Created  Tues. Dec. 8, 2009

On Forgiveness & Repentance


Sub-headings:
We Must Bear Fruit!
The Fruit of
Repentance
Jesus’ Real Point
Trivial Matters
Self Interests vs Group Interests
What About Mercy?
Why Forgive?
What About the Kids?
Vengeance is God’s!
Summary

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I actually wrote this one up in January 2007 or somewhere near that time and it just kind of got left behind unattended. So I am making up for a good deal of lost time. About 3 years. Shame on me, huh? So I thought I would do a little repenting this day.


We Must Bear Fruit!

You will find many Christians who promote and emphasize forgiveness to other Christians. But they only seem to recognize one side of the coin. Forgiveness is very conditional, even with God. God only forgives those who confess and repent. Those who do not repent are not forgiven. This does not get acknowledged. They also try to make some feel guilty if they do not feel like forgiving, given that the one who sinned against them has not confessed his crime, expressed his sorrow, and repented. So we are going to take a look at this neglected side of the coin which requires repentance before forgiveness is granted. We will look at all the issues involved and not just one narrow dimension and aspect of this subject as so many phonies do.

The very first principle I must introduce is one that is seldom recognized and usually neglected, almost never understood. I know, I know, I could probably say this about many things, but more especially this one. It has to do with works and James speaks so eloquently and clear, perhaps better than anyone else in the Bible and that may be why his letter ended up in the collection of letters held as authorized by the Apostles and the holy spirit. And what is this principle you ask?

Works! Yes, that’s right! Works. Not works of the law, a phrase Paul often uses and refers to, but works as in fruits. Sometimes they are called fruits, James calls them works. We knows that works of the law, that is, the observance of the law is nothing, they do not save or please God. On the other hand, works of faith, love, obedience and the like or should I say the fruits of faith, love, obedience, and the spirit are absolutely essential. Anyone who says they are not is a liar and worships the devil daily! They do not know God and certainly can not be said to love God.

All Christians must bear fruit. Jesus said you must bear fruit in order to prove your selves his disciples. Oh, you don’t believe me. Well, here, read it for your self!

John 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.

You must bear fruit. This is an illustration Jesus uses quite a bit, actually. Any Christian not appreciating this ought to be ashamed. Jesus also spoke of it in an illustration of 3 slaves left in charge of all his belongings, with him returning much later, expecting to reap where he had not harvested, and gathered where he had not planted, expecting a good return from each slave on the money he left with each of them, according to their abilities. This illustration is in both Matthew 25:14 and Luke 19:12. I shouldn’t even have to quote it here for you. You should know it if you are a Christian.

In our worship of God, if we really have faith, hope, love, and the spirit, then it should be apparent and manifest in our actions, our words, our deeds. We should be bearing fruit. So let us now look at James and what he has to say about it.

James 2:
14 My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith, but he does not have works? Is faith able to save him?
15 But if a brother or a sister is naked and may be lacking in daily food,
16 and any one of you say to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but does not give them the things the body needs, what gain is it?
17 So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself.

18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder.
20 But are you willing to know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?

21 Was not our father Abraham justified by works offering up his son Isaac on the altar? [Gen. 22:9]
22 You see that faith worked with his works; and out of the works the faith was made perfected.
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled, saying, "And Abraham believed God, and it was counted for righteousness to him;" and he was called, Friend of God. [Gen.15:6; Isa. 41:8]

24 You see, then, that a man is justified out of works, and not out of faith only.
25 But in the same way Rahab the harlot was also justified out of works, having received the messengers, and sending them out by another way.
26 For as the body is dead apart from the spirit, so also faith is dead apart from works.

I like how James points out that belief is not enough. Even the demons believe in God. They do not obey Him but they believe He exists and has authority. Belief by itself means nothing. Another word for belief is faith. If we have faith, if we believe, then we should have works, deeds, actions, that truly back and support what we say and claim. James also notes that Abraham was not considered righteous just because he believed but because he showed and acted like he believed by being willing to even sacrifice his son if God were to ask it. It was actions that caused God to declare Abraham faithful. That is called obedience. It is a work and a fruit of those who believe.

If one does not have works/fruits, then one does not have faith. It is that simple!!! But it goes further than that. Faith covers a lot of things. It covers obedience, love, and other such fruits of the spirit. How can we say we have love if we do not have works of love to show for ourselves. Love without works is dead, too. It is no love at all. Obedience is necessary or we can not claim to love God or have faith in Him. We can not claim to have the spirit if we do not obey, and show works of love and kindness.

Works of the law do not save but works of hope, faith, and love can not be absent or our salvation will not come to pass. We must have proof of our faith and love if we claim to have God’s spirit, love, and approval that will make us worthy of salvation.

Now in regards to fruits or works of faith, one of those is repentance. In order to receive forgiveness, we must have works of repentance. We can not continue to commit the same sin if we are truly repentant, can we? How do we demonstrate our repentance if we do not show sorrow and admit our mistakes or sins, appearing to be genuinely sorry, and not doing it again? If we continue to repeat the sins, we are not acting in harmony with our words and people might have good reason to doubt us.

Repentance is absolutely essential in order for one to be forgiven by God or men. This is what I shall set out to prove to one and all. Forgiveness is not automatic or required unless the proper fruits accompany a person asking for forgiveness.


The Fruit of Repentance
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Luke 3:3 And he came into the neighborhood of the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance for remission of sins,

Luke 3:8 Then bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham out of these stones.

There! You see?! John the Baptist says to “bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.” Can we honestly argue with that? I have supplied the original Greek word that we typically translate as “repentance.”

Strong’s
3341. metanoia metanoia met-an’-oy-ah; from 3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision):— repentance.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
3341
metanoia metanoia met-an’-oy-ah
from
3340; TDNT-4:975,636; n f
AV-repentance 24; 24
1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done

Easton ’s Commentary
Repentance
There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance.

1. The verb _metamelomai_ is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas #Mt 27:3

2. Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with

3. the cognate noun _metanoia_, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised. Evangelical repentance consists of
        a. a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness;
        b. an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ;
        c. an actual hatred of sin #Ps 119:128 Job 42:5,6 2Co 7:10 and turning from it to God
        d. a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
The true penitent is conscious of guilt #Ps 51:4,9 of pollution #Ps 51:5,7,10 and of helplessness #Ps 51:11 109:21,22 Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance #Ps 51:1 130:4

Here are more scriptures confirming the absolute necessity of repentance, nor forgiveness. Keep in mind that God does not “owe” us forgiveness, grace, mercy, or salvation. They are gifts from God due to the sacrifice of His son. If we receive forgiveness, it is not because we earned it or deserved it. It is a gift that we should be grateful for and we should have something to show for our gratitude. Repentance would be what God is looking for to see if He thinks we are worthy of His grace, mercy, and salvation.

Luke 5:32 I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Luke 15:7 I say to you that so is joy in Heaven over one sinner repenting, than over ninety nine righteous ones who have no need of repentance.

Luke 24:47 And repentance and remission of sins must be preached on His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem .

Acts 20:21 earnestly testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 26:20 but to those first in Damascus , and Jerusalem , and to all the country of Judea , and to the nations, I announced the command to repent and to turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, and the forbearance and the longsuffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were grieved, but that you were grieved to repentance. For you were grieved according to God, that you might suffer loss in nothing by us.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For the grief according to God works repentance to salvation, not to be regretted. But the grief of the world works out death.

You will note how Paul mentions grief in regards to repentance, not laughing or joking about it or acting like it was nothing. Get the picture? If someone asks you for repentance, and you see no detectable grief or sorrow over their having sinned against you, you do not have to forgive them. I wouldn’t! More scriptures follow. These next 2 from Hebrews are important.

Hebrews 6:1 Because of this, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us be borne on to full growth, not laying down again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:6 then falling away, it is impossible for them again to renew to repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting Him to open shame.

Some heretic Christians say “once saved, always saved.” These last two scriptures make it clear that this is not so. If one is “saved,” enlightened as to their obligations to God and they repent, only to fall away again after, then what is to be done for them?

Can they crucify Christ a 2nd time? Can they say they are sorry or that they didn’t know? Weren’t they sorry before, already? Paul says “it is impossible for them again to renew to repentance!” That ought to make us think slow and hard about this whole idea of unconditional forgiveness or just light heartedly and often repeatedly shrugging off our continual sins as whoops, darn, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again! Yeah, that is what we said 10 times previously.

Now I won’t sit here and tell you, you can not sin anymore. We do not become perfect and are incapable of perfection. We will continue to sin. But hopefully they will not be serious sins. Even then, we have seen some incredible things that have been forgiven, sometimes by those who should have known better. The flesh is weak, for sure. But at the same time, we want to exercise caution, watching our attitude carefully. If we take God’s mercy and kindness for granted, we could find ourselves in jeopardy come judgment day.

It takes diligence and courage to take a good hard look at ourselves and examine our attitude. I have seen too many who think forgiveness is owed to them. No such thing! No one has to forgive anyone unless the proper fruits of repentance are in evidence. How about some more Scriptures? What da ya say?

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord of the promise is not slow, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not having purposed any of us to perish, but all of us to come to repentance.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous that He may forgive us the sins, and may cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:
14 Is any among you sick? Let him call the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 
15 And the prayer of faith will cure those being sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he may have committed sin, it will be forgiven him. 
16 Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous one has great strength, having been made effective.


Jesus’ Real Point
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Now this next account needs to be looked at closely. It does not contradict what has been previously written. It merely adds to it. How do we reconcile all the accounts together? That is what we will answer.

Matthew 18:
21 Then coming up to Him, Peter said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?
22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven.

[{7 times 70 is 490. Jesus was obviously saying that there wasn’t really any limit as to how much we should forgive. But then again, the sins being alluded to may not be all that big, either. But what is important is to pay close attention to what Jesus brings up for an illustration to see why he said what he said.}]

Matthew 18:
23 For this reason the kingdom of Heaven has been compared to a man, a king, who decided to take account with his slaves. 
24 And when he began to reckon, one debtor of ten thousand talents was brought near to him. 
25 But he not having any to pay, the lord commanded him to be sold, also his wife and children, and all things, as much as he had, even to pay back. 
26 Then falling down, the slave bowed the knee to him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay all to you. 
27 And being filled with pity, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the loan.

28 But going out, that slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii. And seizing him, he choked him, saying, Pay me whatever you owe. 
29 Then falling down at his feet, his fellow slave begged him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay all to you. 
30 But he would not, but going away he threw him into prison until he pay back the amount owing.

31 But his fellow slaves, seeing the things happening, they were greatly grieved. And coming they reported to their lord all the things happening. 
32 Then calling him near, his lord said to him, Wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt, since you begged me. 
33 Ought you not also to favor your fellow slave, as I also favored you? 
34 And being angry, his lord delivered him up to the tormentors until he pay back all that debt to him.
35 So also My heavenly Father will do to you unless each of you from your hearts forgive his brother their trespasses.

Notice what the real emphasis is on? One slave received a lot of mercy and so should have also given a lot of mercy, seeming as how he received so much mercy. But instead, he was very strict and demanding of much less then he himself owed and was forgiven. This will be further highlighted in the next scripture. We must be very tender and merciful toward our brothers in the faith. We do not want to be harsh, judgmental, overly critical, or demanding in our expectations and requirements.

There are many people in life who have great expectations of others but could never stand up to their own harsh judgments and expectations. It is the merciful generous spirit that Jesus is trying to cultivate in us. I will deal more with this after a couple more scriptures.

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and in no way be judged. Do not condemn, and in no way you will be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. And if your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if seven times of the day he sins against you, and seven times of the day turns to you saying, I repent, you shall forgive him.

Now notice that Jesus says the person must say, “I repent.” And though he does not clarify it here like a lawyer might be inclined to do, it goes without saying that the other scriptures and principles still apply to this situation as well.

But notice Luke 6:37. “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Elsewhere Jesus says that as you judge others, so you yourself shall be judged and with the measure you measure out, with that measure shall it be measured out to you.
You’ll find this account in Matthew 7:2, Mark 4:24, and Luke 6:38; yes, all 3 synoptic gospels refer to it.

So as I see it, Jesus was more concerned about how we judge others, not so much for the big sins but the little ones, even as the fellow slave had a little debt to the other slave. It was not really about just forgiving because we have to. Jesus was saying that we might have more debt to him than we realize, compared to our fellow slaves. Because of that, we ought to be merciful, understanding, and gracious, overlooking the small trivial stuff that we are all guilty of. I will deal more with this after I briefly cover a trivial point in word “repent.”

