I forgive you, but I can never forget! These are the words of many of us, even Christians. If truly we do forgive, what's the essence of saying we cannot forget? The Almighty God, who created all creatures in Heaven, on Earth and the Dark-Planet; He who created us, who later became our greatest enemy, despite every act of our rebellion against Him, still loved us to the point of sacrificing His only begotten Son for us.
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust." (Psalm 103:12-14)
The entire book of Jeremiah tells and proves to us how forgiving, loving and merciful God is. If He, the Almighty God could constantly beg mortal men for over 23 years to return to Him so they could avoid destruction, in fact, such kind of love has no comparison.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle." (Psalm 103:2-5)
Right from the Garden of Eden, men began to sin until this day. Moreover, right from that day, God continually forgive mankind. Despite what Adam and Eve did to Him; even when they thought they could cover themselves up; He, God, proved to them that despite their rebellion, He still loved them and because of this, He took away the leaves they used in covering themselves and clothed them with proper garments of skin.
"If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared." (Psalm 130:3-4)
Though a sinner will not go unpunished, however, in the midst of that punishment, the love of God is very present. If the Almighty God should judge us according to our sin, I wonder if any of us could be alive. He is a loving Father who does not count our sin against us, but sent still His only Son do die, so we might have a complete forgiveness and for Christ's sake, abundant and eternal life. The Son on the cross, when fully settled in His pain, cried out in a loud voice "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) Any man who doesn’t know what he's doing has lost his insanity. All men were once insane and the blood of Jesus Christ alone reinstated our sanity.
Let's take a look at our Lord’s Prayer. Every churchgoer and non-churchgoer knows this so well. However, the Spirit behind this prayer is more than what men can comprehend. In this, the Lord taught us how we should pray.
"Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]" (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4)
Sin is a debt that we ALL owe God and for which we receive forgiveness through Christ.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
It is after you have forgiven your fellow human being you can then ask God for forgiveness. If you haven't forgiven your fellow human being and you continually ask God to forgive your multitude of sins, I will advise you to stop doing it because you will never receive anything from the Lord for you have a deceptive heart.
"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions." (Mark 11:26)
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned." (Luke 6:37)
In the book of Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a king and his servants. He told us of two servants; one owed his master certain amount of money, but the other owed his fellow slave certain amount of money. Let us give them names: Ted and Tom. Ted owed his master some money and Tom owed Ted some money. Ted owed the master “ten thousand talents”, while Tom owed Ted a “hundred denarii”. However, both of them were slaves! Ted was brought to the master because he had no means to repay his debt and his master wanted to sell him and his entire household (wife, children and properties) so a repayment could be made. Quickly did he fell to the ground, prostrated and ask his master for patience, to give him more time so he could repay. The master had "compassion" on him and hereby cancelled all his debt. Immediately he was released, he ran to his fellow slave ‘Tom’ who owed him, arrested him, and imprisoned him until he pays back his money. His fellow slaves pleaded to Ted on behalf of Tom so he could have patience for him to pay back. He shut his ears to them and wouldn't listen. Their master, the king heard about it and he was very angry and furious. He quickly called for the arrest of Ted and he was grieved for what he did to Tom. He handed him over to the torturers to be tortured until he could pay back all he owed. Jesus ended this story with this statement: "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."
Let's look closely to the amount each of them owed - 10000 talents and 100 denarii. A talent is an equivalent of 15 years' wages and a denarius (singular) is an equivalent of a day's wages. Let's take £50 to be a day's wages and 20 days as working days in a month. If we multiply £50 by 20 days, it will give us £1000 a month. If we multiply this by 5, it will give us £5000 for five months. This was what Tom owed Ted. Now, let's multiply the £1000 by 12. This will give us £12000 for a year. If we multiply this again by 15, it will give us £180000 for fifteen years. If we multiply it again by 10000, it will give us £1800000000, which is £1.8 billion (one billion and eight hundred million pounds). Therefore, Ted owed the king one billion and eight hundred million pounds, but his fellow slave Tom owed him five thousand pounds. His master had compassion on him to wipe off his debt from the list, but he (wicked slave) could not wipe off five thousand pounds. What he owed his master was 360000 times what Tom owed him. He could not wipe it off. What a wicked man he was!
This illustration makes it clear to me: Whatever injury any man might have caused us, our own offence against God is 360000 times more. Even when we were dead, decayed in sin, Christ died for us - a wretch, the ungodly. An unforgiving person is a sick person! He's a highly demonized person! This is the common sickness that the church has overlooked for ages. You can see it everywhere. You can even see it on the pulpit. If God is like many of us, He will not wet the ground for us to enjoy because of our wickedness. Many of us are criminals. A large stone was supposed to be tied on our neck, to be thrown into the sea and drown. We are here breathing and walking majestically and we still have it in our mind not to forgive our fellow man who was created in the image and likeness of the Almighty.
Unforgiveness is a package and inside this package are anger, hatred, malice, bitterness, pride, and murder. All these are deadly demons that reside in an unforgiving person. The Almighty God cannot tolerate such person. If He, God could bear the pain of sacrificing His Son for the sin He did not commit, I wonder what an unforgiving person will expect from Him. So many times we pretended as if nothing truly happened. We behaved as if all is over. We can only lie to ourselves but not to God who sees the depth of the sea. Whatever is hidden in your heart is only hidden before man but not before God. He created you and He knows your heart so well. Many of us did forgive our offender, but not from the heart! Whatever doesn't come from the heart is not genuine, because from the heart comes true repentance. We confessed it from our mouth that we forgive, but truly not from our heart. Because we still hold our offender in our heart, this is why we find ourselves speaking about the old matter. If He, God forgives us, He takes our sins far away from us just as east is far from the west. As long as you continually speak about what went wrong between you and your offender, you've still not forgiven him or her. If you cannot genuinely forgive your offender, you're a demonized fellow and God cannot tolerate you. If you fast and pray, you only put yourself into hardship because your prayer doesn't go beyond your roof. The demons that live inside you will swallow it up. It cannot get to the nostril of the Almighty like morning incense because it's mere smoke.
