Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

How to Move On from Vengeance?

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Rom 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Very often we come across situations where we are not only terribly wronged but also slandered for speaking the truth to those who have wronged us. Moving-on from there… is not so much about saving your image in society but about acting sincerely in that situation in the sight of God. There may be times when you want to bludgeon people (who have wronged you) to death, and it is worse if you’re short tempered because then many who love the thrill of a near death experience will instigated you. Still what you should fear is not so much the Law Enforcement so as to save your own skin but you ought to fear God and nip it at the bud by way of repentance unto God before those thoughts fruition into actions. So, what you must go about doing is the next righteous thing, despite the slander and you will come to notice that when your time of testing is over, that the perpetrator/s who you were contending with is/are dealt with so severely by God, that you will feel sorry for them (Isaiah 10:12).

Psalm 3:7 (Call on Him to give you Justice)
Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.

Mat 11:28 (Find your rest in Him through your trials)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

If you insist on avenging yourself, then the only moving-on you will be doing, will be from the frying pan to the fire. However, if you are willing to let the fear of the Lord rule over your heart (Ps 119:10-11), your life shall be blessed, in your moving on from a self-centered life to God-centered life because you will never be able to really move on (Mat 5:4-6) unless you die to yourself and live for the glory of God who is just (Jn 12:24-26). Though you may sometimes be so angry that you can vividly imagine the bloody justice you would stoop to, to set things right. The truth is you are neither God over that situation, nor over yourself, nor over the person you seek to get even with. So, the best thing is to do is to swallow your pride, overcome your anxiety and find your rest in Christ (Mat 11:28-29), by way of reading scripture or listening to some Gospel music because it is in dying to ourselves and living for God that we find true peace in our situations. Moving-on, is not something synonymous with weakness rather it is about portraying the meek nature of Christ where our actions emerge not from the love/faith we have in ourselves but from the love/faith we avail in God through Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16). So, when you place your faith in God, moving-on is the bravest thing you can do while you are at peace, resting in Jesus (Jn 14:27). In fact, when you act from such faith and move on, it makes the people who have hurt you feel insecure for no longer having that emotionally destructive hold on you anymore.

Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.

Prov 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Wisdom serves as a great comforter in helping us move on from acts of vengeance against those who have treated us unjustly. We must thereby understand that we live in a world where people think it’s ok to sin, as long as the people they are sinning against don’t know what they’re up to. However, for those victims who foolishly revere (from unholy fear) those who victimize them, their perpetrators are only encouraged to take advantage of them further because their victims awareness makes them feel unstoppable in their wickedness to a god-like degree. In all these circumstances, these sinners believe there is no God and they are in no way answerable for their actions to God. Though these who are wicked and unrepentant, may be wise in their own eyes, there is more hope for a fool than there is for them (Prov 26:12) & if you are ever stuck in such a circumstance, you need to learn to move on from being concerned about your image in the sight of people to being concerned about your image in the sight of God… in the sense, you need cut these people out of your lives and be totally unabashed about it, because you need not be deceived in revering people from unholy fear but you must learn to revere God from holy fear.

Rev 15
2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
4 Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

It’s amazing how unbelievers fool themselves into thinking that God doesn’t exist, so they can sin against their neighbour without even a second thought of contending with a gracious yet formidable God (Heb 10:31) because from the fall of Adam unbelievers are each a law to themselves but God can see through them like a sea of glass and if you will look at Rev 15:2 you shall notice that those who have come out of them (sea of glass) (Rev 7:14) were tutored in the fear of the Lord (Rev 15:4) unto wisdom and in their victory (Mat 24:13) they are equipped to praise God for the Salvation He has accomplished in them (Phil 1:6) through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (Rom 5:9). For some reason I guess the unbelievers don’t get the idea of God’s good justice playing out in their life because their sinning is so rampant accompanied with that deliberate blindness that ‘there is no God’ that incurring God’s justice becomes as common as breathing air and if they have managed to fool themselves so far, fooling themselves further to have no fear-of-God is not a far-fetched idea but one which maintains them as fools in their sinning against the Triune God Almighty.

1 Corinthians 3
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

I would like to conclude this piece on moving-on from vengeance by expounding on the above scripture. Salvation is sure when we stand on the rock that is Jesus Christ and we mature spiritually depending on how we build on this foundation. For those whose hearts are established in Christ, moving-on from vengeance is a lesson we will learn either willingly which is the easier way or unwillingly which is the hard way (1Cor 3:15/Mat 3:11) because such is the pivotal role the Sovereign will of God plays in our lives.

Must We Forgive Anybody & Everybody?