Repent is a verb primarily and usually comes from the following Greek word, which was in the 2 Luke scriptures quoted last.

Strong’s
3340.
metanoew metanoeo met-an-o-eh’-o; from 3326 and 3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction):— repent.

Thayer’s
3340
metanoew metanoeo met-an-o-eh’-o    from 3326 and 3539; TDNT-4:975,636; v
AV-repent 34; 34
1) to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

For Synonyms see entry 5862

It basically is not different from the other Greek word we considered earlier. Repent is a verb and repentance a noun. But they mean the same thing. And they both indicate that we must stop committing the sin and bear fruit in harmony with our sorrow and repentance in order to justify forgiveness.


Trivial Matters
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Picking up where I left off, I have seen too many people through out my life time who were super critical and picky about how other people acted, conducted themselves, or what choices they make, directions they choose or whatever. Indeed, high school and middle school, if not even younger, have become notorious, especially among girls, for vicious nastiness, pickiness, meanness, and the like. Small towns can be full of gossip and nastiness, very political, too.

A church squabble in New Sweden , Maine led to the largest case of mass poisoning in US history. Kids picking on kids led to the, as of this date, largest school shooting/killing in US history in Columbine, Colorado . These are all examples of how far nastiness, teasing, and other forms of harassment and gossip can go. All because some think it is wrong to stand out or be different, and they will not tolerate anyone who stands out or is different. They will pick on them or get others to do so.

As I mentioned, one of the notorious incidents was right in a church among those who call themselves Christians. And really, having once been a part of a church scene and known of many others as well as read of others, I know what a nasty environment it can be. I have no doubt this is part of what Jesus was referring to in his plea for us to be very forgiving and tolerant of others, lest we be judged by the same harsh measure with which we judged others.

Here is some of what I have seen or heard. Some parents think other kids are not good for their kids to play with. I recall one family whose son was a brat, disrespectful, and inclined to steal as well. But they did not want him playing with two other boys, about 6 or 7 in age, because they cussed and swore. In my book, the disrespectful thief was far worse than the two little potty mouths. But . . . I am sure the parents of the thief saw their little boy of 8 as just a boy, a good boy at heart, who would grow out of his things. One, I did not see him as growing out of it. Two, if they are willing to see him in that light, why not the other two little boys even younger than him?

It would seem that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander, eh? This is so typical of many Christians and is exactly what Jesus was talking about. How about this! An Elder believes his kids should not be judged harshly in judicial meeting because they are repentant and elders just have a right to judge the heart and that only God can read hearts. That is fine but he was by far the most severe judge of other kids or anyone else that church. But he always thought that he and his family should deserve special consideration in view of his many years of service as an elder of big standing in the religion, a worldwide hierarchy.

It is always the same. Those who judge always want lenience or exception for themselves but they do not give it that way. Others deserve the worst always. This is the message Jesus meant to communicate us, that we judge soft and easy with this small stuff or any stuff and be consistent. That does not mean repentance is not necessary, but our expectations and demands of our brethren should be on the soft, gentle, merciful side.

Now I’m not done yet with judging. How about the choices we make for ourselves. Do we think that all others ought to pick and choose as we do, maintaining the same low or high standards that we do? Do we criticize the entertainment that some might choose? Find fault with their diet and the foods they eat? The clothes or styles they choose? The way they spend their money? There are so many things I could bring up. But often, people in a church will have plenty to say about some or almost everyone.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are things to consider when it comes to entertainment, clothing styles, spending money, or whatever. But in the end, each has to make their own choices, regardless of counsel or wisdom. And while there are those in the faith who tend to be perhaps too liberal, Christianity’s biggest problem in the USA has always been being way too conservative and strict, which we are warned about in:

Ecclesiastes 7:
16 Be not righteous overmuch, and do not make yourself overwise; why should you destroy yourself?
17 Be not wicked overmuch, neither be a fool; why should you die before your time?

The warning here is not to be too righteous or too wicked. Either extreme is harmful and ends in death and destruction. I find Christianity way too righteous. Most can not possibly live up to the ridiculously high standards set for them by self-righteous, do-gooding, busy-body Christians, so-called. Jesus once warned:

Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and you have left aside the weightier matters of the Law: judgment, and mercy, and faith. It was right to do these, and not to have left those aside.

This one was kind of interesting. The Pharisees were good at the token requirements of the law. But the more important things to do with behavior and the spirit within us, these they neglected, and these were the more important. It is not that we do not need to observe the religious tokens, but that they are only symbols of more important things, such as mercy.

Along this line, some say baptism is not necessary. It is. True, it is only a symbol, a token, but we must still observe it. But clearly love and mercy are the more important things to be concerned with. The law’s symbols are no longer binding upon us but at one time they were upon all Israel . Notice how Jesus reinforces these things next.

Matthew 9:13 But going, learn what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." For I did not come to call righteous ones, but sinners to repentance. [from Hos. 6:6]

Matthew 12:7 But if you had known what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," you would not have condemned the guiltless. [from Hos. 6:6]

Matthew 23:
1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowd and to His disciples, 
2 saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sat down on Moses’ seat. 
3 Then all things, whatever they tell you to keep, keep and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do. 
4 For they bind heavy and hard to bear burdens, and lay them on the shoulders of men, but they do not desire to move them with their finger.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.

You will note that most of those scriptures that I quote from Matthew don’t appear anywhere else; not Luke, not Mark, not John! Matthew is chock full of mercy more than all the others.

This peculiar (notice the word liar in pecu-liar) tendency of people to judge others harshly or even hypocritically abounds everywhere. It is a most common trait in people and Jesus knew that and warned of that. Also note that “hypo-critical” comes from Greek, where hypo means under or not enough. Not critical enough of themselves is what it tends to suggest. But hypocrite was basically a Greek word for actor. I suspect that Greeks named actors with the idea that we do not judge them for what they are portraying when they act as it is understood that it is not really what they are like as people.

So it would be with Pharisees or others who were called hypocrites or actors for what they appeared to be, righteous and holy, was not what they really were. They were liars and pretenders, actors if you will.

