Participants: Ronny Shelton
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000222
00:31 Hello, and welcome to Faith Chapel.
00:33 I'm Ronny, Shelton and I hope that you've brought your weapon
00:37 with you today because we fight a spiritual battle.
00:40 We fight not against flesh and blood, as Peters says,
00:43 but we fight a spiritual battle, and we need a spiritual weapon.
00:47 So if you will, get your Bible and let's open it up to
00:50 the eleventh chapter of Mark, and we're going to talk a
00:53 little bit today about forgiveness.
00:55 Is forgiveness important today?
00:58 Not just forgiveness from God to us, but forgiveness from us
01:03 to each other.
01:04 If we look in our Bibles now, Mark 11, starting in verse 24
01:34 I see a couple of things that just stand out in those
01:37 two verses.
01:38 There's a couple of themes that come to the surface.
01:41 One is about answered prayers.
01:44 The other is forgiveness one to another.
01:48 Does it seem like in your prayer life that sometimes
01:50 your prayers aren't going any higher than the ceiling?
01:55 That they just don't seem to be getting through to God.
01:59 It seems like you're just not getting any answers;
02:03 that God is not home.
02:04 Well, let's talk a little bit about forgiveness today.
02:09 I wanted to know a little more about forgiveness so I went to
02:12 Webster's Dictionary, and I looked up forgiveness.
02:16 There it says to give up resentment against; to give up
02:21 the desire to punish; to stop being angry with; to pardon;
02:26 to overlook; to cancel or to remit.
02:29 Okay, I know what Webster's says about it, you may say,
02:33 but what does God say about forgiveness?
02:35 How important is it to God?
02:39 Let's turn in our Bibles back to Matthew 5.
02:43 Matthew 5, and we'll find that in the Old Testament God set up
02:52 a sacrificial system to take away sin.
02:56 They based that upon the sacrifice of the coming
03:00 Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would be the Lamb of God.
03:04 So before a sinner could hope to take part in the sacrificial
03:08 rights, certain conditions had to be met.
03:11 Let's look at one of these conditions in verses 23 and 24.
03:36 You see, God had set up a system whereby a sinner could have his
03:41 sins purged.
03:42 But before this could happen the sinner had to bring a
03:45 perfect lamb to be sacrificed by his own hands.
03:51 It had to be perfect because it represented Jesus Christ.
03:55 Jesus says that on the way to the alter to give that sacrifice
04:00 if you remembered that your brother had anything against
04:04 you, He says, go and make it right first.
04:08 Go make it right.
04:10 Does it seem like your prayers aren't being answered?
04:13 Does it seem like they're not going any higher than the
04:15 ceiling in your room?
04:16 Maybe there's a problem between you and a brother or a sister
04:20 that needs to be dealt with.
04:22 Jesus said, don't just bring Me your offerings, but bring Me
04:27 a clean heart as well.
04:28 So the system in that day was being abused.
04:32 People were making sacrifices without repentance
04:35 in their lives.
04:36 God addressed this issue in the first chapter of Isaiah.
04:41 There He talks about this abuse of the animal
04:45 sacrificial system.
04:46 Let's look at verse 11.
05:09 I am full of those things!
05:10 I am full of the blood offerings He says.
05:14 I'm tired of them, you see, because people were making the
05:17 sacrifice having never changed their way of life.
05:21 Their daily routine just continued, continued, continued.
05:26 The system was being abused.
05:28 Let's look at verse 15 as it goes on.
05:46 Our hands are full of blood, He says.
05:48 So I'm not going to listen, He said.
05:50 I'm not going to hear you.
05:51 I'm going to stop up My ears.
05:52 I'm going to cover My eyes because your hands are full of
05:55 blood, and I'm not seeing that you're changing anything.
05:58 God said, I don't desire the blood of animals.
06:01 I'm fed up with your ceremonialism,
06:04 your traditions, your meaningless patronizations,
06:08 your legalism, He says.
06:10 I'm getting fed up with that stuff!
06:11 Let's read on in verse 16 and 17.
06:14 God, you see, wants us to change our hearts.
06:40 You see, God wants us not to just continue to go through
06:44 an act of repentance, an act of bringing our sacrifice to Him,
06:50 without changing our hearts.
06:54 He's tired of us just going through the motions; time,
06:58 after time, after time.
06:59 How many times do we come down before the alter, and we say,
07:03 Lord forgive me, I've messed up again!
07:05 Then we turn around and we go right back to the same old
07:08 lifestyle, over, over, over, again and again.
07:15 You see there, God says, I'm tired of you going
07:19 the same old way.
07:21 It's time, He says, for us to clean up our act,
07:23 to put away evil.
07:25 Cease to do evil, He says.
07:28 Learn to do well.
07:30 Do the work of a Christian is what He's saying.
