“ The Un-forgiven Christian”

As I prayed about this weeks study the Lord kept bringing to my mind to teach on forgiveness. Well, I kept pushing it out of my mind because, Rev Kim, a group member had posted a topic on our group called forgiveness. Pam Foy, Donna Heavner & I had all posted our own testimony on the topic and so I felt it had already been covered to some degree. As I went through the week talking to others, the forgiveness thing just kept popping up until I then understood the reason why God wanted to go this way. The Lord revealed to my spirit as I studied that the greatest sin among Christians, or believers today is not smoking, drinking, cursing, judging others, or any other of the host of sins we as believers commit. The greatest sin is UN-FORGIVENESS. I am going to attempt this week to show you through God’s word that if you harbor un-forgiveness in your heart toward anyone, for anything, you are that “Un-Forgiven Christian“. You are then a Christian in Title only, and you are still guilty before God and you still have a ton of un - forgiven sin in your life even though you may have specifically asked him to forgive you. Now I know some of you may be saying…”Hold on there Mr. Tim, The day I asked Christ into my heart, he forgave me of all of my sin, past, present and future…I am forgiven“!! Well first of all, when you accept Christ, only your past and present sins are forgiven at that point. If he forgave us of future sins at that point, Why would we need to confess them and ask for forgiveness every time we sin now? Well, as I told my Cousin Pam one day and many times thereafter, don’t believe me, look it up in God’s word, and so we shall. Please get your Bibles out and let’s see what God has to say on the matter.

First of all, here are a few commands to believers in God’s word…

Ephesians 4 : 31 & 32...Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you…

Here is yet another command to forgive…

Colossians 3: 12 & 13...Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Luke 6: 37..."Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Note here that Jesus puts conditions on judgment, condemnation and forgiveness. Judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned, Forgive….And You Will be forgiven…So Jesus tell us here the condition he places on him forgiving you, is you forgiving others.

Again, in Matthew Jesus taught them about forgiveness using a parable, now if you are unfamiliar with the term parable…here is the dictionary meaning…

Parable…A short story designed to convey a truth or moral lesson.

Matthew 18: 23 - 35...Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii (about $17.00). He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

In the parable we just read… Who is the King?…It is God…Who is the first servant?…It is you or me, the one who begged God to forgive us of our trespasses…Who is the second servant?…The one we will not forgive… Jesus said in vs. 35...This is how my Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your Brother from your heart. Now, who is being addressed here and in the previous scripture we have read, BELIEVERS !!! O.K. Let’s try this one on for size…Most of us know the Lord’s Prayer…which starts in Matthew 6 vs. 9 - 13 (please read on your own)...but to cut to the chase here let’s go to vs. 12 and go through vs. 15...

Matthew 6: 12- 15...Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Again, who is Jesus talking to here? He is talking to believers. People who have already had their sins forgiven by believing and trusting in him. So if Jesus is talking to believers whose sins had already been forgiven, then these verses tell me that if you refuse at any time in your Christian walk to forgive someone, then at that point and time Jesus Christ stops forgiving you of your sins (until you do forgive the matter) even though you are asking for forgiveness for other sin you‘ve committed. I mean, I didn’t write this stuff, God did! How do you interpret what you have just read? To me it is saying that Christians can find themselves living a life of sin even though their past sins have been forgiven. If you hold on to hate and un - forgiveness in your heart, God can not and will not forgive you from that point on. I personally believe that is why when you finally do forgive, you feel like a weight has been lifted off of you…that weight is all of the un - forgiven sin we’ve been carrying around. It is the most basic and fundamental principle of Christianity….Forgive..Forgive…Christ died to forgive us…How can we now not forgive someone else? Our sins were many (at least mine were) and yet he forgave me…Yet let someone commit a wrong against me and I can not let it go. It makes sense that God would be ticked and in an un - forgiving mood toward me. Come on people where is my A-men corner…Somebody! O.K. so if I forgive this person, me and God are tight again right…(yes, that is correct). O.K. so I forgive this person, but if they do it again I have every right to not forgive them right? Let’s see what God says…

Matthew 18: 21 & 22...Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Now this is one of those times that I love my King James translation…The KJV says…until seventy times seven…so 490 times. Now 490 is not some magic number Jesus pulled out of the air…The meaning here is…As many times as it takes….I mean if you can forgive someone 490 times, 491 should be a breeze and so on.

