“Forgive” – according to Miriam Webster: 1.) to cease to feel resentment against an offender; 2.) to give up resentment of, or claim to, requital; 3.) to grant relief from payment; 4.) excusing an offense without exacting a penalty; and 5.) excuse or forgiveness for a fault, offense or discourtesy. (any emphasis is mine)
As humans with a hereditary sin nature, we are all considered to be sinners while on this earth (Romans 3:23). There was only one person that has ever led a totally sin-free life while on this earth, and that was Jesus the Christ. His blood was pure and not human-mixed as He was placed in the womb by the Holy Spirit, and not by Joseph. Also, Mary’s blood never mixed with His as she was just the “carrying vessel” until His birth. Everyone else that has ever lived, and will ever live all the way to the end of the millennium, carries the sin-nature that Adam and Eve gave to all of us when they sinned (Genesis 3).
As sinners, if we didn’t have a Savior to forgive us, our eternity would be to be cast into the Lake of Fire forever, which would be our righteous punishment because any and all unforgiven sin is death (Revelation 20:11-15; Romans 6:23).
With the grace of Jesus and mercy from the Father that has been shown to us, we are able to have a new beginning with God. When we repent and confess our sins, and when we ask Jesus to be our Savior, we are given full forgiveness of our sins because of the perfect sacrificial death, and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. With the fact that we have received forgiveness, our Heavenly Father righteously commands us to forgive those who have sinned against us in any way.
One point here before going on: forgiving someone who has truly hurt us, or tried to hurt us, is probably one of the hardest things in this life we will be faced with. By forgiving someone, we are not condoning what was done, and we do not have to even like them. Also, someone who has been a victim of a very harmful act does not have to trust that person as well. We are “releasing” them and what they did to the authority of the Almighty Heavenly Father. It will be His to judge others, and it will release the hold their actions had on us.
All through the gospels, we read of the confrontations Jesus had with the “religious leaders” of His day. He pretty much made it plain to them who He was (John 10:30), and that by rejecting Him, they would not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. There were a couple exceptions with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, and possibly some others. With this in mind, Jesus made the ultimate example for us by asking the Father to forgive them. Crucifixion was one of the most painful and degrading forms of death, yet in His agony, Jesus was offering them an opportunity to repent and be saved. The choice became theirs completely to make.
For some verses on this subject, we go first to Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on them, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another; and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.”
Matthew 6:14-15; “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Luke 17:3-4; “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times saying, I Repent, you must forgive him.” (This goes along with Matthew 18:21 where Peter asked the Lord if he should forgive someone seven times, and the Lord replied seventy times seven.)
Ephesians 1:7; 4:31-32; “In Him (Jesus), we have redemption through His blood; the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.”
Psalm 103:12; “As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
Micah 7:18-19; “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity, and passing over transgressions for the remnant of His inheritance?” (originally for Jews, but also for all believers) He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love (see 2 Peter 3:9). He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You (God) will cast all out sins into the depths of the sea.”
One more – Mark 11:25; “And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also, who is in Heaven, may forgive your trespasses.”
In this current day and age, we are nearing the time when Jesus will call all true believers up to meet Him in the air (Rapture or Harpazo). There is an enormous amount of hate being generated by people who are being influenced by Satan and his demons. This is not a surprise to our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The satanic activities have been around since the beginning of time; however, they have been increasing steadily over the past couple years. Today, there are changes daily that we did not see earlier. Isaiah 5:20 where good is called evil, and evil is called good, is absolutely in full effect. Satanists are out in the open as never before.
God has not changed His mind as to what sin is, and what are abominations to Him. For all who are willing to turn away from their habitual sinful life, He is ready and willing to save all who call on Him (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-13). As Christians, we are subjected to more hate than ever before. Christian businesses are being challenged as being “prejudiced” in the courts, and some small businesses have literally had to shut down.
Our President, Vice President, and any others that profess a belief in Jesus are being challenged. It’s almost as if the deluding influence given in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 is in full force. Sad part is, we’re only experiencing a “taste” of what this world will be like during the Tribulation/Wrath period. It will be beyond anything we could possibly imagine. To even try and accept Jesus during that time will be possible, but the cost will most likely be martyrdom.
This is why so many of us are trying to reach souls every day that need Jesus. We all need Him, but the majority will reject Him as given in Matthew 7:13-14. He will turn no one away, but at the same time, will not force anyone to accept Him either. When we have forgiven those who have done us wrong, we are opening our minds to the comfort that our Heavenly Father offers. Yes, we will still feel pain because of what others have done, but we will not be an active part of it. Jesus even knew all along who was going to betray Him, yet, I believe, He stood ready to forgive Judas if he had truly repented. All scripture referencing the “betrayer” made it clear Judas was never going to repent.
Release anything that may come between you and the Savior today. Pray for Him to provide a forgiving frame of mind for you. He’s ready to take on all our troubles, and provide a sense of peace. To repeat, this in no way condones the actions of others; it directs them to the one capable of taking care of them. Our Heavenly Father is more than qualified to take our “problems” upon Himself. After all, His Son took on All Sin so that we could have an eternal paradise. Call today; that “midnight hour” clock is getting closer all the time.
Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus!