Bible Studies On Forgiveness
Why do we need to forgive?
There's a lot of controversy and debate in the modern Christian world about what it takes to make it into the kingdom of heaven after death. Some saints argue that the verse, Ephesians 2:9, which says that our salvation is achieved through grace alone and not by our works is evidence we can go about sinning as much as we want, cause Jesus already paid the price of our sins, and we can hold grudges against whoever we want... because salvation is achieved through grace alone! They argue that all you have to do is really believe Jesus died for your sins and you can live your life however you want.
Now, I'm obviously not Jesus, so I do not have the authority to judge, but the problem with this line of thinking is that if you really believed that Jesus walked this earth and died for your sins, you would feel disgusted with yourself every time you even had the inkling of a sinful thought, let alone you wouldn't dwell on it long enough to carry out the sinful action. You would realize that the pains of hell Jesus had to experience when he was nailed to the cross were the direct result of your sins and it would make you sick in the stomach to know that the sins you were knowingly committing were displeasing God, regardless of whether or not he already paid for it. If you really believed that Jesus died for your sins, you would be so overcome with gratitude for such an amazing gift that you would REFUSE to allow sin to have any part in your life, because the last thing you would want to do would be to spit in the face of the giver of the gift of salvation.
It's because of this that I doubt the faith of anyone who claims to believe in Jesus yet still carries on in sin knowingly without even making an effort to stop and let Jesus purify their life.
So how is this related to forgiveness? The act of holding a grudge is a sin in and of itself. In fact, it's such a serious sin that it's one of the only two sins that can keep you out of heaven! If you turn to Matthew 6:14-15 in your bible you will find the following verses:
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
A simple, single grudge can damn you to hell!
We all have sinned. We all continue to sin in some form or another, despite how hard we try not to and how much we commit to living as purely as possible. We may even be committing certain sins daily without even realizing they are sins! The only perfect person who has walked this earth is God in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, if you're reading this then YOU need God's forgiveness or else you're as good as burning flesh in the pits of hell. How then can we expect to reap forgiveness when we ourselves do not sow it?
Please take time to watch the following testimony of a man who died, went to hell for simply not forgiving his wife, and was given a second chance to come back and warn us. This video really emphasizes just how importance forgiveness is.
How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You:
Sadly, there's a lot of fake forgiveness in the world where people say they forgive someone else just to have the superficial feeling they are taking the high road, yet they don't really mean it or feel it. Said people guilty of this false forgiveness will later delight in the hardships a person who they claim to have forgiven experiences in their life. I know, because I've been a false-forgiver myself. You must ask yourself: do you want Jesus to say he forgives you but then delight when hard times come your way because it 'serves you right'? No? Then you must take the proper steps to forgive those who wronged you -- and really mean it! Here are the steps I have taken and suggest you try.
- Get on your knees in an honest heartfelt prayer and confess to God that you have been holding grudges that you need his help to release. Pray to have Jesus Christ come into your heart and that his same love, mercy and compassion can manifest itself in you towards those who have wronged you, are wronging you and who will wrong you in the future. You may need to add this to your daily prayers until you feel yourself really changing inside. Be honest with yourself. You might be able to lie to yourself, but you can't lie to God.
- Whenever you think of the people who have hurt you, do your best to remember they are imperfect humans just like you and they have had different experiences in their life that may have lead them to doing what they did to you. They, just like you and every other fallen human sinner on this planet, are a victim of circumstances. You must realize that whether or not you think their offenses are worse than your own, without the forgiveness of Christ you're both worthy of hell for what you've done. There's really no difference in God's eyes. You both need to be fully forgiven in order to be worthy of the presence of God.
- You must work with God in your own thoughts and in deep meditation or prayer to change your line of thinking so that you can see the truth in what is happening between you and your offender so that you can honestly wish the person well.
How can you tell when you've really forgiven someone?
In my own experience, I've been able to tell whether or not I've forgiven someone based on how I react to hearing about recent events in their lives. If I feel happy for them when something good happens to them, I know that Jesus has fully healed my heart to forgiveness and I am no longer spiritually bound or held down by a grudge to them. I also realize this when something horrible happens to them and I feel sorrowful for them.
If you find yourself reacting negatively when good things happen to your offenders, you know you need to keep praying harder for Jesus to heal your heart and soul to full forgiveness. If you find yourself rejoicing and being at least amused by new hardships they have to face, then you aren't healed yet.
Remember, false forgiveness is deadly on the eternal scheme of things -- to you and not the one who hurt you! There is a quote I once read that said, "Holding onto a grudge is like drinking a glass of poison and expecting the other person to die." I think that quote applies well here.
If you're reading this, you more than likely have your own battle with grudges to face. Maybe someone said something hurtful to you, maybe someone sexually assaulted you, maybe you lost your entire family to a drunk driver in a horrible accident. We all have different things we must forgive others for in order for God to be able to forgive us. Just remember, nothing anyone ever does to you can be worse than what YOU did to Jesus through your sins. He had to be whipped and beaten and had nine inch nails drive through his hands and feet just to be able to suffer the pains of hell for sins YOU committed against him! Yet he is standing there at the gates of heaven waiting for you with arms wide open, when it's your time and all he asks is that you show the same mercy to others who he also loves.
Remember, from now on at the end of each day, don't just pray for God to forgive you of each of your sins that day, pray for him to help you forgive anyone who has offended or wronged you that day, no matter how severe you feel their offense was towards you.
If you're struggling or need someone to talk to, please email me and let it all out. The world is in a heavy burdened state right now and there's not a lot of people caring about each other. Let me know what you're going through and I'll do my best to listen and provide any insight or help if I'm able to. You can reach me at jackalhead at live.com. Replace "at" with @. I just had to write it that way so spam bots wouldn't attack me.
Now, fighting off grudges and repenting of sin is only part of the spiritual battle we're fighting. We're at the cusp of the tribulation and the devil's kingdom is on the verge of emerging out of some intense chaos that's building up to its nightmarish climax. A massive deception is coming that will cause even the most devout and committed Christians to stumble in their faith and maybe even fall away altogether. You NEED to prepare by equipping yourself with the knowledge of what this deception is and how it will be carried out. This is serious. Please read the following article to understand what's going on: