Forgive or Not to Forgive

Posted on 24 Aug 2020, Pastor: Tolu Makinde
Title: For Forgive or Not to Forgive
Text: Matt. 18:21-35
[Mat 18:21]  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
[Mat 18:22]  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
[Mat 18:23]  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
[Mat 18:24]  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
[Mat 18:25]  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
[Mat 18:26]  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
[Mat 18:27]  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
[Mat 18:28]  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
[Mat 18:29]  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
[Mat 18:30]  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
[Mat 18:31]  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
[Mat 18:32]  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
[Mat 18:33]  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
[Mat 18:34]  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
[Mat 18:35]  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
  • Peter came to Jesus with a question and an answer that he thought was very generous.
  • He thought it was enough to forgive his brother seven times
  • Jesus blew his answer out of the water by multiplying the answer by 70.
  • So, what Peter thought he would do 7 times, Jesus thought he should do it by 500 times.
  • The point here is, you should not need to count how many times you forgive someone.
  • Jesus then told us the parable of the Unforgiving servant.
  • This servant owed 10,000 talents (~$3.5B).  He could not afford to pay, so his family were going to be sold to pay the debt.
  • He pleaded with the lord and the lord had compassion on him and forgave the debt.
  • He now found a fellow servant that owed him 100 pence (~$15).  He was begged in the same way that he begged his lord.
  • However, he would not listen.  He cast his fellow servant into prison until he would pay the debt.
  • When his lord found out, he was angry.  He delivered him to the tormentors until he should pay his debt, which will be forever.
  • If we expect God to forgive us of our debts, we must equally forgive others indebted to us.
Main Topic
Unforgiveness is a sin
  • Unforgiveness is a sin that we cannot afford to pay the consequences, just like that wicked servant.
  • To forgive means to stop being angry and bitter towards somebody or about something.
  • Unforgiveness means to have continuous bitterness or anger towards somebody or something.
  • Unforgiveness is when we lock others in the prison of our hearts
    • Each time you see that person, you will remember that the person is in the prison of your heart, and treat them accordingly.
  • Unforgiveness is a bondage
    • It is the devil’s way of keeping believers in bondage, while they think they are keeping others in bondage
  • Unforgiveness is rooted in pride
Dangers of unforgiveness
  • It prevents one from being forgiven
    • [Mat 6:14]  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
    • [Mat 6:15]  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
  • It hinders prayers
  • It prevents our offerings from being accepted
    • [Mat 5:23]  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
    • [Mat 5:24]  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
  • It can make God to be angry with us
    • [Mat 18:34]  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
  • It generates hatred and bitterness that can lead to sickness and diseases
    • Remember the story of the man that did not forgive his son-in-law?
  • There is nothing good that can come out of unforgiveness
Why should we forgive?
  1. To have answered prayers
  2. To not sin against God
  3. To be free from bondage
  4. To be forgiven
  5. To show that we trust God
  6. Unforgiveness is a reflection of a lack of trust in God
  7. To kill hatred
  8. To make heaven
How do you forgive?
  • Be determined in your heart to always forgive and let go of offences
  • No offence is too big to forgive
    • There is a lady by the name of Mary Johnson.  Her only son, who was 19, was murdered by a 16 year old gang member, by the name of Oshea Israel.
    • Oshea was sentenced to 25 years in prison.  He served over 17 years in prison.
    • Ms. Johnson reached out to Oshea while he was in prison to let him know that she forgave him.
    • When the story broke out, they were living next door to each other.  She practically adopted him as her son.
    • Jesus forgave those that crucified Him on the cross
      • [Luk 23:33]  And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
      • [Luk 23:34]  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
  • Keep in mind that heaven is your goal.  No offence is worth missing heaven for.
    • Remember Pastor Daniel Ekechukwu (aka Lazarus of our generation), who refused to forgive his wife?
  • Don’t wait for an apology before you forgive
  • To forgive or not to forgive is not a question
  • You were forgiven, therefore, you must equally forgive those indebted to you
  • Don’t hold anyone or anything in the prison of your heart
  • In fact, destroy that prison, so you never have to put anyone there.
  • Offences will come, you must be ready to forgive always.