My whole point here is about what Jesus means when we read where Jesus says to forgive as in:

Luke 17:
3
Take heed to yourselves. And if your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
4 And if seven times of the day he sins against you, and seven times of the day turns to you saying, I repent, you shall forgive him.”

If there are true signs of repentance, we forgive. But of course, being honest Christians, we want to consider all the instructions given by the Bible on this matter. And all those other scriptures indicate that Jesus said this scripture in reference to not being a severe judge, and not that we always have to forgive no matter what.

The Bible and Jesus make it very clear in other places which I deal with in my article “Christian Discipline,” that there is a procedure for those who sin against you. If they listen and repent, you forgive them. If they do not, they are basically what we call to day, excommunication, whereby we do not speak to them or say a greeting to them, but treat them as the Jews treated a tax collector or a person of the nations.

Forgiveness is no automatic or deserved. One must bear the fruits the befit repentance; that give weight and meaning to repentance. Without that fruit, we have a right to believe the repentance is not genuine and could keep this one marked or perhaps even excommunicated. The “Christian Discipline” article deals more with this.


Self Interests vs Group Interests
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Something so often lacking in understanding among many who claim to be Christian is this basic understanding of group interests and security, as distinct from personal interests and security. Many times the exist situations where the interests of the self, the individual, will be in contrast or conflict with those of the majority, or the larger group, congregation, community, state, or whatever. In the law of the Bible/God/Moses, we are given the decisions of God, as to which is more important in each particular situation. Sometimes God favors the individual and his concerns. Other times, God deems the interest of the larger group to be more important. God has the right to decide which it should be, depending on what situation it is.

An example would be the law prescribing the death penalty for adultery. Judges had no choice in the matter. They had to carry out whatever the law said. If an adulterer was brought before judges, both parties involved in the adultery would be stoned. That was the law. However, if the offended mate wanted to ignore the sin committed against him or her by their mate and the other person, they could do so and who would know, unless they were foolish enough to tell others.

Yet, when David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed, no less, God did not punish him to the full extent of the law. God can intervene any time He wants. But unless He intervenes, judges have to carry out the law as it is dictated. The point here is that God does not judge every adultery the same. But men have to punish each adultery the same. They do not have the options that God has.

Anyone who was executed under the law, was done so, so as to cause others not to follow the same course. This is known as deterrence, a means of scaring others from also breaking away from God’s law. This does not mean that if one was executed under the law, that they were also judged by God and had no chance of salvation. They still had that option open, depending on the circumstances that led to that sin, and whether they were truly repentant and sorry at heart, even as David was. And of course, David was quite fortunate in that God did step in. Others were perhaps not so lucky.

This becomes even more obvious with the teachings of Jesus. A woman is brought to him who had committed adultery. Those looking to find fault with Jesus pointed out that the law prescribed stoning. Jesus did not deny this. But Jesus must have seen something there that made him decide this woman was not worthy of the judgment of death, as prescribed by law. Perhaps her husband was an asshole. Or maybe it was just a moment of weakness and vulnerability. Maybe the husband had also been cheating and was hoping this would happen. So many possibilities! But whatever the reason, Jesus thought forgiveness was appropriate.

But then there was the matter of convincing the accusers that this should be so. Knowing that these fault finders were usually quite the hypocrites in so many other circumstances, and that Jesus could read minds and see into people’s thoughts and feelings, I have no doubt there was an adulterer or 2 in that crowd of accusers as well. For all we know, the biggest accusers might have been among those who were guilty for often it is the case that those who protest the most have the most to be guilty of and want to hide. Jesus probably looked right at them in a way that let them know he knew they were equally guilt and had no business wanting to kill this woman for her sin.

His words were let he who is sinless cast the first stone. When they sensed that Jesus was on to them, they, whoever they were, probably were the first ones to make excuses as to why they could not hang around to carry out the gruesome execution. When some deserted, it sort of took the life out of the rest and they all left, leaving woman alone without accuser, or should I say, executioner. Jesus made it clear to the woman that she should not sin anymore, which I am sure she agreed to. But do take notice that Jesus intervening here was all that possibly saved her from the law and her accusers. Jesus was teaching mercy, of course.

My point is that when a sin that is significant, substantial, and most of all, public knowledge, it becomes the duty of the older men, acting as judges, to decide what will be done. There are interests other than those of the offended party. For instance, suppose a woman is raped in a congregation. She might decide to forgive him, if she believes there was a good reason for it. Maybe he was a close friend and was truly sorry for his treacherous actions. But the fact the woman is willing to forget about it and not turn him over to the police and the legal system of the country, the proper authorities for handling such a crime, does not mean there are not other considerations to be made.

The older men might not be as convinced that he was repentant. Maybe they know about a previous similar act that she does not. Maybe she suffers from overdue guilt, imagining that she should not have let him in her house alone or that she was dressed too provocatively and sort of flamed the fires that led to it or something of that nature. Maybe because he was such a good friend, she can’t bear to have him thrown in prison. It is easy to feel sympathy for those we are close to. They can cloud our good judgment and reasoning. The law of God warns not to let your eye feel sorry or your heart feel regret. The evildoer must be punished appropriately.

Deuteronomy 13:6 If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, shall entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you and your fathers, 7 of the gods of the people around you, those near you or far off from you, from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth, 8 you shall not consent to him, nor listen to him, nor shall your eye have pity on him, nor shall you spare nor hide him. 9 But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and the hand of all the people last. 10 And you shall stone him with stones, and he shall die, for he has sought to drive you away from Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt , out of the house of slaves. 11 And all Israel shall hear and fear, and shall not again do any such wicked thing as this among you.

Well, as you can see, it would be easy to want to let a close and dearly loved relative off the hook but God says we must not do that in regards to certain sins, well, at least in the days when Israel was under the law. But even today, in a church, we can show mercy and might spare someone being turned over to the law for prosecution, but those who lead and oversee the church have other considerations, beyond the victim who might want to forgive.

First, the rapist might not be as repentant in the eyes of the older men as he is in the eyes of the victim. And even without a past record, there is the danger of a repeat offense, depending on the nature of the attack, in the eyes and judgment of the older men. Most offenders do go on to repeat offenses. The flock has to be protected or warned. The older men might decide that at the very least, the congregation needs to be warned of the man’s deed. If he protests that he is being slandered or whatever, then turn him over to the law as he is clearly not repentant. If he would prefer to avoid the law, then make him sign a waiver giving permission to tell the flock of his alleged deed according to the victim and that it has not been confirmed by the courts.

