Forgiveness (Part 70 x 7)


The lack of forgiveness is like cancer. 


I declare breakthroughs are coming for you, sudden burst of God's goodness.
Not a trickle, not a stream, but a flood of God's power. I declare that you are a breakthrough person and that you live breakthrough -minded.
Can you believe that's just a little segment of Pastor Mike's sermon from last
Sunday? Mike Gabendroff and Steve Cooley, welcome to No Compromise Radio, Tuesday guy show.
Come on, I got a little smile out of you. That was hysterical, man. I just want you to know, Steve, with this cube, it has a little charger, so I don't even have to use batteries.
I don't know where you plug it in. Yeah, right there. Wow. It's the five volt whatever deal and you just plug it in.
It has headphones too, if you really want it. And if you have a fully charged, can it jump your car too? I declare this car must start.
What a farce. Steve, you and I, let's see, you and I, right, that's proper grammar.
Yeah, it's much better than me and you. When I was in Eastern Tennessee, they had some interesting language there.
Yeah, they do. But we won't get into it.
I think the only thing I can remember off the top of my head without being too derogatory, because I love the folks there, I said the t -shirts that they were giving out, were salmon, but I think
I was supposed to say Salmon. Salmon. Like Salmonella? Yeah, that's probably how they say
Solomon as well. I think
Solomon in Hebrew is shlomo, by the way. Yes. Solomon sounds much better.
Salmonella. We today want to talk about the subject of forgiveness yet again.
Why do we keep talking about this over and over and over? I don't know. But when you tell us, I'm sure that we'll want to forgive you.
Well, I think it should be obvious to Christians, right? We've been forgiven much.
And yet, I think for many of us, we struggle to forgive because we forget that God forgives us in a specific and full, a plenary way, if I could put it that way.
Plenary pardon, right? And yet, we just kind of, we do the,
I forgive him 65%. You know, I can't really forgive everything because there are just some things that are just too bad.
I can't do it. Or people will say, I forgive him or her, but then
I'm not going to treat them like the offense never happened, right? So, the husband sins in some way, shape, or form and looks at pornography or something.
And the wife, you know, says, I forgive you upon the husband's request. And I'm not saying it wouldn't be hard.
I'm not talking about that at all because there are other situations that are hard like that too, that are more on the man's side.
But then I'm not going to embrace you or treat you warmly or anything like that because you've done that to me.
So, for the next 10, 15 years, we're just going to be kind of living separate, even though I said, I forgive you, right?
We could come up with maybe 50 kinds of scenarios like that. I mean, as soon as, what's maybe the biggest word in the
English language? But, right? I forgive you, but. As soon as that happens, then, you know, forgiveness is not really happening.
So, yeah. Well, Pastor Steve, I have to give the, I'll take over now.
And I just muted his mic. I read in the Daily Express of an illustration that is very apropos that I brought into the sermon.
A couple who had lived in England for 30 years got divorced. The first 12 years were fine.
And then they argued about something and they never talked to each other. The lawyer said when one would come into the house, the other one would leave.
And when they did communicate with each other, it was with notes. And when everything was said and done, when they were getting divorced, they were asked if they could recall what initially caused the problem between the couple.
And they couldn't remember. And I thought, that is so sad to live a life like that.
Peter asked Jesus, how often will your brother sin against you and you forgive him?
That's a good question to ask. How often will your wife sin against you and you forgive her? How often will your husband sin against you and you forgive him?
I guess, Steve, one of the reasons why we have to talk about forgiveness is we sin and we're sinned against.
All the time. I mean, it's hard to think of a day where I don't sin against somebody, but it's also hard to think of a day when
I'm not sinned against. And if we could put it this way, what is slow to anger?
If the Lord is slow to anger with me in spite of what I do, how should I respond to things?
And I think the problem is because we are prideful, because we're arrogant, because we think we are better than what we are.
Right. Our tendency is to think more highly of ourselves and to get more offended than we ought to.
Right. So, I mean, what
I always try to encourage people to do if they feel themselves getting angry, and believe it or not, you do feel yourself getting angry because you're listening and you're getting madder and madder and madder.
So, what should you do? Well, I think in part, you need to just think, okay, here's what
I want to say. Is that going to help or not? Ephesians 4 .29
would tell me that I should speak only in an edifying way. So, if I just think to myself, is this going to build the other person up?
And the answer is, you know, nine times out of ten, if I'm mad, the answer is no. So, don't say it.
Well, what if I like the Beatles, though? We were just talking about the Beatles, and they did primal scream therapy.
That's a good way to let the tension off. It's kind of like a teapot, Steve. I'm so angry,
I've got to let some steam out and just need to fly off the handle. Yeah.
