Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 12, 2012


Jesus preached forgiveness a lot.  Why?  Just so Christians will be nice?  No, there’s more to it than that.  In fact, this is where work comes together with faith.  Jesus said:

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Ouch!  If the Father does not forgive our sins, we will die!  So it is not merely enough to have saving faith in Jesus.  We must also ‘work’ to reconcile with our neighbors if we want eternal life.

Forgiveness is often difficult in this life because repentance may not be possible if the transgressor is absent.  This will not be a problem in the resurrection, when everyone will be alive and available to make amends with their enemies.  If they will not, they will die for a second time with no excuse.

God makes a deal:  Forgive your enemies and repent of your sins, and you may eat from the trees of life forever.  Refuse forgiveness and repentance: no trees of life.  Simple.  Yet the bible tells us that some will refuse to forgive or repent.  “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.”  Isaiah 65:20  They will die their second death.  God’s justice is above ours.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

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