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The Consequences Of Not Forgiving
     Matt. 6:14-15  and Others

14 " For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. NASU

Introduction "How to Forgive"
The preacher, in his Sunday sermon, used "Forgive Your Enemies" as his subject. After a long sermon, he asked how many were willing
to forgive their enemies. About half held up their hands.

Not satisfied, he continued on for another twenty minutes, repeating his question. This time he received a response of eighty percent.

Still unsatisfied, he lectured for fifteen more minutes and repeated his question. With thoughts of Sunday dinner, all responded except
one older gentleman in the rear.

"Mr. Jones, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"

"I don't have any," replied Mr. Jones.

"Mr. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?"

"Eighty six years of age," was the reply.

"Mr. Jones, please come down in front and tell the congregation how a man can live to be eighty six and not have an enemy in the world."
The old man teetered down the aisle and slowly turned around. "It's easy. I just outlived the them all!"

1. The . . Demonstration Consequence. Eph 4:31-32 NASU

A. We Will Not Demonstrate Christlike . . Attitudes. 4:31
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

B. We Will Not Demonstrate Christlike . . Actions. 4:32a
32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,. . . "

C. We Will Not Demonstrate Christlike . . Appreciation. 4:32b ". . . just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

One Pastor said: We become more like Satan, and less like Christ when we refuse to forgive others!

Illustration Forgiveness of David with Saul 1 Sam 24:9-17
9 David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, 'Behold, David seeks to harm you'? 10 " Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD'S anointed.'
11 "Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. 12 " May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. 13 "As the proverb of the ancients says, ' Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness'; but my hand shall not be against you. 14 "After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? 15 " The LORD therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand."  16 When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, " Is this your voice, my son David?" Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept.  17 He said to David, "You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. 18 "You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the LORD delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. NASU

Application

Even David's Enemy recognized David's righteousness.

It was DEMONSTRATED in his actions because He stood over his enemy in A Position Of Forgiveness.


2. The . . Deprivation Consequence. Matt 6:14-15

A. We Will Be Deprived Of . . Fellowship. 6:14
        14 " For if you forgive others for their transgressions,your heavenly Father will also forgive you. NASU

B. We Will Be Deprived Of . . Forgiveness. 6:15
    15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will
not forgive your transgressions. NASU

Illustration
A story from the life of the great British preacher, Brownlow North. He had lived a wicked life before he was saved. One evening as he entered a church where he was to preach, a stranger walked up to him in a hurried manner, and said, "Here is a letter for you of great importance, and you are requested to read before you preach tonight." Thinking that it might be a request for prayer, he immediately opened it, and found that it contained a detail of some of the things he had done in the past. The letter concluded with the words, "How dare you, being conscious of the truth of all above, pray and speak to the people this evening, when you are such a
vile sinner."


He put the letter in his pocket and when it came time for him to preach; he pulled out the letter and told the people what it said. He said to the crowded congregation, "What is here said is true, and it is a correct picture of the degraded sinner that I once was; and oh how wonderful must the grace be that could quicken and raise me up from such a death in trespasses and sins, and make me what I appear before you tonight, a vessel of mercy, one who knows that all his past sins have been cleansed away through the atoning blood of the Lamb of God."

C. We Will Be Deprived Of . . Freedom. Gal 5:1
    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep
standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

D. We Will Be Deprived Of . . Function. Luke 17:1-5
        Luke 17:1-5 He said to His disciples, " It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 " It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 " Be on your guard! If your brother (against you)
sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him." 5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you. NASU

1. Not Forgiving may make one a stumbling block

Illustration
A former President of the Southern Baptist Convention Dr Tom Elliff Told of a Lady Whose Body Quit Making Blood. She Went to Doctors Etc.

During a visit to one doctor He Asked Her If There Was Anyone She Had Not Forgiven. She Said Yes. When She Forgave Them Her Body Started Making Blood. Roy roycordle@bellsouth.net

Illustration
In the February 1994 issue of Reader's Digest there is a story of how God's Spirit helped one man fight the impulse to pass by on the other side. On September 26, 1944, Ray Hamley, an RAF flying officer, and his crew flying an American-built B-25, dropped bombs on the town of Kleve just inside Germany's border with Holland. Ray was 21 years old, and his bombs that day hit the railroad station, a number of Nazi factories, and the town church. He had an inkling that day that one of his bombs hit the church, but war was war.