07:32 After all, we've been called to be a peculiar people,
07:38 a royal priesthood.
07:40 I'm convinced, even now, that the great forgiving nature of
07:44 our God is being abused by His people.
07:47 We are abusing that system of God's grace
07:50 and God's forgiveness.
07:53 People are committing the same sin time, and time,
07:56 and time again, and on and on, thinking God will always
07:59 forgive them, and He will.
08:07 But there's is no forgiveness for premeditated sin
08:10 if we plan in our hearts to continue, time, after time,
08:15 after time.
08:18 Finally God says, I'm tired of your sacrifices.
08:21 I'm tired of your words without deeds.
08:25 Talk is cheap, we like to say.
08:27 Sometimes we keep going back to God and we're saying something
08:32 like, Well, I know it's wrong, God, but I'm weak.
08:35 You understand, I'm human.
08:36 I'm born with this nature.
08:37 I can't help it.
08:38 What can I do?
08:41 It's the poor nature I was born with, you understand.
08:44 See, God knows all of that.
08:46 We have to make a commitment.
08:49 We have to make a decided commitment within our lives,
08:54 within our hearts, that we are going to change our lives,
08:59 and make that effort.
09:00 As we do we will find that God will step in and He will make
09:06 those changes with us.
09:08 Now He's not going to make them if we don't want them.
09:11 If we show to Him that we don't want Him,
09:13 He's not going to make them.
09:14 It's only as we search for Him, seek Him, hunt for Him,
09:19 look for Him, and dig in the scriptures to find Him,
09:22 that we'll find Him, when we've searched for Him
09:26 with all of our heart.
09:28 We have to make a commitment, brothers and sisters, you see.
09:34 You can't expect God to take away those cigarettes until
09:41 you've made the commitment to stop buying them.
09:46 You see, He's not going to run ahead of you and take them.
09:51 As you take them off of the shelf, He's not going to
09:53 put them back on the shelf.
09:54 If you go to the store and you take them down,
09:56 and you put them in your cart, He's not going to stop you.
09:58 But when you've made that commitment to top smoking,
10:04 or whatever sin it might be, when you've made that decision,
10:07 God is going to strengthen you.
10:09 He's going to give you what you need to meet that challenge.
10:13 You see, He doesn't just say, Head down this road.
10:16 This is the way to heaven.
10:17 Go that way, and good luck.
10:19 I hope it works out for you.
10:20 That's not God!
10:23 God points the direction, and then He empowers us to go along
10:30 that road that He just sent us on, and He travels with us
10:33 all of the way, but we have to make that first step.
10:36 We have to make the decision that we're going to live for
10:41 God, and we're going to stop those things, and by His grace,
10:45 He will empower us to fulfill just that; to give us strength.
10:52 Again, God tells us in the book of Psalms, Psalms 51,
10:59 starting at verse 16.
11:29 King David said, Lord, I know that You're not after
11:32 blood sacrifices.
11:33 You're after a new heart,
11:35 We have to give Him our heart to make it new.
11:38 Create in me, Oh God, a clean heart, and renew
11:41 a right spirit within me.
11:43 God desires a contrite, and a broken spirit from us;
11:49 something that He can use.
11:51 Jesus says, Go and make it right with your brother.
11:56 Go make it right, He says.
11:59 Matthew 18:15.
12:02 Turn back with me to Matthew 18:15, and there it says:
12:21 You see, He says, Go to your brother.
12:23 You know there's a problem.
12:25 Your prayers aren't being answered.
12:26 You're saying, Lord, Why aren't you answering my prayers?
12:29 Then you know there's a problem between you and your brother.
12:33 We are instructed to go to him, one on one, you notice.
12:39 It says go to your brother, and if he hears you, thou hast
12:43 gained thy brother, Jesus says, you see.
12:46 He didn't say, Take it to the neighbors.
12:48 Take it to the friends.
12:49 Take it to where you work.
12:50 Spread it all around in the family.
12:52 He says, If there's a problem, go to your brother and talk it
12:56 out with him.
12:57 If your brother hears you, you have gained your brother.
13:01 Between you and Him alone.
13:05 And then Peter says, Lord how often shall I forgive
13:12 my brother for the same offense?
13:14 Till seven times?
13:16 You see, here's a case where Peter thought that he was doing
13:20 something really generous, because the tradition of that
13:23 days said, I must forgive my brother three times.
13:26 Peter thought, I'll be generous on this.
13:29 He said, Lord, how much must I forgive my brother for the
13:32 same cause, the same offense?
13:34 Till seven times?
13:40 Jesus said, No, Peter, not seven times but seven times seventy.
13:45 Seven times seventy!
13:48 I've thought about that.
13:49 Was He actually saying keep track; get out your book,
13:52 and start writing them down every time somebody's offended
13:54 you put it in there again.
