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If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
October 27, 2021 12:30 am


If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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October 27, 2021 12:30 am

Mike discusses the need for true Christians to forgive one another, in the same way the Lord forgives us.

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This is good Truth Network welcome to If Not for God stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Your host Mike Swick oh's we need to hold mood newborn baby be hand feel the pride. And enjoy. He is, but greater still a a show already owns. We can face uncertain days because he Liz's be because healing is high can face tomorrow row because he is all fear is go on be because I know how he holds huge her head in life is worth the living just because he is well.

If not for God with Mike Swick.

We got another great show for you today.

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Thank you for listening. Share the show. But today I actually wanted to talk to you little bit about forgiveness. And when you when you look at forgiveness in the Bible. I think most people, they think of the words of Jesus Christ and in the book of Matthew Jesus said. He said if you forgive other people when they sin against you, that your heavenly father will forgive you when you sent it says, but but he said with you don't forgive other people of their sins against you, then God will hold onto your sons and he he will not forgive your sins and and that's a very serious thing.

But it was think about what are some practical applications of this because I think a lot of times we look at all of these we look at a verse we say will forgiveness.

That's a good thing I was actually thinking of the story of a Corrie 10 boom mystery goes like this. In November 1972, the author of the hiding place. I recall forgetting a guard at the concentration camp where her sister had died and it was in a church in Munich that I saw him she said, a balding, heavyset man in a gray overcoat are brown felt hat, clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear 1947 and had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives.

It was the truth that they needed most here in that bitter bombed Outland and I gave them my favorite mental picture.

Maybe because the sea is never far from Hollander's mind. I like to think that's where forgive and sins were thrown when we confess our sins.

I said God cast them into the deepest ocean gone forever. The solemn faces stared back at me. Not quite daring to believe there were never questions. After a talk in Germany in 1947 people stood up in silence and silence collected the wraps and silence left the room and that's when I saw him working his way forward against the others. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat. The next blue uniform advisor With its skull and cross bones and came back with a rush. The huge room with its harsh overheard overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor. The shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister's frail form ahead of me ribs short beneath the the parchment skin. Betsy how thin you were. Betsy and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the knock Nazi occupation of of Holland. This man had been a guard at ravens brought concentration camp where we were.

We were sent.

Now he was in front of me him thrust out a fine message for all and how good it is to know that as you say all of our sins are at the bottom of the sea and I would spoken so glibly, a forgiveness fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand, he would not remember me. Of course, how could he remember one prisoner among thousands of women, but I remembered him in the leather crop swinging from his belt.

It was the first time since my release that I had been face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze you mention ravens broken your talk. He was saying I was a garden there. No, he did not remember me. Since that time, he went on, I had become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things that I did in their but I would like to hear it from your lips as well crawl and again the hand came out.

Will you forgive me as I stood there I who sins had every day to be forgiven and could not Betsy had died in that place could he race her slow terrible death simply for the asking. It could not have been many seconds that he stood there hand hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I ever had to do for had to do it.

I knew that the message that God forgives has a prior condition that we forgive those with injured us. If you do not forgive men their trespasses. Jesus said, neither will your father in heaven forgive your trespasses. I knew it not only as a commandment of God.

But as a daily experience since the end of the war.

I had I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able to were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids.

It was as simple and as horrible as that and instill as I stood there with the coldness, clutching my heart, but forgiveness is not an emotion.

I knew that to forgiveness is an act of the will and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart, just help me. I prayed silently. I can lift my hand.

I can do that much. You supply the feeling and so wouldn't what would Emily mechanically. I thrust my hand into the one to stretch out to me and as I did an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder race down my arm spraying into our join hands and then this healing warmth seem to flood my whole being bringing tears to my eyes. I forgive you, brother. I cried with all of my heart for a long moment. We grasp each other's hands the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love, so intent intensely as I did then and having and having thus learned to forgive in this hardest of situations. I never again had difficulty in forgiven.

I wish I could say it. I wish I could say that merciful insurable thoughts just naturally flowed for me. From that day on, but they didn't. If there's one thing that I've learned it 80 years of age, it's that I can't store up good feelings and behavior but only draw them fresh from God. Each day, maybe I'm glad it's that way for every time I go to him.

He teaches me something else. I recall the time, some 15 years ago when some Christian friends whom I loved and trusted did something which hurt me.

You would've thought that having forgiven the Knox Nazi guard. This would've been child's play wasn't for weeks.

I see the inside but at last I asked God again to work his miracle in me.

