIVED FORGIVENESS, THIS IS THE TIME
FOR YOU TO DO IT. GOD LONGS TO FORGIVE YOU. JESUS CHRIST DIED
TO FORGIVE YOU. HE WANTS TO CLEANSE YOU AND HE WILL
CLEANSE YOU. IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE SAVED, WOULD YOU PRAY A
PRAYER LIKE THIS, “DEAR GOD,” OH, PRAY IT, FRIEND, “DEAR
GOD, THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME. THANK YOU THAT YOU’RE A
FORGIVING GOD. THANK YOU THAT YOU’VE SAID, “IF WE CONFESS
OUR SIN, YOU’RE FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SIN
AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.” LORD JESUS,
I NEED YOU. I WANT YOU. I OPEN MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND I
RECEIVE YOU AS MY LORD AND SAVIOR. COME INTO MY LIFE.
FORGIVE MY SIN. SAVE ME, JESUS.” PRAY IT. MEAN IT. ASK
HIM. BELIEVE HIM. “SAVE ME, JESUS.” DID YOU ASK HIM? BY
FAITH, THANK HIM. PRAY, “THANK YOU FOR DOING IT. I STAND ON
YOUR WORD. I GIVE MYSELF TO YOU. I RECEIVE YOU. YOU’RE NOW
MY LORD AND SAVIOR. NOW GIVE ME THE COURAGE TO MAKE IT
PUBLIC, AND HELP ME NEVER TO BE ASHAMED OF YOU.
AMEN AND AMEN.” I’M SO GLAD
YOU’VE BEEN LISTENING. NOW FRIEND, ONE MORE TIME, I WANT
TO INVITE YOU TO INVITE CHRIST INTO YOUR LIFE AS YOUR
PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR. I’M TALKING BEYOND DENOMINATIONAL
AFFILIATION, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, GOOD DEEDS AND ALL
OF THE REST. NONE OF THESE NOR ALL OF THESE CAN SAVE; YOU
MUST TRUST IN JESUS. THE BIBLE SAYS, “BELIEVE ON THE LORD
JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE SAVED.” THAT MEANS THAT EVERY
SIN IS FORGIVEN, BURIED IN THE GRAVE OF GOD’S FORGETFULNESS.
THAT MEANS THAT GOD COMES INTO YOUR HEART TO GIVE YOU
PURPOSE, PEACE AND POWER WHIL EYOU ARE HERE ON THIS EARTH.
AND THEN IT MEANS, THANK GOD, THAT WHEN WE DIE OR WHEN JESUS
COMES, WE’RE GOING STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN. WOULD YOU PRAY AND
ASK CHRIST INTO YOUR HEART? I INVITE YOU TO PRAY A PRAYER
LIKE THIS, PRAY IT SINCERELY, “DEAR GOD, I’M A SINNER, I’M
LOST, I CANNOT SAVE MYSELF. JESUS, YOU DIED TO SAVE ME,
YOU PROMISED TO SAVE ME IF I WOULD TRUST YOU. I DO TRUST
YOU JESUS, I REALLY DO; RIGHT NOW LIKE A LITTLE CHILD. COME
INTO MY HEART, INTO MY LIFE, TAKE CONTROL OF MY LIFE
AND BEGIN NOW TO MAKE ME THE PERSON YOU WANT ME TO BE. AND
HELP ME NEVER, EVER, EVER TO BE ASHAMED OF YOU. THANK YOU
JESUS, FOR SAVING ME.” FRIEND, PRAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND
MEAN IT FROM YOUR HEART. AND IF YOU DO LET US KNOW AND
WE’LL SEND YOU SOME LITERATURE TO HELP YOU GET STARTED IN
YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE. [MUSIC] WE HOPE THAT THIS MESSAGE HAS
ENCOURAGED YOU AS YOU REST IN THE GREAT PHYSICIAN’S CARE.
YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE AGAIN OR SHARE THIS MESSAGE
WITH A FRIEND WHO IS HURTING, AT LWF.ORG. YOU CAN ALSO
DOWNLOAD PASTOR ROGERS’ OUTLINE, NOTES AND A COMPLETE
TRANSCRIPT OF THIS MESSAGE. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY
FOR OUR PROGRAM. WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME. [MUSIC] [MUSIC]
LOVE WORTH FINDING IS A VIEWER SUPPORTED MINISTRY AND WE NEED
THE HELP OF FAITHFUL VIEWERS LIKE YOU AS WE PROCLAIM THE
GOSPEL EACH WEEK. AS THANKS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
THIS MONTH, WE’LL SEND YOU THE JOURNAL, “TAPESTRY: HOPE
AND HEALING.” THIS BEAUTIFUL JOURNAL WILL HELP GUIDE
AND GROW YOUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER
BECOMING A MONTHLY PARTNER. THANK YOU AND MAY
GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU.

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