13:55 I don't think He means that.
13:58 We don't keep track of them.
14:01 I'm sure that He didn't mean 389; you've got grace
14:06 one more time.
14:07 Now 489 and 490 and it's over.
14:11 I don't have to forgive you anymore.
14:12 I don't think Jesus meant that.
14:13 But you're not free to punch him in the nose, as it were.
14:17 But Jesus goes on further then in this matter.
14:22 Let's look down at verse 23; 23 to 25.
14:55 Wow, that's a huge debt!
14:57 That's a huge debt: 10,000 talents.
15:01 If it were silver, you know, ,
15:03 If it were silver 10,000 talents in today's standard would amount
15:07 to 3 billion, 840 million dollars.
15:11 A huge debt!
15:13 A debt that could not be paid.
15:15 When the man was brought before the king, the king said,
15:18 We've checked the records, and you owe me
15:22 3 billion 840 million dollars, and I want my money.
15:28 I want my money.
15:29 Let's look at verse 26, 27.
15:55 At that magnitude, 3 billion, 840 million dollars,
16:00 and the king had compassion on him and turned him loose.
16:04 He forgave the debt.
16:07 What a gracious king!
16:09 What a gracious king.
16:11 He had compassion, and he forgave him.
16:15 Then you would think, well, what now?
16:17 So now the man is returned back to his place, and we find
16:21 in verse 28 and 30:
16:55 Till he should pay the debt!
16:59 Do you see a problem with that?
17:01 The first man was called in before the king.
17:05 He went before him and he owed a huge debt; nothing like
17:08 the second man owed.
17:09 Nothing like he owed.
17:11 The first man fell down and he worshipped the king.
17:16 He said, Lord forgive me.
17:18 Give me time, he said, and I will make it right.
17:21 Forgive me!
17:22 Have compassion on me.
17:24 The king did.
17:26 The king had compassion on him.
17:28 He forgave this enormous debt that he could never repay.
17:32 So the ungrateful servant then went out, and he went down
17:38 the street, and he bumped into a man that owed him a small fee,
17:43 a small penance, which amounted to $3,200.
17:50 $3,200 was what it amounted to.
17:53 He grabbed this man and he said, Pay me what you owe me.
17:57 Pay me, he said, and he took him by the throat and he shook him.
18:01 He said, Pay me, or I'm going to have you arrested
18:04 and thrown into prison.
18:10 Do you see a problem with that?
18:12 I do.
18:15 Let's read on.
18:18 Verse 31.
18:58 I want to say today, I am that man.
19:02 I am that man who owes 3 billion 840 million dollars.
19:07 I'm that person.
19:08 I know a lot of you are too.
19:10 You owe a debt like that; a debt that we could never repay.
19:16 God looks at our record and He says, I want payment.
19:19 All we can do, since we can't pay, is fall at His feet and say
19:25 Lord, forgive me.
19:27 Have compassion on me.
19:28 I can't pay that kind of a debt.
19:30 I can't pay that debt; not and live to tell about it.
19:34 I've said sometimes during this sermon, I've asked people,
19:37 Can you pay for your sins?
19:38 Have you thought about it?
19:40 Can you pay for your sins today?
19:44 Some times I ask that and I see people saying no.
19:46 I want to tell you today, You can, you can pay
19:49 for your sins.
19:50 You can pay for your sins.
19:53 Millions and millions of people will pay for their sins
19:57 with their lives.
19:58 Losing eternal life; losing heaven because they are paying
20:02 for their own sins with their lives.
20:04 But I can't pay for my sins and still make it to heaven.
20:08 Only Jesus can do that for me.
20:09 I am a man who owes a debt of 3 billion 840 million dollars.
20:16 Jesus forgave me that debt.
20:20 As ungrateful as we are we leave His presence and we go down to
20:25 the man on the street, and when he has a little offense against
20:28 us; not even too much, we want to grab him
20:32 by the throat and shake him.
20:33 Do you see a problem here?
20:35 God forgave me much, and I can't forgive my brother the slightest
20:39 little infraction against me.
20:41 You see, there's a big problem there.
20:44 There's a problem.
20:52 The ungrateful servant had him arrested and thrown into prison.
20:57 In verse 35; let's look at verse 35.
21:20 Did you see that friends?
21:21 Did you see what happened there?
21:22 The debt was reinstated!
21:26 The ungrateful servant's forgiveness was cancelled.
21:29 The load was put back upon him.
21:32 Jesus said we must forgive from the heart.
21:36 You know, a lot of times you'll hear some apologies which I like
21:40 to call plastic apologies.
21:42 They're like a little piece of plastic.
21:44 They don't mean very much.
21:45 Jesus says unless we forgive, from the heart, all of those
21:53 debts, that 3 billion 480 million dollars that was taken
21:57 off my shoulders, is now put right back on.
