Freedom to Choose

Forgiveness equals Freedom:

I recently watched a very convicting video on YouTube of a pastor who died and was shown heaven and hell. This was the pastor who had been dead for three days when his wife felt prompted to take him to Reinhard Bonkke's meeting where God raised him from the dead. Prior to watching the video, I had been talking about forgiveness as being imperative to a healthy relationship with God. If we do not keep short accounts with God, i.e. regularly confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness, we run the risk of becoming complacent and we gradually drift further and further away from God because the sin accumulates.

Unforgiveness is a sin. We do not forgive because we feel like it or because the other person has asked for it, we forgive because God commands it. We do not need to wait for vindication or even wait for the other person to humble themselves by asking for forgiveness, we have to obey God and forgive, even as He has forgiven us. Shortly after this conversation on forgiveness, I received a phone call from someone who needed desperately to be free from a very difficult past. To cut a long story short, forgiveness was key to that person’s freedom. Unless we forgive as God commands us, we run the risk of a bitter root setting in our hearts, this leads to relationship difficulties and it also drives the Holy Spirit away.

Many Christians that have difficulty with hearing God will testify that they heard God clearly when they were first saved. The reason being, that at the beginning of their walk with God, it was so easy to forgive and let go of the past, because they discovered the greatness of God’s forgiveness of their sin.

The more mature Christians will say that they have asked God for forgiveness for their sin but are still not able to hear His voice. In this instance, it is about the extraordinary power of faith. The difficulty that these Christians experience is because they find it difficult to believe that God can forgive them. They have known His power and they cannot forgive themselves for letting Him down. This requires the extraordinary faith. To know that God forgives you and that you must forgive yourself.

If this is you, then ask yourself these questions: “Do you believe the bible?” “Do you believe that it is Holy Spirit inspired and that it is sharper than a two edged sword?” Do you believe everything that is written in it?”

If you have answered yes to all those questions, then you need to consider that the bible states that:
1. Man lived for 969 years Gen 5:27;
2. God spoke through a donkey Numbers 22:28-30,
3. the sun stood still for a whole day Joshua 10:13,
4. 700 men in an army that were all left handed Jud 20:16,
5. an axe head floated in the water Kings 6:1-6,
6. a graveyard full of dead bones came back to life Exekiel 37.

If you believe the word of God, then you believe these statements, so why is it difficult to believe that God can forgive you?

God’s forgiveness vs man’s need for revenge:
God’s ability to love us is expressed in John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Then we whip him, we beat him, force a crown of thorns on His head, we drives nails through His hands and feet, curse Him, pull out His beard, spit on Him and after all that He says: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”. What would be normal is if He said: “Father, show your power, send a destructive plague or destroy the earth killing everyone on it”.
The Unpardonable Sin: Mark 3:28-30“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” The only unforgivable sin is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit
Blaspheme (curse, swear or cuss) means to attack somebody or something verbally; using abusive language. This could be words that are insulting, abusive, scorning, condemning, criticising, despising, berating, disparaging or reviling. If you have never spoken of the Holy Spirit in the above manner or even spoken to Him in that way, then you have not committed the unforgiveable sin. ANY sin other than that, can and will be forgiven by God and no man on this earth, nor can any principality hold that sin against you once you have received God’s forgiveness.

Sowing and reaping:
Galations 6:7-10:
  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Job 4:8: Even as I have seen, those who plough iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.

This principle is the same in the words of Jesus:
Matthew 6:14-15: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We expect God’s forgiveness yet we hold on to offences from others. God loves us unconditionally and He forgives every sin when we repent. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins.

To conclude:
1. There is no sin that God cannot forgive, except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
2. If God has forgiven you then no-one can hold that sin against you.
3. Be generous in you forgiveness, because if you sow unforgiveness, how do you expect to reap forgiveness from God?
4. Keep short accounts with God.
5. Forgive yourself because if God has forgiven you, you exalt yourself above Him by not forgiving yourself.

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