Well, I mean, you know, Lennon did that whole, you know, scream therapy kind of thing, you know, and I think that was like some of his records were like that.
Here's the problem. Scream therapy, even if I accepted that thought, scream therapy was typically done in a room by yourself.
It wasn't at somebody else, right? Maybe that would be a spiritual discipline now. We can have, you know, fasting, journaling, and scream therapy.
You just scream. Yeah, I think people would like that. Spiritual scream therapy, right? The ladies had a self -defense class here on Saturday, and I guess one of the things they had to do, because I watched some of the videos, which were quite interesting.
I was going to say amusing. They were to scream really loud at the attacker. Yeah. And, you know, just to draw attention from other people, you know, to notice.
And so one of the things is, you know, scream and run. Well, I think the other thing that does, right, is it does make the suspect, the perpetrator, you know, a little bit like self -aware, right?
All of a sudden, they're not like in a little phone booth or they're not all by themselves. It's like, wow, who else could have heard that?
Right. Absolutely. I didn't want to go over the top, Steve, on Sunday by using this terminology.
But since I have cancer, I thought, well, I can use it because I can use it.
And I said something like, the lack of forgiveness is like spiritual cancer, because it metastasizes and kills and takes over.
Do you think I was off base or do you think there was some truth to it? No, because, you know, if you don't forgive, what's the result of that?
The result is bitterness, right? And if you allow bitterness to take root, then what happens?
I mean, it's like literally planting a seed, watering a plant, you know, and you just grow this wonderful, beautiful plant of bitterness.
And it will take over, you know, it's like an invasive species, as my daughter would like to say.
It takes over everything. And you become a very bitter, very angry, very nasty person that nobody, frankly, wants to be around.
You don't even want to be around yourself, really. I've used this illustration before. Kim's grandmother, who raised her, was named
Evie. And my grandparents on my father's side were named Hank and Erna. And I loved all three of them until the day they died.
I still love them. But my grandparents, Hank and Erna, were very bitter people. They were unforgiving people.
And if you live long enough, you're going to have people hurt you, right? You and I were just talking earlier about Methuselah.
How'd you like to be in Methuselah, 969 when you died? How many people do you have to watch get buried at 969?
How long do you have to have a bad back at 969? How many people have offended you and you've offended them?
But anyway, my grandparents were not forgivers. And they harbored and they remembered and they told stories about, and therefore they became very bitter.
And it was so much nicer to be around Grandma Evie, who got burned plenty of times in ministry and in life, but she just let it go.
And she was happy because she knew she was forgiven, and therefore she could forgive other people.
So, Steve, how important is it to remember our sins against God forgiven by Christ so that we can then forgive?
Well, it's super important. And isn't that part of, you know, when you recite the gospel, what do you really do?
You know, you recall your own sins and the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins, everything that he went through and you think to yourself, okay, there are 8 billion people on the planet.
If there was nobody else on the face of the earth to redeem me, he would have had to do the exact same thing, right?
That's how heinous my sins are. And so when we kind of put it in that sort of, you know, perspective, it makes it a little bit easier.
And when we think, well, do I forgive like God forgives? Because that's what Ephesians 4 .32
says, this is a word to forgive others as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven us.
Well, how is he forgiving us? Well, God looks at our sins this way. You know, your sins are as far from us as the east is from the west.
How far is that? Pretty far. In other words, you know, and I've used this illustration before, it's like God's looking in one direction.
He doesn't, but he's looking one direction. And our sins are behind his back, as it were.
And we don't do that. We struggle to do it. Let's put it that way. And especially some people,
I think, once they've been wronged, they now view that people, that person, that people, that person through that lens of you did this to me.
And no matter what you do for the rest of your life, I'm always going to look at you and think, I remember that.
You can't escape that. That's who you are. That identifies you. Yes. Well, there's lots of sins when you think about that, but one of those sins is pride.
And that pride says, do you know what? I may sin against other people, but you sin that heinous sin against me?
Who do you think you are by sinning that against me? And it just starts all unraveling when you think, what do we deserve?
And what do we get based on the grace of God? If you think about grace alone and Christ alone, and now we can't forgive people.
And it doesn't mean you're never going to remember it, but you're going to purposely not think about it and go there because they're forgiven.
So, we're going to hold an offense against someone that God has already forgiven them for. They've asked me for forgiveness and God for forgiveness, but God gives it and I don't.
And you walk through that parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18 on Sunday, and you know, it's as if when you read that parable, one of the things you can do to a parable is over interpret it.
But it's as if God forgives the man of his, the servant of his sins.
And then because the servant goes out and doesn't forgive somebody else, God revisits him with those sins, right?
