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August 13, 2021 1:00 am
In Matthew 18, Jesus gave a dire warning to those who refuse to forgive other people. But what does it mean when it says God will not forgive us if we fail to forgive others? In this message we examine this crucial teaching, and learn the importance of being quick to forgive.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Horace, Jesus gave a dire warning to those who refuse you today what it means to say that God will not forgive us if we fail to forgive others work through this crucial teaching with us and then to be quick to forgive the Moody Church in Chicago this one looks or whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line vasculature.
I have a relative who took her refusal to forgive to her grave damage left behind may never be repaired. Gave to me as a pastor that's absolutely heartbreaking but I have to say that the experience that you have just talked about is very common. People are bitter and they take that bitterness to the grave and they leave behind the shattering of relationships. I say today to all who are listening to this message don't die that way and don't live that way. Let us be quick to forgive, and you know messages like this can be shared because of those who invest in this ministry. We don't consider you to be simply people who contribute we see you as part of the running to win family right now where in the middle of a matching gift campaign. Some of our friends have said that they are willing to match whatever is given.
Would you like to become a part of that so that your gift is doubled. Here is what you do go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now let us let God examine our hearts on the topic of forgiveness. Are you telling me that God is going to revoke forgiveness that was once given. That's the way this parable is frequently interpreted that the man you see, the servant who owed 10,000 talents who couldn't pay and now refuses to forgive his fellow servant. He is put into the prison until he should pay the debt, namely the 10,000 talents. That would mean that the king actually revoke forgiveness and said I forgive you, but then went back on his word because the fellow servant was faithful and following through with mercy is not what God is like. I'm glad that when God forgives us his forgiveness is irrevocable. The gifts and the calling of God. Last when God says I forgive you, that is forgiven. He does not insist that we pay up later. No matter what kind of people we become in terms of our anger and bitterness.
Let's look at this verse again and interpreted differently.
All right, verse 34 and in anger, his master delivered him to the jailer until he should pay all his debt will obviously he can pay the debt of $10 million.
We've already granted that I think that the debt that is being referred to is the debt of extending forgiveness to the fellow servant and so what's really going on here in the text is not that the king now expects him to pay the 10,000 talents. But the king says I'm putting you into prison, until the debt which needs to be paid is forgiveness to the person who owed you 100 NARA and having been forgiven much you will be in prison until you stop insisting on justice and begin to insist on mercy and forgive. Also keep in mind that we're talking about here in human relationships were not necessarily talking about eternity and it is always a little dangerous to take a parable and then to use it in such a way that it contradicts other passages of Scripture. So that's why I think this interpretation fits much better to the context when he is saying is if that if you do not forgive, you will be put into a torture chamber until you are willing to forgive.
One time I was listening to W LS radio in the morning Don Wade and Roma apologies to Moody Bible Institute station and Roma read this, which she wrote I was so impressed with it that I contacted the station or my assistant did and I actually got it. This is what she said do you harbor resentment, then your poisoning your own meal at lights banquet table. Imagine your mind is a little shop of horrors, a kind of museum, filled with relics of all the injustices and the harm you've ever endured. Each exhibit depicts your memory of what someone did or didn't brightly illuminated by your resentment. Every exhibit has a soundtrack echoing with a loud angry and accusing voices. The walls are covered with horrible instruments of punishment, and the long list of penalties to be inflicted on your wrongdoers and coding everything is a thick cleaning and residue of self-pity that keeps you from moving along to the new future wing of your museum where exhibits are filled with pleasure and joy, and new possibilities you imagine what it would be like to be locked permanently inside such a chamber of order and agent resentment.
If you are unable to forgive others real or imagined wrongs against you, and that horror chamber exists within you. That chamber of ill will is in your own mind and soul and whatever price you pay for maintaining such a museum of resentment. The negative reliving of your past strokes of anger, resentment and seething hostility. It also turns your mind against itself.
It is like poison to your soul. The simple, profound truth is that the entire horror shop rumbles if you're willing to forgive. By forgiving others. You forgive yourself. You gain a new sense of self-esteem and for your own spirit to soar to new heights. There is no time to waste. Now is the time to stop the pain of the past from poisoning the joys of your present and your future decide to forgive some of you are in that torture chamber. You have been handed over to the torturers until you forgive the person who has wronged you the most and you see when we continue with resentment when we continue to be committed to resentment then what happens is very clear in our minds and hearts, we become a servant. Basically to the person who wronged us and that's why number four is true forgiveness leads us out of our personal prison of resentment and hatred, let me ask you something.
The person who has wronged you.
Controlling your life now because of resentment.