22:01 I have to stand before God with the weight of all of those sins
22:05 on my shoulders.
22:07 I can't do it!
22:08 I can't handle it.
22:09 Jesus said if we cannot forgive that same debt is put back
22:15 upon us.
22:16 Neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses, He says.
22:24 I owe a huge debt like that, and I know you do too.
22:27 I'm not the only one.
22:29 You owe a debt very similar.
22:31 You can't pay.
22:32 I can't pay.
22:33 All we can do is fall on His grace this morning for mercy,
22:38 and say, Lord have compassion on me today because I can't pay.
22:42 Jesus is willing, and He is able to forgive that debt,
22:49 if I am willing to forgive the debt of my neighbor.
22:53 It's based on a big if there.
22:56 For such a little bitty word as if, so much is based upon it.
23:00 Let's look at Matthew 6:12.
23:06 There it says:
23:13 You see, that little word as in there: forgive us our debts,
23:18 Lord, as we forgive others their debts.
23:22 So what if we're not forgiving others?
23:24 Do you see from that text we also aren't being forgiven.
23:28 We can go on down to verses 14 and 15.
23:51 Let's look at that again.
23:53 If we forgive men their trespasses.
23:55 If we do, he says, then your Heavenly Father will also
24:00 forgive you.
24:01 But if you forgive not them their trespasses, neither will
24:07 your Heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.
24:11 Do you see what I'm saying?
24:12 If we cannot forgive each other, God will not forgive us.
24:16 It's as simple as that.
24:17 No need to think you're going to heaven, or I'm going to heaven,
24:21 and I'm going to walk on the other side of the street,
24:23 because I might meet John on the street.
24:24 If there's that problem between John and me, friends,
24:28 we're not going to be there.
24:30 We're not going to walk on the other side of the
24:32 street in heaven.
24:33 We have to get past that.
24:36 We have to call our brother, John, Bob, or whoever,
24:40 and say, Brother, let's talk.
24:41 There's a problem between you and me, and I feel it.
24:45 I know you feel it as well.
24:46 We're kidding ourselves to think we're going to heaven
24:50 with this in the way.
24:51 Our prayers are not being answered because we have a
24:54 problem with our brother.
24:56 We're kidding ourselves if we think we're going to heaven,
24:59 and are going to walk on the other side of the street,
25:02 because it's not going to happen.
25:06 From those texts you can see we are forgiven as we
25:11 forgive others.
25:12 Not because we've forgiven, but as we've forgiven.
25:15 It's an on going thing.
25:16 It's not just I forgave them one time.
25:18 It's an on going forgiveness, an on going thing.
25:24 We are forgiven as we forgive others.
25:28 There we have it!
25:33 Lord may we realize the importance of
25:37 forgiveness in our lives.
25:39 It's too often overlooked.
25:40 It's too often overlooked thinking it's no big deal.
25:45 I just won't talk to them today.
25:48 God says that we must be forgiven as we forgive others.
25:54 There's no other way.
25:55 It's big.
25:57 It's huge.
25:58 So many of us think we're heaven bound; think we're heaven bound
26:03 because maybe we're keeping the commandments.
26:05 We're observing the Sabbath.
26:07 We're giving our tithe.
26:09 We're working in the church.
26:12 Yet I know a case of a lady one time who made a trip to the
26:17 hospital to visit someone that was sick; a godly woman,
26:21 a woman that was in church every week.
26:23 She walked into this room, and she looked to the side,
26:28 and she saw someone over there that she'd had a problem with
26:32 for more than twenty years.
26:33 She turned around and walked out.
26:36 She didn't visit the sick relative.
26:38 She just looked to the side, and saw who else was there,
26:41 and turned and walked away.
26:43 Jesus says that we will be forgiven as we forgive others.
26:50 It's a serious matter.
26:52 It's so often over looked.
26:54 We are not going to heaven, brothers and sisters,
26:57 and walk on that other street, and stay out of
27:00 their boundaries.
27:01 That's just not going to happen.
27:02 To find peace and harmony in our lives...
27:06 You see, Jesus knew that saying we must forgive would bring
27:10 peace and harmony in my life and in yours.
27:13 I can find peace in a troubled world by forgiving my neighbor,
27:19 forgiving my brother, or the offender, whoever that might be.
27:23 I can find peace with God and with my brethren if I will turn
27:28 it over to God and forgive.
27:30 In Jesus' name we pray once again, Dear Father.
27:33 Fill us, Lord, with forgiveness in our hearts one to another.
27:38 May we see the importance, Father, to forgive our neighbor
27:42 so that we might be ready for heaven.
27:44 Lord, forgive us as we forgive our debtors.
27:48 In Jesus' name, Amen.
27:51 Again, thank you brothers and sisters.
27:53 We'll see you again next time on Faith Chapel.