And again it happened. First, the cold-blooded decision, then the flood of joy and peace. I forgiven my friends. I was restored my father, then why was I suddenly awake in the middle of the night hashing over the whole thing again, my friends, I thought people I love it had been strangers. I wouldn't have minded. So I sat up and switched on the light. Father, I thought I I thought it was all forgiven, please help me do it, but the next night. I woke up again. They talk so sweetly to never hit of what they were planning father.

I cried in the Lord help me his help came in the form of a kindly Lutheran pastor to whom I confessed my failure after two sleepless weeks up in that church tower. He said, nodding out the window in Isabel which is run by a pulling of a rope.

But you know what after the section lets go of the rope. The bell keeps on swinging first ding and then dong slower and slower until there's a final dong and it stops. I believe the same thing is true forgiveness.

We forgive someone we take our hand off of the rope, but if we been tugging at our grievances for a long time. We mustn't be surprised if the old angry thoughts keep coming for a while there, just the ding dong's of the of the old Bell slowing down and so it proved to be. There were a few more midnight reverberations a couple of dings when the subject came up in my conversation with the force which was my willingness and that matter had gone out of them.

They came less and less often and at last stop, together, and so I discovered another secret forgiveness that we can trust God not only above our emotions, but also about her own thoughts and still he had more to teach me even in the single episode, because many years later in 1970, American woman in American with whom I had shared the dingdong principal came to visit me in Holland and met the people involved aren't those the friends who let you down, he asked them as they left my apartment. Yes I said a little smudge smugly but you but can use but can see it's all forgiven, but you say he said, but what about them have accepted your forgiveness. They say there that they say there's nothing to forget they denied ever happened, but I can prove it. I went eagerly to my desk I have in black and white. I've saved all the letters and I can show you where Corey my friend slipped his arm through mine and gently closed the door.

Aren't you the one who sins are at the bottom of the sea and are the sins of your friends etched in black and white and I love that story because when I think about it. II think about our own forgiveness and not you heard the story a while ago of a lady who was going to heaven when she went heaven. She had to appear before St. Peter and St. Peter said okay now before you get into heaven. He said you have to spell a word correctly and she said okay. What's the word in and in. He said it's purple. She says PURPLE he says will welcome to heaven. He's is matter fact before you go in. He said I need you to stand here for a minute because I gotta go do something and you can do the same thing with the next person just at that moment. Her ex-husband walked up to heaven and any so great. I made it to heaven and she says not yet. She says, first you have to spell a word correctly and then you can get in heaven, her ex-husband, Sybil, what's the word she said Czechoslovakia so you know what I think about It's you know it's it's it's so easy to forgive. I think you know what when we think of a practical application of maybe a Corrie 10 boom, or maybe somebody else. I mean went when you look in the when you look in and and when it somebody else who was talking about forgiveness in their store.

You like yeah that's a great story but what about when it's turned on us. I was going through my emails earlier today and I got an email about Thanksgiving and I know every this is something that everybody's talking about right now. Just wanted to make sure that we have this and said good morning family and friends. It looks like we will be hosting Thanksgiving Thanksgiving again this year so I wanted to officially invite everyone. It looks like we are to have a big crowd so wanted to start getting a headcount so that we can prepare properly. Also with various covert 19 outbreaks I want to make sure that everyone who plans on coming must be vaccinated, who can be vaccinated so we can protect our elderly people in our young people as it will not be possible for many of us to stay, to stay away from each other during the Thanksgiving meal. Please let us know if you if you plan on coming by November 1.

And so it was interesting when I first got that email of her.

The first thing that came to my mind was thought forgiveness or love or anything like that was how could you do this you know I mean you know if you've been vaccinated, and you should worry about it or whatever and you're telling people who haven't had the vaccine that they can't come to dinner whatever, but I started to think about it from the story and will and one of the things that I thought about was that just the same way the skin of whoever's getting this dinner together or whatever they're doing.

I have to just like Corrie 10 boom for gave the people who are in the Nazi concentration camp after forgive them know if they if they say hey you can't come to Thanksgiving dinner. If you haven't had the vaccine. We have to forgive them and we have to love them.

We have to love people who disagree with us politically and sometimes it's so hard because I know on social media so he starts talking about politics and will get all this attention and you know you put a Bible verse up there that we wants to look at it but you know it. It really doesn't matter, but like what Corrie 10 boom said were she said that it is actually a forgiveness is not an emotion.