You cannot sleep and whatever you do not forgive your member you pass on to others. Your anger is evident to your children, it's evident to those around you and even though you denied it is very clear in all of your relationships. Do realize that that person who has hurt you has hurt you enough and the only way to be free from that hurt is to choose to lay the bitterness down you must do that or you're in a torture chamber of your own horrors. There is 1/5 truth that I'd like to make about true forgiveness and that is the true forgiveness is really a choice.
It is a choice. It may not be explained explicitly here in the text, but it is there, the man who is in the torture chamber. He can choose to forgive. Here is something that I believe is so devastating to many people. Many people take the point of view, I will forgive when I feel like forgiving and then they define feeling like forgiving, as once the hurt begins to subside and the hurt begins to stop then I am ready to forgive. Fact is, the hurt never stops, especially if you keep it alive in your mind by resentment, which is really sweet poison.
You think to yourself all the different ways that you would like to use to get even with that person and these ways well up within you and you imagine them over and over and over again in your mind and you're saying someday. All forgive but not now because vengeance is so strong in your soul and it poisons all of your relation. That's why the Bible is so clear. We must choose to forgive. Now this point. I do need to make an explanation. There are some Bible teachers whom I greatly respect to think that you should never forgive anybody unless they ask for forgiveness and I understand that because what they are really saying is, is that the goal of forgiveness is always restoration and you can't be restored to somebody who doesn't admit his or her faults and evil against you if you can't be restored to a person like that. But what I'm talking about today is is a kind of forgiveness that might not lead to reconciliation, but it is a giving up of all bitterness and laying it at the feet of Christ and saying enough already. I choose to lay it down. Some of you need to do that with people who are dead.
I remember telling you the story years ago about a woman who took a train here from Chicago to Pennsylvania to go to the grave of her mother was a prostitute in there at the grave just to suddenly spell it all out all the anger all the shame.
Everything because you see people who are dead can still control us because of our anger and because of our shame, and the Bible says that we are to forgive as we been forgiven and the message of this parable is very clear.
God really has forgiven you much and is paid a tremendous price to do it. The gift of his son and we're the ones who have been wronged, and somebody owes us 100 denarii.
Maybe $100 and compares and we say oh yeah, when it comes to God.
I want mercy.
Although God, you know that I want mercy. You know that I need race that has to be from all of you to forgive all of my sins. It's all of you, but in her relationships with others. Justice and if I don't get justice.
I'm going to hang on to this Lycan title.
I will not give this up.
Not even for God there's some people who look to their past. It is their idol. It is their calling card. It is there ability to be able to really address those wrongs. Any healing that takes place is something like a scab on a scar. They peel off the scab just to see how things are going within the wound and it's over and over again like Velcro to their soul. They will not let it down. They will not give it up in one of the reasons is because they want justice and you know something is not wrong to want justice. I'm going to explain to you a way by which you can give up your bitterness and maintain your sense and desire for justice. At the same time, but you're not the one who's going to be administering the justice that's the member that verse of Scripture in first Peter. I've used it in counseling so often forgive me if you've heard me say this before when Jesus was reviled. He reviled not again but committed himself on to him who judges justly while what Jesus said is I don't need justice in this life.
I'm willing to take injustice.
Why because I commit my case to the Supreme Court of the universe, and I believe that the father is going to eventually bring justice to this situation in the day of resurrection. He's going to set the record straight, and I have so much faith in him that I can forgive and I can live with injustice without bitterness because I got a father who's going to take care of the justice issue for me. That's what God says to you and to me today. I'll take care of the justice issue. You have to be freed now. I do also want to emphasize that forgiveness is both a an event and a process. In other words, just because you really lay it all down.
It might want to eventually come all back, but you know you don't really have to let it come back at least with the force that you may be experiencing bitterness. Now resentment and anger. You don't need to let it come back. Oh, it will end. Sometimes it does and that is wrong, but when it does is you keep committing yourself onto him who judges righteously and tell the father I'm not going back there again. I'm not going to rehearse all this and take all of the wrongs that have been done to me.
I am going to actually lay it down so that I can walk away and when it comes back. I affirm again that it has been committed to the father I have chosen to forgive and I'm not going to be defined by my bitterness by my abuse by my hurt anymore.
That's no longer who I am and then by God's grace.
You walk away. I've said it in a different context.
You take all of the bitterness the anger and the resentment. Some of you have that between yourself and your spouse today.
Family members father's against children.
Children against their fathers of the list is endless, and Satan uses all of these offenses to let people be stuck so they can't move on to wholeness and healing because they hang on and say unless there's justice unless there's this or that I will not God did not take kindly the king certainly did not take kindly to the servant who said all get mercy from the king but I'll make sure that I get justice from the people who only God says, you wicked slave should been forgiven so much.
Can't you forgive the wrongs that have been done against you and walk away free. I believe that if there was the forgiveness of bitterness and restoration within our families that we would see a spiritual movement in our church in our city. Throughout all of America.
What keeps it us from it are the walls internationally say I will sit here and you die there and you never move along so you willing to lay it all down today. Get rid of it. Here's what were going to do you can do this just in a church service.
If I were in a counseling room now and had 20 or 30 minutes with you.
I would, I would walk you through and just give you time to pour your heart out to God, that's a little difficult to do here but I want you to promise me today that you will do that. Maybe this afternoon it you don't cut out in our take whatever time it needs. And say God, this hour is for you and me and were really going to finally forgive from the heart is Jesus said here no longer.
Yeah I forgive them but boy am I ever angry known on your you're going to forgive from the heart with God's help and what you're going to do is to spend enough time there to deal with it that you can get up off of your needs and say God I sense a release. This bitterness is no longer going to be what I constantly focus on and then ask forgiveness of the person wherever it is necessary and wherever it is feasible so that there can be not only forgiveness but in many instances, reconciliation can't always be as I've explained, but in many instances it can and if you make that promise. While we sing the closing song today. I'm actually going to be at the floor right here wanted to come and shake my hand shaking my hand. It gives you no special blessing. There's nothing connected to it.
I'll tell you why I'm doing it is I want you to make a visible promise.
I will do what God showed me I must and I am going to do it in the next day or two. You're making that promise that it will help you to nail it down and be done with it so that you can move on. Let's pray together. Father we come with many questions. There are those who say well how do I live with someone when there's a constant need of forgiveness questions that we haven't entirely answered, but we've we've learned enough from this parable that we Treat our fellow servants with justice and then expect mercy from you.
You do give us mercy and you expect us to exercise it. Make us a forgiving people and for those whose hurts run so deep old by your Holy Spirit do what we can't set people free. May they release others so that they themselves can be released and is your Holy Spirit has worked give them the courage to say yes today I'm going to follow through with with what the Lord has shown me in Jesus name, amen.
My friend, this is Pastor Luther.
When I gave that invitation here at the Moody church many, many people came forward.
Would you purpose in your heart today to be a person who forgives.
I hold in my hands a letter someone responding to our ministry saying I want to give you a big thank you your teaching set me free.
I turned 63 yesterday was listening to your ministry and you talked about vengeance belonging to God. Suddenly I had an epiphany. I feel free to let go of my resentment and forgive those who have wronged me. You showed me freedom in Jesus is the best gift I could ever have one of blessing letters like that are to me and I know they bless you as well. Would you consider helping us here at the ministry of running to win where in the midst of a matching gift challenge some of our friends have said that they are willing to double any gift that is given here is what you do go to RTW offer.com because after all, you know your $20 will become 40 or 50 will become 100 go to RTW offer.com or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 become a part of the running to win family because we are committed to setting people free in the name of Jesus free to forgive time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life and time is actually our focus today thanks to Brian who wrote asking this on your program you were talking about Satan and his fall from glory.
I think that you said something about millions of years.
So do you believe in an old earth or a young earth. Brian I want you to know that you really has two separate questions. I think the statement that I made was that maybe Satan fell millions of years ago, but he most assuredly could have fallen before the earth and the stars were even created.
There's nothing that really gives us an accurate timeline, but recently I was listening to a Bible teacher who was saying that Satan fell after creation, because everything that God created was good and he fell when he saw that Adam was given the responsibility of taking dominion over the earth, and Satan because of jealousy because of his own desire for control.
Here he is, he's these beautiful angel. He sins and become Satan, he becomes the devil and so according to this Bible teacher.
It happened actually after the creation of Adam and Eve and they were being put their into the garden and you know the more I began to think of it this teacher might be right.
Bottom line is this. I don't know exactly when Satan fell. I do believe in a young earth, it seems to me that when you read the book of Genesis. The intention of the author is to say that creation took place in seven days 24 hours. If you asked me about all of the scientific evidence that is a huge, huge question, and I encourage you to continue to study all kinds of books have been written about that and then I do appreciate your answer. Hope that this helps you on your journey.
Thank you Brian, thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 oh should parents react when a child knows his or her own way, knowing the sorrow that the child will face in the parable of the prodigal son we can learn some major spiritual truth, and the same time learn how to be better parents. Next time I'm going to win will turn to Luke chapter 15 or a lesson on getting parenting right.
Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher