Wow. What a relief. No, seriously, I mean a REAL relief. A fella called the ministry this afternoon, asking about forgiveness. The question was, if we don't forgive other people, then we'll lose our salvation. Was this true?
Before Bob answered the question, he felt he needed to bring to light the difference between the Old Covenant and New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, Jesus taught folks to pray "Forgive us, as we forgive others" Yikes! I have a list of names I'm still working on forgiveness for. So, if I don't forgive them, God's not forgiven me?
But wait, didn't the Old Testament folks already HAVE a way to 'get forgiveness"? The Day of Atonement--sending the scapegoat out into the wilderness. So, you're telling me that, if I didn't forgive my neighbor back then, that Day of Atonement was null and void as far as my sins were concerned? Man--super glad I don't live back there.
The relief comes from the fact that nothing will separate us from the Love of God. When Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" Then well, it was finished. I'm forgiven. You're forgiven. So what about the unforgiveness we harbor in our hearts towards those who have hurt us? Don't sweat it. If you are indeed a child of God, then the Spirit of God lives in us. He's actually living and doing stuff. I used to think He was just there waiting for me to holler HELP! But He's not. Every breath I take, God is working His love in me, to flow from me. That includes to those folks I've not forgiven yet. I already know that I can't muster up a bag full of forgiveness for them, but I do know that God is going to do what's best for both parties involved. I don't have to worry about the neighbor, or my salvation. I'm saved, sealed, and will be delivered.