It's a decision so you just it's like you take the action of and you say I'm to forgive this person and then after you say that and after you follow through with that than many times the feelings follow better factors a few verses about forgiveness. Romans 1217 repay no one evil for evil to give give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

Romans 1217 Ephesians 28 for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.

So if we been if we been forgiven by grace we need to give that grace to other people. Proverbs 15 want a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Matthew 57 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Hebrews 812 for I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. It says in the word of God that that that we asked for forgiveness that he won't even remember our sins that we shouldn't remember people who have sinned against us. And this is a process. This is not something where we can just throw some oil on your pray pray for your quick and it will be dominated is a process by Corrie 10 boom said you have to make that decision.

John 1334, write a new commandment I give you that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

You also are to love one another.

Second Chronicles 714 if my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, and I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land. So we says basically no matter how bad things are.

You turn from your sin in it and you look to the father.

You asked for forgiveness will heal you and hope forgive you, Luke 17. Three.

If I bugged if I brother trespass against me rebuke him and if he repent, if your brother sins rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. Jesus actually talked about this. He says if somebody if somebody sins against you, 77 times in a day and you need to forgive them every single time. Forgive again and again and again and again. What were talking about this. I want you to think about the listener right now.

Is there somebody that you need to forgive been ex-husband and ex-wife, ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend 70 was done you wrong. Is it worth not making it to heaven because you decide you made the decision that you're not in a forgive someone I've heard people say will well that's not to keep out heaven okay. I mean really what Jesus said.

He said if you forgive other people of their sins against you, your father will forgive you if you don't forgive other people you're not to be forgiven and that doesn't seem very ambiguous. Doesn't seem kinda iffy. I would go ahead and forgive people, I mean it's it's so important, so important we and we have to love people, we have to forgive you. We think about the song amazing Grace, and in the song was actually written by John Newton who was a slave trader and when he realized how much he he had been forgiven by God.

He he really just he had to sing about yet to tell people about it and you know God is good. 100% of the time. Matter fact, the song actually goes like this may be seeing Gray's house.

We's own that say every which lies a committee high school's laws. No time alone was long in the allies see was Gray's my heart to fear and grace my fears really believed Oprah's did grace appear the for being Lee. There's the old song and it says the vilest offender who truly believes that moment from Jesus apart and receives there is actually a story in the Reader's Digest. It's called the unlikely partner and rainy woman woman a Samara island that God had told the Associated Press that retribution had been her only thought after her teenage son was murdered in a dramatic turn at the gallows. Literally moments before the killer was to be executed. She made a last minute decision to pardon the man she is now considered a hero mending fusion in May 2014 New York Times a photographer Peter Iago begin a photo essay project in Rwanda to demonstrate the forgiveness between the Hutus and the tube sees the two cultures involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took millions of lives in the photos. Members from both cultures standby side stand side-by-side by Francine illustrating the story of forgiveness and how the subject lives are now thoroughly intertwined the understanding what were after a long shift at the fire department.

Matt Swanson fell asleep while driving and crash into another vehicle. Taking the life of pregnant mother June Fitzgerald and injuring her 19-month-old daughter according to today.

Fitzgerald's husband a full-time pastor asked for the man's diminished sentence and began meeting with SWAT soul for coffee and conversations.

Many years later, the two men to the two men were remain close you.

You forgive as you've been forgiven. Pastor said another story. In an interview with real simple domestic violence survivor Pascal Cavanaugh said that she never thought she would reconnect with her mother. Her abuser during her adult life.

However, in 2010. Her mother suffered several strokes that left her unable to communicate her to take care of her self. These are the things that smart people do to prepare for death is a forgive other people with no one else to help Cavanaugh began to sit by her mother's bedside and read to her through this. Cavanaugh says the hate that she had for her mother dissipated into forgiveness of love.

When I think about that I think about Dr. Charles Stanley comes on the Truth Network he had he had said that when he was younger he had many problems with his stepfather and his mother said that she thought that she she should get remarried in and I assume that there were some abuse going on there and there were there were problems this and that he just he didn't treat Charles very well and so finally Charles later on in life. He found out that he needed to do something about this and he went to twin to his stepfather and he said he went up to him and he said I want you to ask. I want to ask your forgiveness for me not being nice for you and me not treating you better. He said that when he did that his stepfather actually broke down in tears and he asked he asked Charles for forgiveness as well.

Heard another story about a man who was in Africa and there was a group of people who were trying to kill this guy and one of the guys was trying to kill them that they they called him they were thrown in jail. I think they were to kill them and this guy Kate. He turned around he said he said no he said I want to forgive this man and he says I want you to let them go and the guy that he forgave actually became a Christian as well.

There are so many stories that we could go on and on and on and on about forgiveness, with an in and in and it's so, so cold, I think, to kinda see this in a general perspective about how we come to look at other people and we say yeah that's a great thing for them to forgive her that that's a really good thing for them to do work for them to say or whatever it is, but the problem is is what about when it's turned on us. What about when the story really turns to us and when were the one who has to forgive. It's a lot harder than another guy who I know used to be on the Truth Network with Chuck Swindoll said that when he was young man he just got married this young stockbroker a come by and he had a hit asked him to invest in this venture and when he asked them to invest in the venture. He finally got the money together I think was $5000 and he said that he got it he gave the guy the money and he said he never heard from him again and he said he had to learn to forgive that man even though he had taken his life savings was one man who cheated another man out of money in a business deal so he said okay. I wanted him to say something nice about this man.

He says when we when he dies, we should bury him 8 feet deep because deep down he's a good person.

Well, that's not the kind of forgiveness that were talking about. Sometimes we just have to forgive and forget. Because of the Lord says that that were he's not to remember our sins anymore. We should remember other people.

Some the power of worship in heaven and praise and worship. It actually confuses the enemy and sometimes I believe the for having a tough time forgetting other people. Sometimes what we do is we just start to praise the Lord.

Worship the Lord.

One of the things that I do is I read Scripture out loud and and and once I start to sing to the Lord and I pray to the Lord and I thank him for all of the good things that he's done for me when I want to turn around and I want to do is I would go ahead, forgive other people, and it's not as hard when I do that matter fact you know what we talk about anger and and unforgiveness and stuff like that pastor Chad Harvey who who actually comes on the station. He actually said that he went he was listening to talk radio. He was so angry about what was going on in the country this that the other he said all of a sudden goes into a gas station and that he sit there.

He's angry. He's in line and sesame comes up to me, says pastor Chad because yeah I got your church and pastor Chad says. Praise God. And so the pastor Chad actually had to go back out of the car. Do something. He started listening to his listing to the talk radio again and he went back in and he went up to the clerk any to tell the clerk something is wrong with the car wash pastor Chad said to this lady said to him pastor Chad I go to your church and he said these are two of the nicest people and he said that you know what he realized as he cast a focus on the good focus on Jesus focus on all the blessings that Jesus has given us not focus on all the problems and everything that's bad on the world. If we focus on everything that's wrong. It's really it's really easy to have a spirit of unforgiveness because were looking at everything that's wrong in the world instead of looking at everything that's right and wrong I'm not saying to just ignore everything and to stick your head in the sand. That's not what I'm saying but I do believe that if we have a if we have a spirit of forgiveness if we have a spirit of love and of peace were not fearful like everybody else's and people were to look at us in there to say that something is different. But if were just as fearful and scared and worried as the rest the world is why would they ever look to us for peace.

He never received that forgiveness for your sins and and you'd like to give your life to Jesus today and you like to have eternal life.

Jesus said in John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. If you'd like to go to heaven with us today if you'd like to be in heaven with us we were to be someday just pray with me right now for Jesus I know in the center. I've I've sinned against you and I have I have failed war, but I accept your forgiveness for my sins. I turned my life over to you, Lord, I want to live in heaven for you forever. In Jesus name, amen. You prayed that prayer just shoot us a message on. If not for God with Mike's waiver. Let us know guys were so glad to see again. Thanks again for another good week has reminded us how fragile and unpredictable life is not about your landline and their financial security plan for the teacher what our file line 6 1873 the Polish Roman Catholic in America has been protecting its members and their families financially join our life today of affordable life insurance and community right to know member even lower your income and the retirement income need our life transferring their existing 3.1 year hundred dollar man on our work how your life are a reference and incentive for our life, protecting life. This is the Truth Network say what would you do if you are a new Christian and you didn't have a Bible like a Woolworth. By the way, from the Bible, the international you'd probably say will and hop in my car and go to Christian bookstore or have one shipped to make one of those word options sing with him due to the faith. I mean I need to know what it means to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, you know, you would pray that someone, anyone would bring you a Bible and that's exactly the way it is for literally aliens are Christians around the world are part of her spiritual family. There are new to the faith they want to know what it means to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus but God has them planning were it's very difficult to access the Bible and that's why the Truth Network and Bible league of teamed up to sing God's word to 3500 Bible as believers around the globe. Our campaign is called the world needs the word five dollars sins of Bible $100 since 20.

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