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Forgiving Offences

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Over the past two weeks, we have been learning about the ‘Grace to forgive.’ We were taught to forgive those who sin against us and those who are indebt to us, so that the Lord may forgive us of ours sins and debts to Them, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the Peshitta version, Matthew 6:12 and Luke 11:4 are translated as: “And forgive us our offences, as we have forgiven our offenders.”[1] “And forgive us our sins, for we have also forgiven all who have offended us.”[2] So, we are also to forgive those who offend us, so that our offences to the Lord are forgiven as well.

How do we offend the Lord? We are an offence to the Lord when we are not mindful of the things of God but the things of men, when you see things merely from a human point of view and not God’s, and when you think like everyone else and not like God. For Jesus said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offence to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”[3] You are an offence to Me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s.”[4] “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”[5] “…you think like everyone else and not like God.”[6]

In the New King James Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Jesus said to His disciples, “Woe to the world because of offences! For offences must come, but woe to that man by whom the offence comes!”[7] “It is impossible that no offences should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”[8] What kind of offences was Jesus talking about here? It is offences against the Lord, the Lord and the Lord.

For a believer, you offend the Lord when you refuse to listen to Jesus even after the command was restored to you. And when you do listen to Jesus, but partially observe the Law of Moses because of recommendations of men like James the Younger, you also offend the Lord. Why do you choose to partially observe the Law of Moses? Is the Law of Jesus not good enough for you? Or is it because you find some of the words of Jesus too hard to practise, and so you practise part of the Law of Moses to compensate your lack of total observance of the Law of Jesus? Maybe you just enjoy carrying out religious practices and festivals of men that are not even part of the Law of Moses. It is like you are neither here nor there. You have one foot in the Law of Jesus and the other in the Law of Moses. Do not say that you are practising both sets of law thoroughly, for that is impossible. If you have knowledge of both sets of law, you will know and understand why it is impossible to obey both laws at the same time. In case you don’t know this already, allow me to share with you an example: Under the Law of Jesus, He commanded us to drink His blood.[9] If you put that into practice, you are cut off according to the Law of Moses.[10] So, how can you obey both the Law of Jesus and the Law of Moses? Therefore, you are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, Jesus is about to spit you out of His mouth.[11]

For an unbeliever, you offend the Lord when you refuse to believe in Jesus Christ even after the Good News is preached to you. You are refusing the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, for He said, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son.”[12] The fact that Jesus finished the very work that the Father gave Him to do, testifies that the Father sent Jesus.[13] Jesus not only finished the work that the Father gave Him to do, but He did exactly what the Father commanded Him.[14] Jesus Christ died on the cross so that His blood of the Covenant of the Forgiveness of Sins was poured out for all. Rejecting Jesus is rejecting the opportunity to spend eternity with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God knows what plans He has for us in His empire of dreams. But is not the thought of living in New Jerusalem and beyond with the Lord and in the Lord so much better compared to condemnation or being thrown alive into the Lake of Burning Sulphur? In fact, you cannot even begin to compare the two…

At the end of the age, the Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His Kingdom everything that causes sin, all who do evil,[15] all things that offend, those who practise lawlessness,[16] all stumbling blocks,[17] all law-breakers,[18] and everyone who causes others to sin.[19] They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.[20]

If you have offended the Lord, repent or you will be weeded out of His Kingdom at the end of the age. And if you want your offences to the Lord forgiven you, forgive those who have offended you.

Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”[21] Just as there are those who are offended because of Jesus, there are or will be those who are offended by you because of Jesus. Your unceasing listening to Jesus, your constant practice of the words of Jesus, your use of the words of Jesus, your unwavering faith in Jesus… all these can offend others. When you open the eyes of the blind, make the lame walk, cleanse the leprous, heal the deaf and raise the dead, all for the glory of the Lord and not for yourself or for money, do not be surprised that there are those who are offended with you because of these miracles.

Therefore, do unto others as you would have it done unto you. Forgive others of their offences, as you would want your offences forgiven you. Seek to know and understand the Lord more and more each day, lest His ways, thoughts and plans offend you. In the NIV, Jesus said, At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other…”[22] The New King James Version translated that verse as: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Therefore, many will turn away from the faith because they are offended, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.[23] Why did Jesus say that many would turn away from the faith? It is because they lack understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You need to see things from God’s point of view. You need to understand where the Lord is going with all these – the arrival of Jesus, the Millennial Reign, New Jerusalem, etc. If you do not understand why there is an urgency to bring Jesus back as soon as possible, and if all you can see is just yourself, your 50 or 60 years here on Earth, possibly spending some Saturdays or Sundays at church, you might one day turn away from the faith because you are offended with what is happening in this world because of Jesus.

How is that possible you ask? Imagine days of distress unequalled from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be equalled again.[24] Imagine a third of the earth burned up, a third of the trees burned up, and all the green grass burned up. Imagine a third of the sea turned into blood, every living thing in the sea dead,[25] and a third of the ships destroyed. Imagine a third of the waters turned bitter and many people dying from the bitter waters. Imagine a third of the day without light and also a third of the night. Imagine locusts with the power of scorpions torturing for five months those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads, but not killing them. Imagine those people seeking for death but not finding it. Imagine a third of mankind dead by plagues of fire, smoke and sulphur.[26] Imagine two men of God who have fire coming out of their mouths to devour their enemies, who have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain, who have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.[27] Imagine all these have been ordained by God Almighty, Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the very God you worship. Do you now understand why there will be many who will be offended and thus turn away from faith in Jesus Christ?

Choose now whom you will worship today. The time has come, on a day called today, where the Earth and the body of Christ are prepared and ready for the arrival of Jesus. A day when the Father will send Jesus back to Earth… A day when Jesus makes everything new… Look, Jesus is coming today!


 

[1] Matthew 6:12

[2] Luke 11:4

[3] Matthew 16:23 [NKJV]

[4] HCS

[5] NLT

[6] CEV

[7] Matthew 18:7 [NKJV & HCS]

[8] Luke 17:1 [NKJV & HCS]

[9] Matthew 26:27-28 & John 6:53-56

[10] Leviticus 7:26-27, 17:10-14

[11] Revelation 3:16

[12] John 3:16-18

[13] John 5:36

[14] John 14:31

[15] Mathew 13:40-41

[16] NKJV

[17] NASB

[18] ESV

[19] CEV

[20] Matthew 13:42-43

[21] Matthew 11:6 & Luke 7:23 [NKJV, ESV, NASB & HCS]

[22] Matthew 24:10

[23] Matthew 24:13

[24] Matthew 24:21

[25] Revelation 16:3

[26] Revelation 8 & 9

[27] Revelation 11

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