Reading Your Own Death Warrant

Matthew 6:12-15 Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us. Don’t let us be tempted, but save us from the Evil One. Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs. But if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you do.

We’ve been reading this week about dealing with the difficult people in our lives with the wisdom and the love of God. It’s not easy, is it? And we can’t talk about difficult people without talking about forgiveness.

Now, I think that forgiving people is one of the most difficult things that Jesus asks us to do. Although, let’s be clear, it’s not a request. It’s a command. Towards the end of the Lord’s prayer, with which you’re no doubt familiar, He teaches us to pray like this:

Matthew 6:12 Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us.

That all sounds pretty good, although it does have a sting in its tail –  which Jesus feels the need to elaborate on, just in case we missed it.

Matthew 6:14,15 Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs. But if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you do.

That’s serious stuff. He doesn’t mince words here. Charles Spurgeon sums it up like this: unless you forgive others, you read your own death warrant every time you read the Lord’s prayer.

So, on that basis, can I ask you this difficult question? What unforgiveness do you have lurking in your heart that, were you to die right in this moment, would rob you of your salvation? Who is it toward whom you still harbour ill will, of whom you still desire to extract recompense, on whose head you still want the axe of justice to fall because of what they’ve done to you?

Today’s the day to deal with that. Because unless you forgive others, God will not forgive you.

That’s His Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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Ethan Crawshaw

Dear George, Thanks for writing to us, following my devotional published recently on the centrality of forgiveness – ...

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Dear George,
Thanks for writing to us, following my devotional published recently on the centrality of forgiveness – much appreciated. One cannot claim to be a Christian in simply taking an eclectic approach to Jesus’ commands, as a philosopher might do. Many think that Jesus was a great teacher but not do not acknowledge that he is God in person. Being a Christian means that one is full-on with his teachings and commands; not simply taking note of the bits which suit us. I quoted Jesus’ black and white words in Matthew 6:14 and 15 in my devotional; consider some other passages along the same lines:

Matthew 22:37-40
And he said to him, ‘’You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

John 5:24
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.”

I take this to mean that the one who honours Jesus as God’s Son and follows his commands has the certainty of eternal life.

John 15:15
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Yes, we are all challenged by the command to forgive others, no matter what. This can be extremely difficult but we can always ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us to do so. And if we fail to forgive others, we must repent and seek God’s forgiveness which he will freely extend to us, if we are truly sorry.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In essence, those who are unable to practice forgiveness cannot claim to be Christian because they have not embraced Jesus as Lord and Master. It is only through our full commitment to him that we can look forward to everlasting life in his kingdom.

Your brother in Christ,
Ethan.



Ethan Crawshaw

Dear Diana, Thanks for writing to us, following the devotional published recently on the centrality of forgiveness – ...

more

Dear Diana,
Thanks for writing to us, following the devotional published recently on the centrality of
forgiveness – much appreciated. One cannot claim to be a Christian in simply taking an
eclectic approach to Jesus’ commands, as philosophers might do. Many think that Jesus was
a great teacher but not do not acknowledge that he is God in person. Being a Christian
means that one is full-on with his teachings and commands; not simply taking note of the bits
which suit us. Berni quoted Jesus’ black and white words in Matthew 6:14 and 15 in his
devotional; consider some other passages along the same lines:

Matthew 22:37-40
And he said to him, ‘’You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your
mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love
your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the
Prophets.

John 5:24
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has
eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.”

I take this to mean that the one who honours Jesus as God’s Son and follows his commands
has the certainty of eternal life.

John 15:15
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Yes, we are all challenged by the command to forgive others, no matter what. This can be
extremely difficult but we can always ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us to do so.
And if we fail to forgive others, we must repent and seek God’s forgiveness which he will
freely extend to us, if we are truly sorry.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.

In essence, those who are unable to practice forgiveness cannot claim to be Christian
because they have not embraced Jesus as Lord and Master. It is only through our full
commitment to him and our true repentance that we can look forward to everlasting life in his kingdom.

Your brother in Christ,



George Manusos

Do you suggest that you can loose your salvation for not forgiving others?

Do you suggest that you can loose your salvation for not forgiving others?



Diana

Your statement “ What unforgiveness do you have lurking in your heart that, were you to die right in this moment, ...

more

Your statement “ What unforgiveness do you have lurking in your heart that, were you to die right in this moment, would rob you of your salvation?” Is not true. We all sin and make mistakes, and because I accepted Jesus and believe in him he is not going to take away my salvation. Once you accept his free gift he doesn’t take it back. We are human and we strive to be like Jesus, but we all fail somewhere.