“Be Thankful If…”

Posted: December 1, 2017 in Bible Basics, Christian Life, Compassion, Devil / Satan, Spiritual Enemies, Thanksgiving

You can/should be thankful if you grew up in a loving home with a father and mother and where Christ was honored and your parents modeled His love and the other parts of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). But sadly, many people never experienced this. You may have been verbally, physically, or sexually abused. You in turn may have mistreated your children or others as you were mistreated. Are you doomed to hell? Do you have to repeat this vicious cycle or can a change take place in your life and the lives of others? What does God’s Word tell us we need to do?

Forgiveness. We’ve all sinned [to a greater or lesser degree] and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As such, we all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:9). But because God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, took our place and died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, we can be judicially forgiven the moment we trust in Christ alone to save us (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior (John 16:8-11). Have you placed your faith in Christ alone to save you? If not, why not trust Him now? Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14).

Sin. What is sin? Among other things, it is lawlessness (1 John 3:4; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). What should all unsaved sinners do? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? What penalties are associated with sin? Physical and spiritual death (Romans 6:23; 13:1-7). What kind of people end up forever in the lake of fire? “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8). “…fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, [and] extortioners.” Do you fit into this group? Many of us did. Is there any way for us to get out of the devil’s family and into God’s family and be judicially forgiven (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:7). Yes! We can be when we get washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Has this happened to you?

Action. What should a Christian who has sinned against God and other people do if he/she wants to receive family forgiveness and be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; John 15:1-10)?

  1. Honest confession must be made to God first (1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:1-5; 51:1-19). Keep in mind that doing this may not keep a person from the penalty of the civil government (Romans 13:1-7). The government doesn’t always do what is right but they are accountable to God (See James 3:1; Romans 14:12; Matthew 23:13-36; Isaiah 1:26; 5:20; 10:1; 2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 4:17, 25).
  2. Then, if possible, one needs to go to the offended party and seek forgiveness from that person (James 5:16). The offended party may or may not grant forgiveness to the perpetrator. But a Christian should forgive someone who asks for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:22). If we don’t, we sin by yielding to the temptation from the devil to have an unforgiving and bitter spirit that will damage us (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Hebrews 12:15; Matthew 18:34, 35).
  3. The perpetrator (i. e. the sinning Christian) should realize that even though God promises to forgive him when he makes honest confession, God doesn’t forget what he’s done because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). But God won’t hold the sins he’s confessed against him (See Ezekiel 18:22; 33:16). Sometime in the future He will allow that person to be tempted in the same area to see how he/she will respond to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The question is, Does the Christian love God more than the sinful pleasures of sin (James 1:12; Hebrews 11:25; 1 John 2:15-17)? Yes, there are pleasures to sin. Otherwise we wouldn’t engage in them.
  4. A Christian needs to learn how to overcome the sinful temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), or from his/her own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:8), or from the present world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). There are different tactics that must be used with each enemy. (See https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-enemies/).

The abused person. A believer who has suffered unjustly because of the sin of another person can/should commit his/her soul (emotions) to God and trust Him to work out a bad situation and bring something good from it (1 Peter 4:19; Romans 8:18, 28). Consider what God did for the patriarch Job after he was viciously mistreated by the devil and his friends (Job 1:1-2:13; 42:10-16). Notice how Joseph responded to his brothers who sold him into slavery (Genesis 50:20). Think about Christ’s suffering at the hands of cruel men that made our salvation possible (Acts 2:23). God holds you and me responsible for His death too (Acts 4:27). Our sins put Him on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:3; Isaiah 53:6). Perhaps you didn’t know this. If you’ve been wronged, you should go to the perpetrator (if he/she is a believer) and inform that person of the injustice that you believe has been committed against you. If reconciliation doesn’t take place this way, you should take two or three other believers with you and try to resolve the issue. If this doesn’t work, the matter should be brought before the local church and appropriate action taken (Matthew 18:15-35; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). By all means you should leave vengeance to God (Romans 12:19). God is just/righteous and will not allow sin to go without consequences that may seem severe to some people (See Hebrews 12:5 ff). We can count on Jesus, who will be the Judge of all men (John 5:22), to do what is right on judgment day (2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 20:11-15). Furthermore, the civil government may also take action against certain crimes. It has authority from God to take another person’s life in some cases (See Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7) Capital punishment is a deterrent to crime.

Unbelievers. These people, who rejected God’s offer of salvation (John 1:11, 12; 3:16, 18, 36), and natural revelation (Psalm 19:1; Romans1:18 ff) will be judged one day according to their works, not to determine their entering into heaven or not, but to determine the degree of suffering they will undergo in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Christ’s death made provision for all men/women to be saved (1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10). It is God’s desire for sinners to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people will reject His offer of deliverance because they love darkness more than light (John 3:19). Have you received by faith the gift of eternal life from God (Romans 6:23; John 3:16, 18, 36)? If not, why not today?

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Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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