Maybe the leaders will decide he needs to be brought before the whole congregation to be tried as he has not listened to the victim or the older men. He can then be tried and the church will decide his fate. It is possible that they might decide that he is no longer welcomed among them for his deed. This is not such an unreasonable action, given the seriousness of his crime and violation of the trust put in him by the members, especially the victim. No one is obligated to forgive or trust someone who seriously violates their trust in such a drastic manner and leaves the flock feeling insecure or threatened and in jeopardy.

Besides, if the rapist is really and truly sorry for his sin, he would surely understand how the others might feel and would not object to their not wanting to trust him or have him around anymore. This does not mean he is condemned by God or has no chance of salvation. Perhaps God will forgive him even as the victim has, and maybe even if the victim has not forgiven him. But he will have to wait on God. The group has rights, too.

Yet another consideration is what will happen if the older men let this rapist off easy, completely accepting him back in every way. Will it encourage others who sense certain women who might be of the forgiving type and prey on them, figuring the congregation will go easy on them. I know of such a circumstance.

I belonged to a religion were the protection of the flock was not a big concern and only the individual mattered. Having raped a 17 year old woman, and being previously guilty of several previous attempts, and who knows what he might have been guilty of as he had moved all over the world quite frequently, he was let off the hook and likely counted on that, having cried like a baby before the older men, to convince them of his sorrow, and having close relationships with them all, he escaped even having the church know what he really did, and he certainly did not have to deal with the law. Oh, there is so much more I could tell you about that one.

However, there was this one pesky little bastard in the group who was not going to let this guy get off so easy or let the evil older men get away with this, either. Eventually, this loud mouth let the entire congregation know by letter and mail what really happened. Of course, no one believed him and he was thrown out for squealing, but he would not have had it any other way. He would prefer the symbolic stoning and rejection of the crowd. Besides, there were many prophets, apostles, and other faithful servants who had experienced far worse for their speaking out against such things so this guy got off quite easy in comparison and he knows it!

But surely I hope any reader of the Bible can remember that the duty of a shepherd is to guard the flock and warn the flock of dangers, just as a watchman/guard stands guard over a city at night to warn the inhabitants of impending danger, such as approaching armies over the horizon. Shepherds chase off and guard the flock from wolves and other predators. Older men are the shepherds and guards of their people, their flock that they tend on behalf of Christ. Christ will make an accounting of each of them. They better make sure that they were protecting the flock or the blood of the flock he will require from the sleeping wicked shepherds.

So for those who think forgiveness is a right of the sinner or an absolute requirement of those who are sinned against, think again. Consider all the scriptures on the subject and not just one or two. A sinner is at the mercy of the victim and the victim does not have to forgive. There are no exceptions. A victim has rights as does the whole church as well.

A sinner is at the mercy of the victim and the victim does not have to forgive. There are no exceptions. A victim has rights as does the whole church as well.


What About Mercy?
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Now, having made it clear that no one is obligated to forgive and should never feel guilty about not wanting to forgive serious crimes  . . .  and having pointed out that little stuff should always be overlooked and not made a big deal of, we do want to consider how it is that Jesus or the Father have forgiven serious sins.

Take adultery, for instance. Recall that Joseph found Mary, future mother of Jesus, to be pregnant. And the only way he knew such a thing was possible at that time was that she had obviously been playing around or it could not have happened. But the Bible author notes that Joseph, being righteous, but also broken hearted, decided he would divorce her in secret as he did not want the young woman to die. Being young, perhaps he imagined that such things do sometimes happen. Demanding that she should die was not in his heart. For this he was called righteous. Oddly, this is not the Mosaic law’s definition of righteous. The law says she should have died. But the law of Joseph’s heart was mercy and forgiveness. A divorce in secret would be plenty.

However, God was not about to let Joseph continue to believe this about Mary when it was not true. So an angle was immediately dispatched to tell Joseph in a dream what had really happened. I am sure that Joseph felt some relief, knowing his wife was virtuous, faithful, and still loved him. However, there was no way Joseph was going to go near her in a sexual way until Jesus was first born and out of the way.

This was the sort of mercy that Jesus encouraged, if one could find it in their hearts. And it is not that adultery should always be forgiven but that it is at least possible that in some cases, it might be good to do so or maybe the more advantageous course to take. Let’s look at this more closely.

What is so painful about adultery? Is it the betrayal? The intent? The dishonesty? The breaking of God’s law? I want you to consider what makes adultery so painful. In my opinion, the gut feeling inside when we find we have been cheated on is that we were somehow inadequate or unworthy. We were not a good wife or husband and so they cheated. It threatens our self-esteem and self-worth. In addition, there is the fear and insecurity that we are losing our mate, they are leaving, and maybe we will not get another one. We were barely lucky to get this one. A lack of self-confidence surely is often there.

Maybe we are afraid it was done to hurt us, humiliate us, that maybe our mate never really loved us and was lying all along. That is the ultimate betrayal, being lied to, played, manipulated, used! There are so many things that could be involved.

But what I find odd in having looked at many infidelities, is that many of the assumptions or fears are not true. If we can keep our minds rational, we have to remember that Jehovah and Jesus have forgiven adulterers. How could they have done such a thing? Well, they obviously did it because even people who are reasonably decent can fall prey to such a weakness or temptation. It is part of the weakness of the flesh.


Why Forgive?
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So you have been cheated on. That is wrong and the Bible give you every right to divorce, no questions asked, no guilt required. However, there are things to consider, given that our heavenly Father forgives such things. As I said before, decent people can fall prey to stupid actions. Surely anyone who has any red blood in them can surely appreciate how exciting, attractive, and desirable the opposite sex can be. It is not like the temptation is not fathomable. It is! Add to this the possibility that a person might have been neglected as a child, hungry for love and attention, desperate to be noticed, easily excited when they get some, and you have a recipe that could aid adultery. To make it even tougher, maybe the person starved for attention or affection was also born attractive so that they would get lots of what they hunger for, attention.

Each of us likely has weaknesses of one sort or another. Some may have a weakness for the flesh/sex. For another it might be food. For some it is drugs or alcohol. Some might find money or greed their problem. Maybe it is our temper or lack of consideration for others, being a bit selfish. There are lots of problems and as we have seen, most people are not aware of their own problems but see only what others have for problems. So Jesus warns about harsh judges.

