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How Often Should We Forgive?, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2021 7:05 am

How Often Should We Forgive?, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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August 17, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Ministry: A Study of Matthew 14–20

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Greg Laurie
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James Banks
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Dr. Gary Chapman
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Pastor Ernie Sanders
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Erwin Lutzer

We live in divisive days to terms describe our current cultural state polarized and binary. These words accurately depict the send them posture so often pushes people want to opposing sides today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll will assert that our conflict ridden times widely need to virtues celebrated in the Bible, humility and forgiveness.

So, in a spirit of contrition. To what extent should we go to relinquish our right in our study of Matthew's gospel chapter 18 Chuck titled today's message how often we forget God's word today to Matthew chapter 18 will complete the chapter, but the message of the chapter will go with you. Believe, for the rest of your life, not because of what I say. But because of the truth that is uncovered as it is applied from these verses were looking at Matthew 1821 through 35.

I'll be reading from the new living translation. Then Peter came to him and asked Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me seven times. No not seven times.

Jesus replied, but 707. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him in the process. One of his debtors was brought in, who owed him millions of dollars he couldn't pay, so his master ordered that he be sold along with his wife, his children and everything he owned to pay the debt, but the man fell down before his master and begged him. Please be patient with me and I will repay it all. Then his master was filled with pity for him and he released him and forgave his debt.

But when the man left the king he went to a fellow servant who only have a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. Be patient with me and I will pay it. He pleaded, but his creditor wouldn't wait.

He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full with some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They would to the king and told him everything that it happened. Then the king called and the man he had forgiven and said you evil servant however gave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me should you have mercy on your fellow servant just as I have mercy on you, then the angry King sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

That's what my heavenly father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart. Not only is the application penetrating the question that the whole story revolves around is a question of quantity.

How how often should we forgive another and behind that question is a deeper one. Why forgive at all. The answer may surprise. It also may explain something that's been going on in your life for a long time, but not until today. Have you been able to identify the reason to study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight another message from Chuck titled with a question.

How often should we forgive. I have a question that you will not be able to answer but it is such a haunting question. You will never forget it. The breadth of it is too wide and the significance of it is too broad, but it must nevertheless be asked.

The first story back in 1997 when Philip Yancey first wrote what's so amazing about Grace. He was nice enough to send me sign copy and as soon as I received it.

As I recall them almost one sitting. I read it through.

I was intrigued by the question because I love the subject. The deeper I got into it the more I appreciated the journey he was taking us on, I found myself especially intrigued with the chapter titled why forgive and then the following night. Chapter getting even that one really stuck with me because it included the story of Simon. These in fall.

As you know much about the World War II Nazis and the years that followed were the Nazis were hunted.

You'll remember that Simon Weisenthal was the foremost hunter of Nazis and a relentless public voice against hate crime with things in Simon's life.

Earlier were much different and that takes us back to 1944 when Weisenthal was a young Polish prisoner of the Nazis. He had looked on helpless as Nazi soldiers killed his grandmother on the stairway of her home and as they forced his mother into a freight car crammed with elderly Jewish women altogether 89 of his Jewish relatives would die at the hands of the Nazis. Weisenthal himself tried without success to commit suicide when he was first captured one bright sunny day as Weisenthal's prison detail was cleaning rubbish out of the hospital for German casualties. A nurse approached him. Are you would you she asked hesitatingly then signaled him to accompany her apprehensive.

Weisenthal followed her up close stairway and down the hallway until the recent dark musty room for a long, soldierly swab in bandages, white gauze covered the man's face with openings cut out for mouth, nose and ears. The nurse disappeared, closing the door behind her to leave the young prisoner alone with this figure, the wounded man was an SS officer and he had summoned Weisenthal for a deathbed confession. His name as he put it, my name is Carl Sutter raspy voice that came from somewhere within the bandages. I must tell you of this horrible deed that you because you are a Jew, began his story by reminiscing about his Catholic upbringing at his childhood faith which he had lost while in the Hitler youth Corps. He later volunteered for the SNS and served it with distinction, and had only recently returned, badly wounded from the Russian front three times is Carl try to tell his story. Weisenthal pulled away as if to leave each time the officer reached out to grab his arm with a white nearly bloodless hand begged him to listen to what he had just experienced in the Ukraine in a small town, abandoned by the retreating Russians. Carlos units stumble onto booby-traps that killed 30 of the SS soldiers as an act of revenge. The SS rounded up 300 Jews herded them into a three-story house dusted with gasoline and fire grenades edit Carl and his men encircle the house.

Their guns drawn to shoot anyone who tried to escape the screams from the house were horrible. He said, reliving the moments I thought of a man with a small child in his arms. His clothing was aflame biocides to the woman.

Doubtless the mother of the child with his free hand. The man covered the child's eyes then jumped into the street. Seconds later, the mother followed then from the other windows fill burning bodies we shot.

Oh God. All this time Simon's reasons all set in silence, letting the German soldiers speak, Carl went on to describe other atrocities, but he kept circling back to the scene of that young boy with black hair and dark eyes falling from a building target practice for SS rifles.

I'm left here with my guilt. He concluded at last in the last hours of my life. You were here with me.

I do not know who you are. I know only that you are a Jew and that is enough. I know that what I've told you was terrible in the long nights while I been waiting for death time and time again I have longed to talk about it to a Jew and big forgiveness from him, only I didn't know whether there were any Jews left.

I know what I'm asking is almost too much for you, but without your answer I cannot die in peace Simon Weisenthal and architect in his early 20s, now a prisoner dressed in a shabby uniform marked with a yellow Star of David tell the immense crushing burden of his race bearing down on him. He stared out the window at the sunlit courtyard.