There are many chronic illnesses that have their root in unforgiveness. Even though God is merciful to open our heart to the cause of our illness, but we are too proud, too arrogant, and too big to make reconciliation. For Christ's sake, Jesus' Ministry was a Ministry of reconciliation and this He also passed over to us. Many of us are looking for solution where there is no solution. Meanwhile the solution is right within our heart. God has given us up to the illusion of our mind. Sometimes when we go to Him, we want to hear Him speak to us truly, but we've already have an answer before we approach Him. He will truly tell us what we want to hear just as He did to Balaam. Many people are barren simply because they cannot forgive. The demon of unforgiveness has held their womb from being fruitful. They continually run helter-skelter looking for child where there is none; while the source of their sorrow lies within their heart.
Once upon a time, two men of God offended each other. They both claimed they forgave each other until they died suddenly. It was revealed to another man of God that they were below the mountain, unable to climb to the other side. This simply means Heaven rejected them. A man may pretend here as if he's righteous. Since no man can see what is hidden in your heart, all men may give you applause for the good work they see you do. However, He who sees beyond the physical will never tolerate anything that doesn't go in line with His way. In the land where only those who have pure heart could dwell; every dirtiness, cowardice, deception can and will never be tolerated there. Why? Because there is light everywhere and no demon is allowed to enter Heaven.
Friends, there is no forgiveness beyond the grave! I've witnessed several times where I heard people prayed for the dead and I wept within my heart. I've also seen people who went to the grave of their loved ones who have passed away and prayed there. I wonder what they were doing there in the first place. If they have no work to do, it would be more profitable for them to sit down in their living room and spend time with their family member who is still alive. The Bible tells me in Hebrews 9:27 that,
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Therefore, there is no forgiveness, no mercy, and no pardon beyond the grave. Judgment is set!
There are also some people who could not forgive their offender who is already dead. If you have something against the dead, what profit is that to you? You are truly insane! An unforgiving person cannot obtain mercy from God. As He says in Psalm 30:5; "Though weeping may endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning." And Psalm 34:19-20 says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken." No matter how afflicted a man may be, he still has hope of a better tomorrow. For your weeping not to remain forever, you'd better forgive your offender.
If you've confessed Christ, there is no sin or offence that is too big to forgive. The worst thing a man could ever do to hurt you is to wipe out all your family members in a day. Christ says you must forgive no matter what. Inasmuch no man is a creator of another man, none has right to hold anyone ransom for anything. God is the Creator and He alone has absolute right to do whatever pleases Him with all of us. Men may congratulate you for your action at times, but God's ways are holy and every unholy act will be consumed. Any man who wants to dwell with God who is the Consuming Fire should know how to behave, else, he will be consumed.
Many of us are holier than God Himself. We continually live in disobedience and think we can get anything from Him. We care so much about men and because we want men to always speak well of us, we never want to look bad in their sight; but in the sight of God, we are mere smoke. We live as if this world will not end. We want to enjoy life as much as we can and as a result of this, we constantly live to disobey the Creator of life. All His DOs become DON'Ts for us and all His DON'Ts become DOs. We forget that the axe is already placed at the root of all disobedience children to be cut off from their inheritance forever. Because of what we will eat, we all turned ourselves to children of lawlessness. Remember Ted the wicked slave and what happened to him. For your end not to be like that, you'd better forgive your offender. Many people are suffering simply because they cannot forgive. Satan always speak into your heart and give you reason why you shouldn’t forgive. Because the Father didn’t forgive him for what he did in Heaven, henceforth, he vowed to be an obstacle to all the children of the Father. You must make your choice if you want to obey him or the Father.
Forgiveness is divine and without forgiveness there is no miracle. Many of us are failing in this particular area and until we have that kind of mind which Jesus has, we can never excel in our walk with Him. Walking with Jesus is a matter of choice, no one can force you to do what you don't want to do. If you are so compel to walk with Jesus and you know where you're going, then you must be ready to live and abide by His rules and regulations. You must know you cannot live the kind of life you love to live. You must be ready to live for Him not for yourself. If you make this choice to please Him, I tell you the truth, absolutely nothing can cheat you out of the hope of Heaven.
If you know you have a heart for this kind of message, I will advise you to take the following prayer before I conclude.
Lord Jesus, I’m deeply sorry I took You for granted. I know You are a loving Father who always forgive my wrong. I now know that I have transgressed Your Law by holding my offenders in my heart. There is no comparison in what they did to me and what I did to You. Yet, You forgave my multitude of sin. I promise You I release them today. Help me in my daily walk with You. Thank You Lord Jesus. Amen.
Friends, pick your phone today or put it in writing. Tell that fellow you've just discovered something about your life and you don't want anything or anybody to be an obstacle to the journey you're taking. That person may not like it. Let him or her know you have absolutely nothing against them in your heart. Do it genuinely and you'll be free. Little obedience will put an end to many satanic oppression. Remember again: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)
May the Lord bless and empower you as you do this in Jesus name.
Pastor Radiant Ayowole Jesudairo
London, 15th August 2015.