And this thing about adultery could be one of those things. OK, the mate cheated and God’s law does forbid it. But suppose we did have something to do with it. Maybe we are not easy to live with. Maybe we are not very generous when it comes to sex or whatever else. Maybe we are kind of selfish. Maybe we were neglecting our mates some or a lot. Maybe we did not communicate enough. Maybe we were not putting much effort into the relationship. And maybe what we were doing was made worse by the weaknesses our mate had due to things they experienced as a child.

True, we did not see them. We were relatively innocent. But that does not mean we were guilt free. It simply means we did not knowingly sin. But sin is sin. God goes easier on us if we did not know better, but then again, maybe we were lying to ourselves or denying things about ourselves. How innocent were we? Only God can know that for sure.

Or how about this! Will we find a better mate if we ditch this one? Will we find one soon? How many good years do we have left where we are that attractive or desirable? How pleasant or nice are we to live with? Will we have problems with the next one, too? How easy was the last one to find? Would it be better to forgive and continue to enjoy a healthy sexual relationship that maybe we had before the affair? Are we prepared to live without a mate for a long time, maybe the rest of our lives?

Could there be a more practical livable solution to this problem. Let me digress for a few lines here to explain.

Jesus once mentioned that the sons of light were not as smart in a practical shrewd way as the son of this world.

RSV Luke 16:8 The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.

BBE 16:8 And his lord was pleased with the false servant, because he had been wise; for the sons of this world are wiser in relation to their generation than the sons of light.

It would be natural for a Christian to be sort of moral and defensive about being sinned against or betrayed and to demand full justice for such a wrong. But this is exactly what Jesus was trying to discourage. Why was he discouraging it? Because even though we may have a right to demand justice or pay back, it might not be to our best advantage to demand it. Let me give you a few business examples to illustrate.

Suppose somebody rips me off of $100. I have been wronged and deserve to get it back, for sure. But what if the only way I can get it back is to pay a lawyer $300 and court costs of $50 to get it back and the court not allow me to recover the lawyer costs as might be the case in small claims court? Would it be wise to spend $300 to get $100 back? No, it clearly would not. What does that leave me with?

Well, I have the choice of losing $100 or losing $200 by hiring a lawyer to et the $100 back. While I hate the idea of being ripped off for $100, it has become unavoidable and I can accept the loss, bitter as it is, or cause my opponent to lose the $100 by hiring the lawyer and cost myself $200 instead. So I am left debating whether it is worth another $100 to get back my money and deprive my opponent of his $100 gain.

There might be some satisfaction in depriving him but really, it will come at yet more cost to me. In my thinking, it is better to live with the $100 loss and learn something from it; being more careful about what I buy or how I buy, or who I loan to or however else it might have been that I got ripped off, so that I do not get ripped off again that way.

 As I see it, there are times in life, in a wicked world run by the devil, when you will get screwed to some degree and there is not a damn thing you can do about it and little to no way to recover it, either. Life is full of unfair events and circumstances. Our system is deliberately designed to take advantage of people and use them and we will all be used many times before God steps in, or we die first and wait for a resurrection.

But to try to get revenge on everyone who crosses us could cause us to waste all our time, cause us lots of frustration and anguish dwelling on how wrong it all was and is. There is practically nothing we can do about this world and its evil. Our efforts might be better spent forgetting about the little losses of life. In fact, even large losses might be better forgotten and instead, moving on with our lives, trying to learn from our mistakes, and pursuing something more beneficial.

Now getting back to adultery. It is not great to be cheated on. It can be a biter pill to swallow. It might feel like a lot of things that it may not actually be. Feelings are hard to impossible to control. But the worse a situation is, perhaps the more we have to try to keep calm and rational and think carefully about what we are doing.

But even though we have been slighted, cheated on, lied to, betrayed, or whatever, we ought to give some thought as to what the motivation really might have been, not what it seems to feel like to us and think about whether there might be a practical outcome that might be advantageous to take in the long run. I will explain.

Though we feel like it was lies and cheating, was that how our mate planned it or thought about it? Did they do this with the intention of hurting us? Some might do it to hurt but did ours, given that many do not do it to hurt? Many never plan on getting caught. They do not intend it to harm. They do not intend you to ever find out. Given that, they figure, what is the harm? I still love my mate, its just that this would be incredibly fun and exciting. Why not? Some do cheat without their mates ever finding out. No harm ever comes of it except for God seeing and remembering, perhaps to be used later and accounted for.

Maybe they did not even plan it but got an offer that they were unprepared for and that was very exciting and in a moment of weakness, they give in. I am not saying it is right, but it can happen in our world. Can we sympathize with that sort of temptation? I can. I have always been well behaved but still I can sympathize with that sort of thing. Well, OK, so you can not. We each have different strengths and weaknesses, I grant. But perhaps you have weaknesses or temptations that they do not. Maybe that business sale would be fantastic. That money sure would help the old finances, huh? Of course, it might not sell if you told them of the potential pitfalls that came with that purchase. But that’s OK, right? Or is it? Isn’t that cheating, or withholding information? Just like your cheating mate did?

Maybe you gave up trying to keep a reasonable weight. It was the easy thing to do. You do not really care about your mate. You want to eat yourself silly. He/she married you so they are stuck, right? Now who does not care about the other? I could explore this sort of thing all day long. Most of us never look carefully at the many things we do that might put us in a bad light that even God might make us account for. While we suffer no prosecution on earth, God might make us account for gluttony, greed, or other such vices, which Paul made clear, that those who practice them will not inherit God’s kingdom.

And many of us might hold certain attitudes within us that are not very complimentary. Maybe in subtle ways we do not really show the care or concern for our mates that we should. Often times we subtly (non-verbally) transmit our attitudes to others including our mates. They may be consciously aware of it or they may be responding to it unconsciously and reacting without knowing why. We may have helped contribute to their actions without realizing it. But God sees all things, the deep subtle, even unconscious things that we do not see in ourselves or in others. And He may judge us on those.