I am compelled to write on the topic of forgiveness because just like when we speak out against sins like homosexuality, we are told that we must not judge, the world has similarly misconstrued Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness to only suit themselves. After all, the people of the world are gods to themselves, who love to use the Word-of-God to serve their own wicked interests. It’s a very painful thing to forgive the wrong people but the world doesn’t care as long as they can fool the innocent into keeping their guard down, so they can be taken advantage of further. Such is the sadist nature of many people in this world. It’s funny that the world’s people, who have no desire to follow Jesus, with not even an inkling whatsoever of what a Godly demeanor is, can have their heads filled with all these silly notions of religiosity that God requires of the believer, which highlights nothing but their wishful thinking & ignorance. The Bible is available to anybody and everybody who wishes to know God and it is usually lethargic fools who succumb to the world’s idea of forgiveness, which does not serve God’s interest but only the interests of the wicked who delight in sinning against their neighbour. Ideally the Fear-of-the-Lord is the beginning of wisdom but with such humanist teaching flagrantly being taught in Christian circles, what Christians today are learning is not the fear-of-the-Lord but the fear-of-people, which is why the nominal devout Christian is a fool even by the standard of this godless world.

John 20
22When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”

Mat 16
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Yes, I am aware of all the verses that teach us to bless those who persecute us, curse us and speak evil against us (Mat 5:44) and that God shall forgive us only as we forgive those who sin against us (Mat 6:12). I also know that we are taught to turn the other cheek but this is in the context of not returning evil for evil (Mat 5:38-39). For instance if somebody breaks into my house and steals from me, Jesus doesn’t require me to keep the doors wide open thereon, neither am I to break into their house and steal from them to set things even but I have all the right under the moral and civil Law, as provided by God to take action against this person who stole from me. Remember, scripture must be studied and understood in the light of scripture so that we understand the Word-of-God on God’s righteous terms and not on the World’s ridiculous terms. What I am talking about is studying scripture by way of exegesis and not via an eisegesis. We must understand that scripture teaches us to conform to the likeness of Christ (Rom 8:29) in whose image we were made. So, just as there is no salvation without repentance, we are not required to forgive unless the person who has sinned against us is sorry for what he/she has done. In this context, even if the person who has sinned against us apologizes to us seventy times seven (Mat 18:21-22), we are to forgive in imitating the meek nature of Jesus Christ (Is 42:3) but to those hypocrites who are unrepentant being right/wise in their own eyes (Isaiah 5:21), we are under no obligation to forgive them and we can even pray to God asking for His justice that the perpetrator may be softened with humility (Luke 18:7), so those necessary interactions we make with them are bearable or better still that he/she may repent and turn to God through our witnessing for the Gospel.

Luke 19
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him [b]gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone [c]to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The above portion of scripture shows us that an apology/repentance is not an empty word because the Bible requires people (Rom 2:12) to back it up with the action of restitution as you can see (Luke 19:8) and God loves a cheerful giver (2Cor 9:7). Even if you we were to look at the Judicial Law concerning protection of property and social responsibility in Exodus 22, we understand that the Judicial Law demands restitution only because the Moral Law which it serves to hedge demands it. Though the people of the world might have a good laugh on this subject of restitution, it only shows why pagan societies are so inconducive compared to western societies which have been shaped by the Gospel. It is important to note that though Jesus cried out on the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34), not all but only those (elect [Acts 13:48]) who repented of their sin were forgiven. For instance: the centurion who stood before Jesus when He breathed His last (Mark 15:39), this centurion exclaimed just as the Apostle Peter did (Mat 16:16)… saying truly this Man was the Son of God. However, in the case of Judas who betrayed Jesus (John 17:12 [below]) and the Pharisees who wickedly tried Him (John 19:10-11 [below]), there was no forgiveness for them and these were handed over to their own destructive lusts (Ps 81:12/Rom 1:24). Judas hanged himself & as for the Pharisees, they saw Jerusalem fall and the destruction of the temple in just a span of 37 years from Jesus’ death. Unless I have to really spell it out for you, Judas and those who wickedly tried Jesus received no forgiveness. The historian Josephus described Jerusalem as having reached a state very similar to what liberal Hollywood portrays as the future of the world (judging from movies like Pacific Rim Uprising, Resident Evil Retribution, Mad Max etc.); 70 century AD Jerusalem not only saw the destruction of the Temple but also the people’s plight reduced to what was prophesied in Isaiah 3. There is one account of this looting party who broke into this woman’s house because they smelled something cooking and when they got in they found a woman cooking her own baby. Though these people had hit an all-time low in their depravity, they left the house being unable to even stomach the idea of woman sharing with them her food which was her own child which she was cooking as food.

John 17
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

John 19
10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

To conclude, it is rather ironic to notice those who believe that one must forgive even when the other is not sorry, extend this idea to their doctrine thinking, genuinely believing in the Gospel can exist without repentance unto Christ (Jn 12:24-26). However, God doesn’t rebuke His people for praying to Him for justice, when the world has dealt unjustly with them individually or collectively (Rev 6:10). The Bible also teaches that the Gospel is veiled from the unbeliever (2Cor 4:3) by his/her own unrepentant nature (Mat 11:20). So, if we who are made in the image of God, are taught to imitate God, in His likeness as revealed to us in Christ, we are not bound to forgive those who aren’t sorry, just as God does not forgive those who do not repent & believe in the Gospel.

John 8
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

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