On the ground that day a young woman in Kleve mourned not only the loss of her church, but the loss of her parents who happened to live in a house next to the church. For the town of Kleve, 647 civilians and 879 military personnel would die before the Second World War was over. Meanwhile, Ray Hamley went home to England after the war, married his childhood sweetheart, and became the head of a primary school.

But then in 1983, someone handed Ray a newspaper clipping that showed how the people of a little town in Germany named Kleve were rebuilding the Church of St. Mary that had been bombed during the war. Something triggered in Ray's memory. He found his old logbook in the attic, and suddenly realized that it had been his bomb that had destroyed the church back in 1944.

An impulse was born in his heart as he thought about that tiny town, and how the loss of their church must have touched those people. But then came the temptation to pass by on the other side. He says he thought to himself, "Come on, Ray, after all, the Nazis bombed innocent children in London and Warsaw; it was wartime; it was years ago; forget it, Ray, and get on with your life; it's not your concern." But thank God, Ray Hamley did not let those second thoughts win out. He wrote to the Mayor of Kleve, asking for the forgiveness of the townspeople, and requesting that his letter be read by the priest at the dedication of the new church building.

In 1984, Ray got a reply from the people of Kleve, requesting that he and his family come and see the new church building. But again, those second thoughts attacked Ray, and he could not even answer the letter.

Once more the parish priest in Kleve wrote to Ray, this time with a letter signed by 500 parishioners offering their forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ! Ray Hamley went to Kleve. His visit not only healed old wounds in his life, but has brought about an incredible reconciliation between Ray's hometown in England and the people of Kleve in Germany. And it all happened because by the power of God, Ray Hamley was able to conquer his second thoughts, and not pass by on the other side! For Ray Hamley, this was a turning point in his life.
Robert A. Beringer, Turning Points, CSS Publishing Company, 1995. Adapted and Corrected.


Illustration Daily Devotion from Henry Blackaby
Because of sin, Adam and Eve fell short of the perfection God intended for them. Because of sin, the Israelites relinquished the glory they could have experienced as God's holy nation. Because of sin, Judas fell short of the opportunity to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. Sin will corrupt every area of your life that it touches. Sin will cause your marriage to fall short of the promise it held in the beginning. Sin will cause you to fall short as a parent, a church member, a worshiper, or a friend. Every area in your life is susceptible to sin's destruction.

The wonder of salvation is that God completely dealt with sin. He did what we could not do. Through Christ's sacrifice, God, by His grace, offered His salvation and canceled the penalty of our sin. By His grace, He takes a life that has fallen short of God's best and gives it meaning. He provides the opportunity to immediately confess our sin and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness

(1 John 1:9). He mends a broken heart. His grace erases anger and bitterness. He restores severed relationships. He takes a life devastated by sin and makes it whole. He takes our failures and produces something good.

Only God can heal sin's devastation. Only He can bridge the gap between His glory and your sin (Rom. 3:23). You must trust Him to do so. If you will ask Him, He will free you from the bondage of your sin, reestablish your relationship with Him, and restore you to wholeness. --Experiencing God Day by Day

We can be such unforgiving Christians that our sinfulness discourages people from seeking forgiveness from our God. We can show such disrespect for God as we worship Him that those observing lose their reverence of Him as well.

Our supreme desire should be to glorify the name of God by the way we live.

We ought to pray daily, as Jesus taught us to, that God's name be treated as holy. --Experiencing God Day by Day

IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR ALL OF US? YES!

Illustration
There is a story of a man who was troubled with guilt. He was resting behind a
hedge and soon heard two girls talking. There were discussing a sermon they heard. One of the girls said, "I heard him preach once, and I shall never forget one thing that he said. It gave me a big lift." The other girl asked what the preacher said, and the girl replied,

"The world will always say,  You made your bed and you must lie in it!"

But One greater than the world has said,
        "Take up thy bed and walk. Thy sins are forgiven.'"


The despairing man on the other side of the hedge heard that good report, the discouragement lifted, and he went on his way rejoicing. Gary Bowell p. 183, 184

So Can We In The Forgiveness Jesus Gives