Many times what is unconscious is so only because we keep it buried there as it is too uncomfortable for us to confront in ourselves or deal with. Deliberate unconsciousness or denial is not legitimate in the eye of God. We might have ourselves fooled and maybe even those around us fooled but God is never fooled; ever! So being merciful and as understanding of others as possible could have some real benefits for us. We might need God’s mercy ourselves, though we seem to be unaware of it at the present. Jesus makes it clear that if you had shown mercy to others, you will receive mercy yourself from him. Be smart and be merciful.

Further, maybe we did not realize how emotionally deprived our mate was in their infancy and youth growing up. It does not excuse their behavior, but it can make it more understandable, maybe even forgivable in the eyes of God. Do we want to be like God? We should want to be like Him!!! Remember that God forgave David for adultery. God evidently thought there was some good in David, despite a very foolish and reckless action. If God is willing to forgive, shouldn’t we?

Of course, repentance is real important. But if there is some, what will you do? Consider that as a Christian, it is most difficult to find a compatible acceptable person to marry and get along with. Did we get along good with our mate before they cheated? If we did, we might want to think about what we are really losing before we get rid of it! There may not be a ready replacement or a replacement ever. Are we already middle aged, with our youth and beauty far behind us? What are the chances of remarriage at this point in our lives? Might be slim to none. Can you give up sex from this point on? Love and affection, too?

What did we really love about our mate to begin with? Do they still have those qualities after cheating? A good chance they might! Did those qualities really mean anything to us? Hey, how about financing and money? Got enough to make it on your own. A roof over your head is nothing to turn your nose up at. Surviving economically is not an easy ting today. Ready to give all that up?

Think about it for a minute. They got excited by someone and let that someone tickle them, so to speak. They enjoyed some extreme pleasure for a few minutes. Is it that big a deal, really? Yes, I know, it certainly could be a big deal. Losing a mate is a devastating loss and a great deal of pain. And potentially, an affair could result in such a loss. On the other hand, there might be no danger of such a loss.

There are lots of potential dangers. If there are kids and they lose their mom or dad to divorce, it could be traumatic. Sexual disease is a real drag, too. But often adultery is not done with those intentions. It is seen as relatively harmless. One would really have to give it some deep thought before hand to see the many dangers that could come out of an adultery. Most people who commit adultery actually give it very little thought. It is instinct, emotions, and passions that take over and they are often very irrational. So examine it all carefully before coming to any decisions about what to do about adultery or anything for that matter.


What About the Kids?
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Any kids involved? How will they take it? Good accurate divorce studies show that divorce causes permanent life-long damage to children, emotionally. Ready to do that to them? It may be best to do it. Maybe the mate is abusive and your better off without them in come cases. But in many, maybe not. Do the kids deserved to suffer so that your hurt feelings can be avenged? Really, it might be good for their sakes, to overlook the slight so that they might continue to enjoy a life without having it shattered and destroyed, both emotionally and economically, too.

And I need to mention, imagine the reward you will gain from God if you willingly accept the cheating to spare your kids? God sees all and repays all. One thing for sure; such an act of forgiveness will certainly buy you a lot of mercy with God, should it ever be needed. And God will no doubt see to it that your next mate will be a great improvement, should He decide to dissolve your current marriage in His Kingdom due to your mate’s unfaithfulness, something God does have the right to do and might, should you inherit the earth in God’s Kingdom.

But in my mind, if you love your kids a lot, you will be willing to do many things for them, and go to great lengths, and go without a lot for their sakes. Maybe forgiving adultery might be one of those.

I am sure I have left out many more considerations on this subject. I brought up enough to show why mercy might be the smart thing to do after the hurt. However, let me repeat that forgiveness is not mandatory and you may be a very good person and not need the mercy come judgment day. You mate might deserve being dumped. Many do! That are lots of assholes in the world that you would be better off without. Some mates do not respect their mates and do cheat to hurt. Many marriages deserve being dissolved and the Bible gives you every right to divorce on the grounds of adultery, no questions asked. But only you can decide what is best for you, while taking God’s will into consideration. But do so slowly and carefully, with emotions in check and control as you do.

I want to cover yet another possibility that comes to mind and stirs up emotions in a big way. Suppose you are a man, and what you thought was a good friend, rapes your wife, laughs about it, takes pictures, and spreads them all over the internet. You might get raging mad, right? The court makes you wife out to be a whore since she looked at him in a suggestive way, so they say. And they have a picture of her in a miniskirt when she was in high school, so of course, she was just asking for it! Maybe it wasn’t your friend but the guy your wife works with or just some asshole who has money galore and can afford a lawyer who will be happy to twist the truth till there is no truth anywhere to be found.

Anyway, your wife got what she deserved, given that a typical jury of today are total morons and idiots as a whole. There’s a real good chance this guy will get community service if anything at all for shattering your wife’s feelings and life. Welcome to 21st century justice and reality.

Now you; your wife just got screwed by the rapist, again, so to speak, and by the lawyer, judge, court, law, and last but not least, the jury! About now, you would like to grab your gun and go looking for a little pay back. No decent man could blame you but . . . would it be the wisest or most profitable thing to do? Would spending your life in prison be worth it? Would your wife, already devastated by her attack and lack of justice, be able to cope with losing you, too? What about the kids if you have any? This will be a tough one to bear. But in the end, you will have to grin and bear it, and let God take His and your vengeance later at judgment day.

But you ask, what if I have no kids and in addition to my wife getting raped, she is also tortured and killed? I have nothing to lose by taking vengeance. Can I? Why shouldn’t I? Well, I can see your point. It is tempting. But God says “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay!” I am not sure that God would condemn you for acting so, but then again, I am not sure that He would not. Vengeance and judgment are His and His along and He is kind of jealous about things like that. I would not risk it. Leave it to God and He will fix all things and make all things new and wipe every tear from out eyes and death and mourning and outcry will be no more. You have God’s word on that!!!

So let it all pass and God will restore all things, including justice. Your wife will be resurrected if faithful to God. All things can be restored by God. Nothing can be beyond His power. Nothing!!! Take comfort in this and wait for Him as He will act, guaranteed!


Vengeance is God’s!
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Romans 12:
17 Repay no one evil for evil, having provided right things before all men. [Prov. 3:4]
18 If possible, as far as is in you, seeking peace with all men;
19 not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath, for it has been written, "Vengeance is Mine," "I will repay," says the Lord. [from Deut. 32:35]
20 Then "if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; for doing this you will heap coals of fire on his head." [from Prov. 25:21, 22]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome the evil with good.