So many times lately I’ve heard people say, “Well I will forgive them but I am never going to forget!!! Can anyone tell me what happens to that old nasty sin of ours that Jesus forgives? Anyone? I hate to be redundant, but, let’s see what God says…

Psalm 103: 8 - 12...The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

He takes our sins (forgiven sin) and casts it as far as the east is to the west…and that’s not east to west coast United States, that is east to west God’s universe.

Micah 7: 18 & 19...Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea

He takes our sins (forgiven sins) and hurls them into the depths of the sea. I have heard this sea referred to as “The Sea Of Forgetfulness“.

Isaiah 43: 25..."I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

So back to the question, should we forget as well as forgive? God does with us. What does Christian mean…It means Christ Like…We are to be like him and do what he does. God forgets and so should we. I use to say that a lot myself until I realized that not forgetting, was not forgiving. It gave me a little piece of mistrust and anger to hold onto so I felt good… "Not gonna hurt me again because I remember"!!! But, we have to remember that the Devil is going to constantly bring it up to you as you have forgiven and attempt to forget. I have found that both, forgiving someone and forgetting is an ongoing process. Today old memories pop up and I have to go to God for strength to forgive & forget again…Remember..God is God and we are not…we are human…it’s not quite as easy for us to forget as it might be for God…But with his help we can and will forgive and forget. Un forgiveness is a cancer that eats away at you every second of every day. It is a burden that God wants us to release to him so we can live with him in peace. Un-forgiveness steals our joy.
So I ask you this friends. Do you have things or people in your life that you have not forgiven? If you do, call on God for help and release that poison today before it’s too late. Unburden yourself from a trash load you were never meant to carry around with you. When you do, a great weight will be lifted off of you and you will find peace again. Have you forgiven but vowed to never forget? I know I have and it don’t cut the mustard with God. Don’t hold on people…Forgive and forget today and stop being “The Un - Forgiven Christian”.

If you have come to this Bible study and do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you want to, it is as easy as praying with a true repentant heart and asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and asking him to be Lord of your life. But, as you have read here in this lesson, being a follower of Christ takes sacrifice of your own. If you have un forgiveness in your heart, let it go to the one who is ready to forgive you now. If you want to pray…Let’s get to it…Pray with me wherever you are.

Lord Jesus, I come to you now and ask you to forgive me of my sins. Thank you for dying in my place that I might have eternal life. As you forgive me now, I now release to you all of the un- forgiveness in my heart as I follow your example. I ask you to be the Lord of my life today and I will follow where you lead me as I go down this pathway to Heaven. Thank you for my new life, teach me to serve you as I read your word. I pray this in the precious and Holy name of Jesus Christ…A-men…

If you prayed this prayer Brother or Sister…You name was just written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your eternal future is with God and his Son Jesus Christ in Heaven. Go ahead and shout if you want to…If you need help or need a Bible, contact me through the group and I would be glad to help…

Now for the Christians (old Christians-ha)…Let’s talk to God…

Father, we come to you in the powerful and Holy name of your son Jesus Christ. Lord, I have held on to many things that I know I should have forgiven but I did not. Today, I release all of my hurts and pains (tell him what) into your capable hands. Today I forgive (name it and who) and with your help will forget it as well. As I forgive today, I ask for your forgiveness for my sin of un - forgiveness. I understand that forgiveness is a way of life, your way of life and I’m sure I will need your help more in the future. Forgive me for not trusting you with my hurts and pains. Take those pains from me and teach me forgiveness. I pray this in Jesus name.. A-men

If you have time, please go read the discussion topic “Forgiveness” on our group page. If you have a prayer request please post it in the discussions part of the page called “Prayer Request” and remember this…

Matthew 18: 19 & 20...Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

There is power in prayer and more power in numbers…God Bless You All

Tim Barrett

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