He looked at the eyeless heap of bandages lying in the bed. He wants to blue bottle fly buzzing the dying man's body attracted by the smell at last, I made up my mind Weisenthal writes in without a word. I left the room.

The SS officer Carl soon died unforgiven, but that you but Simon Weisenthal lived on to be liberated from a death By American troops. The scene in the hospital room haunted him like a ghost, over the years. Weisenthal asked many rabbis and priests what he should have done. Finally, more than 20 years after the war had ended. He wrote down the story and send it to the brightest ethical lines. He knew Jew and Gentile Catholic Protestant antireligious. He asked him what would you were done in my place and that is what I ask you today, what would you have done had you been Simon Weisenthal back in 1944 is almost too much. It's it's it is too much first were not there. This is now second-most of us are not Jewish, and because were not Jewish. We cannot possibly enter fully fully into the emotion of that remodel All-Star grandmother Chandra stairway RR mother crushed into a cattle car or 89 of our relatives were not Simon Weisenthal. So how can we answer so we leave the question for you to live with and talk about and think about because my real concern today as you are living your life in a prison not not not a death camp like Weisenthal but your own self-made prison where the walls are high and the bars are thick and foreboding of intimidating and for the torturing that goes on inside the prison is known only to you.

For it is done in the secret chambers of your own life. The prison is named unforgiveness. You have your own Carl may not be nearly as dramatic as what we have just heard and certainly would not be but you find that you cannot escape the misery of where your lack of forgiveness has brought you for deep within their there is blame resentment, bitterness, the bearing of a grudge and just the thought of that person's face as you close your eyes and see that face in the back of your eyelids or the memory of what was done to rush you back into the prison of unforgiveness. Listen to the words of Lewis Smedes the personal often the only person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiveness when we genuinely forgive. We set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free with us. So, in light of that insightful statement. I want to speak to you today who were living in the prison don't know who you are is best that way. You may have formed the habit as you been growing up to do this with those who really harm you.

You have long since forgotten about forgiving you think more often about getting even unforgiveness doesn't get better it gets worse, because that's true. When Peter asks a question in the middle of an otherwise rather simple chapter of Scripture. I think the answer, Jesus gave him, caught him completely off guard. I love it the way Scripture were I would like to build my case here addresses the issue and leaves it for us to apply it because the way Jesus handles things. There's always that penetrating application that doesn't let you squirm your way out.

You find yourself cornered and you feel belongs index finger punching at your sternum, asking what would you do about this, but first the story Peter comes to Jesus and asks about the club chapter 18 verse 21 of Matthew Lord, how often should I forgive someone, it's a fair question.

At what point do I start looking foolish. How many times does a person hardly before I begin to be a human doormat.

How much is too much at what point does additional heard reach its limit and then he brings a number to the surface. It may sound like he just tossed it out there pick it out of thin air and all knowledge, not in your life seven times. He asks, I think Peter expected to be commended. Here's one essay that in those days, the rabbis taught three times you forgive an individual three times from been on the forgiveness but seven times peters double the number and added one for good measure.

I think he expected a smile and in fact what he got was a surprising answer, Jesus says, in effect, would you believe 707. Now when I tease this.

I always had to remember there are engineers present who will multiply and save 490 like 491 I can unload the truck on the right wrong. Get the picture number of times 70777007000 every time every time. Always that's the point.

Jesus the master teacher never simply gave a quick answer and walked away. He often buttressed the answer with the story love stories you do to.

We love them because they pique our curiosity where is this going. Furthermore, they leave us in our imagination to push away the limits wouldn't go beyond the realm of reality is we take the story wherever so it fits everyone of us. Your name is in here and mine is in here were were were all over the story and the best part is when you go to the application it it it penetrates like a hot poker going through, but her right into the heart story begins with a comparison the kingdom of heaven can be compared. Stop you here kingdom of heaven you think of a place wrong.

Think of a lifestyle when you want to live in the kingdom life. When you want to model the life of Jesus.

Our word is when you want to be Christ like. Which would be kingdom of heaven being live in an earthly setting so that could be compared to this is a peters and drove all over my I suggest you learn from the story until you Minassian turned that we all learn as Peter apostle Peter, who came up the title for today's message form of a question. How often should we forgive you listening to the Bible teaching of pastor and author Chuck Swindoll featured every day here on Insight for living and there's much more to learn from this 18th chapter of Matthew, so please keep listening to discover the resources available for today's topic, please visit us well in this comprehensive series on the book of Matthew, you've likely seen a pattern in the way Chuck dissects every single word in every single verse. It's a discipline he learned in seminary and one he's perfected through the decades of preparing for sermons like the one you heard today. He says they're getting ready for a message is a lot like preparing a wonderful meal.

The Bible gives us all the right ingredients for cooking up healthy food for our souls. Take some training and he shows you how in his book called searching the Scriptures find the nourishment your soul needs you can purchase a copy right now by going to and then when you give a donation that's above and beyond the price for books and resources God will use your generosity to impact men and women in all walks of life, and in all seasons of life to give a donation today go online to few people have more impact on this nonprofit ministry. Even those who agree to become a monthly if you're prepared to take the step like you to do so by calling us listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8880 as a monthly companion you're helping us reach single dads businesswomen teachers and students, all of whom affirm their gratitude daily visits each one confirms that God is working through our monthly join the team right now, listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8884 go online to all tackles the question how often should we forgive right here on Insight for living. The preceding message. How often should we forget, was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide.

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