Hebrews 10:30 For we know Him who has said, "Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay," says the Lord. [from Deut. 32:35]

Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance and retribution belong to Me; in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the things prepared are hurrying for them.
Deuteronomy 32:41 If I have sharpened My glittering sword, and My hand lays hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My foes, and I will repay those who hate Me.
Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, O nations, of His people; for He shall avenge the blood of His servants, and shall render vengeance to His foes, and shall have mercy on His land and His people.

Psalm 58:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and complete opening to the bound ones;
2 to proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;

Jeremiah 11:20 But, O Jehovah of Hosts who judges with righteousness, who tries the reins and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them. For to You I have laid open my cause.

Jeremiah 15:15 O Jehovah, You know. Remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on those who seek to hurt me. Do not take me away in Your long-suffering; know that I bear reproach for You.

Jeremiah 20:12 But, O Jehovah of Hosts, who tries the righteous, who sees the reins and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them; for I have revealed my cause to You.

Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord Jehovah of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Himself of His foes. And the sword shall devour, and be sated, and made drunk with their blood, for a sacrifice is to the Lord Jehovah of Hosts in the north country by the river Euphrates .

Jeremiah 50:15 Shout against her all around. She has given her hand, her foundations have fallen, her walls have been thrown down, for it is Jehovah’s vengeance. Take vengeance on her. As she has done, do to her.

Ezekiel 25:17 And I will execute on them great vengeance with rebukes of fury. And when I put My vengeance on them, they will know that I am Jehovah.

Micah 5:15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and in fury on the nations, such as they have not heard.

Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and Jehovah is avenging, Jehovah is avenging and is a possessor of wrath. Jehovah takes vengeance against His foes, and He keeps wrath against His enemies.

Be aware that there is no way you can avoid injustice in this life. You will be screwed over many times in your lifetime and so will those who you love and care about. There are way too many dickheads around in life to avoid it. But keep this in mind. God had a right long ago to wipe out every last human being on earth. But He did not and has waited, knowing that if there are to be any humans to carry on to do His will on earth, He will need to let them learn here on earth in this mess so that they can appreciate why they need to obey Him and His word. Only through hindsight and experience can we learn and appreciate these things.
So God lets us learn through tough experience but experience we need and can get no other way, that will truly affect and change us for the better. So He lets it go that some of us may learn and live as He requires.

Then let us also not forget what Jesus went through for us. He was absolutely innocent of any wrong doing and yet he was bitterly hated and was killed. Of course, he will have the last laugh when he returns for vengeance but while on earth, his was not a pleasant experience. Neither was it a whole lot of fun for God to have to sit back and watch all that injustice be carried out against His son. But both He and His son see things in the long term. They will have the last laugh and will correct all problems. But it was necessary that Jesus sacrifice himself if our salvation was to be justified and he understood that and willingly allowed himself to be martyred in our behalf and for this we can be very grateful. Meanwhile, there are important lessons for us to learn in order to be good citizens of God’s Kingdom.
So bear injustice a little longer, learn all you can, and wait on God to shortly fix all things and rescue us from the misery of this mess down here on earth by destroying all the assholes and fixing the earth back up and bringing many back to life.


Summary
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Now what was this article all about? Well, think about the contrast for one. On the one hand, we do not have to forgive unless someone is truly repentant. On the other hand, when it comes to small slights and mild disrespect we all tend to show and give each other, we should be very forgiving and graceful as we ourselves who usually do not see ourselves, may be as guilty if not worse in our own actions. Jesus will judge us as mildly or harshly as we judge others.

Further, while we might forgive someone, there is the consideration of the entire congregation in more serious sins, which the older men have a right to judge. And while some serious sins are perfectly justified if a person does not want to forgive, such as adultery, there still may be some valid reasons why we might want to consider forgiveness, from both a practical point of view and well as a sympathetic, empathetic, and merciful kind of view about it all.

When it is all said and done, we will likely be wronged many times and many of those times the sins will not be able to be corrected or compensated for until God should return to make all things well again. We will wait for God to execute vengeance and justice for us and heal our psychological, spiritual, and physical wounds and make us whole, sound, and happy, maybe for the first time and restore all our losses.

Till then, hang in there, learn all you can and think all the time, be merciful as God is merciful, and love one another as much as you can, for love covers a multitude of sins according to the scriptures.

I will eave you with an entire Psalm to read and consider. It highlights the sort of outlook we need to have as Christians. We see terrible injustices in the world and it is discouraging and could seem like God does not see or care as the 1st 10 verses suggest. But then in the verses after that, it points out that God does care and that He will catch up with the evil in the world in time, executing His justice and vengeance on those who would not listen to His laws and obey Him. We shall see justice and relief in the end. There are many Psalms that express similar themes and are there to give us courage, hope, and relief as we await God’s ultimate action on Judgment Day. So read and take heart!

Psalm 94:
1 O Jehovah, God of vengeance; O God of vengeance, shine forth!
2 Lift up Yourself, O judge of the earth; give a just repayment on the proud.
3 Until when shall the wicked, O Jehovah, until when shall the wicked exult?
4 They gush, they speak impudent things; all the workers of evil speak proudly.
5 O Jehovah, they crush Your people and afflict Your inheritance.
6 They kill the widow and the stranger, and murder the orphan.
7 Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, nor shall the God of Jacob observe.
8 Understand you beastly ones among the people; yea, you fools, when will you be wise?
9 He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
10 He who chastises the nations, shall He not punish, He who teaches man knowledge?
11 Jehovah knows the thoughts of man, that they are vain.
12 Blessed is the man You chasten, O Jehovah, You teach him out of Your law;
13 to give him rest from troubled days, until the pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For Jehovah will not leave His people; nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15 For judgment shall turn to righteousness; and all the upright in heart shall follow after it.
16 Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of evil?
17 Unless Jehovah had been my help, my soul would almost have dwelt in silence.
18 If I said, My foot slides, O Jehovah, Your mercy has held me up.
19 In the multitude of my inward thoughts, Your comforts delight my soul.
20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with You, devising mischief for a statute?
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the blood of the innocent.
22 But Jehovah is my tower of defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
23 And He shall turn their own iniquity upon them; and He shall cut them off in their evil, Jehovah our God shall cut them off!


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