And punishes him for that. That would be a wrong interpretation of the parable, but it would be, you know, easy to come to that conclusion.
But why is it wrong, Mike? Why would you say that's just a wrong? Mike Cervantes Well, I was trying to follow you there while I was looking at Matthew 18 as well.
Here's somebody that has all their sins forgiven, and then they don't forgive other people.
I think what's going to happen here is they're going to be chastened for that. This is going to be a disciplinary action.
Of course, now thinking theologically and not making the parable run on all fours, walk on all fours, skip on all fours, hop on all fours.
If you've been completely forgiven, well, obviously God is not going to judge you afterwards because you've been completely judged.
But the point is, the bigger point, and that is if you've been forgiven a lot, you should forgive a little. And if you aren't forgiving a little, maybe you haven't been forgiven a lot.
That's exactly right. That's exactly right. Because what it really says, if you're struggling to, well, if you just refuse to forgive other people, then it shows that that change of heart never occurred in you.
And you're just reflecting. If you say, well, and I've talked to people like this, well, you don't know what was done to me.
I've never had such a thing, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And well, I forgive them, but there are ongoing consequences, really.
So imagine, you know, what I always do is I just look right back at them and go, imagine God saying that to you.
You know, in other words, God, please forgive me for this. Well, you know, you don't know what it's like to be me,
Steve. You know, I've never had anything else done to me like that, Steve. And I don't think, you know, there are ongoing consequences to what you did,
Steve. I mean, wow. I mean, this is the God of the universe speaking, and I'm dead.
I'm smoked. There's no forgiveness for me, apparently. Steve, I was thinking as you were talking,
God is sovereign over everything. And I think sometimes this idea of lack of forgiveness, while it's all a sin against God too, and the other person you won't forgive, but it's a compounded sin against God because you're disobeying what
God says, forgive as you've been forgiven in Christ. But also you're saying, you know what, Lord, you could have stopped this person from doing that to me, right?
In your permissive will, your decree, however you want to term it in terms of sovereignty, you could have stopped that person from doing this horrible thing.
And so I'm mad at you also because you let that happen, right? The woman you gave me kind of thing.
And so we don't want to do that. You could have stopped it, and you didn't. Therefore, you know, it's your fault as well.
On the positive side, I think one of the fruits and evidences, back to Matthew 18, of a
Christian is the desire to forgive, the conviction that I should be forgiving, but I'm not, the struggle to forgive, understanding that forgiveness is right.
I think if you are a Christian and listening today and you're like, I don't know if I'm a Christian or not, well,
I ask you, do you forgive people? Well, yes, but I wish I could forgive them better or faster. That's a good sign that you are a
Christian, the flip side of Matthew 18. It's an excellent sign. I mean, somebody who really struggles with forgiveness, one of the issues is, well, do they understand it in the first place, right?
I mean, just imagine thinking, and there are people who struggle with this, not being sure that God forgives, not being sure that God, and what does that say?
That says that, well, I'm not really sure he accepts the payment of Christ on my behalf. Okay, well, that either says that Jesus' sacrifice was somehow, you know, not full and complete, or there's something special about me that makes me, you know, worse than anything even that Jesus could redeem.
I'm irredeemable. Steve, it dawned on me. If I talk to somebody in the future who's not going to forgive their spouse or someone else,
I'm going to say this to them, are you a Muslim? Yeah. And then have the pregnant pause, right?
I hope that God, I hope that the God, I hope that Allah will forgive me, but I don't know.
I'm just hoping that it'll happen. But see, we know that we're forgiven in Christ Jesus, and we know that we are forgiven.
And since we do know that, now we forgive other people. And so, if you're a Muslim, maybe you don't have to forgive because, hey, or maybe we say, are you a
Hindu? You don't have to forgive because those people deserved X, Y, and Z from karma or something else.
That's why the tie -in in Ephesians 4 that you brought up is so important with Christianity. Christian people forgive because they've been forgiven slash graced in Christ Jesus.
That's right. And that's the whole point of the parable too, to go back to Matthew 18. I'm going to give you a quote,
Steve, and you just talk about it. These are different quotes from different theologians.
Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive. Right. Theoretically, glorious.
Practically speaking, man, I'm really not ready to let that go, right? We can always think of some good reason why in any particular case we need not to forgive, but that is always an error.
Well, you know, sometimes you just think, I want to forgive, but, you know, cautiously or guarding against future wrongs or –
They've already confessed that sin to me 20 times already. Yeah, I don't, you know, why should I go for 21 or –
Let's show some fruits of repentance first before I say I forgive you. Yeah, yeah. Let's do a little chart of your fruits before I – 1
Corinthians 13, love doesn't take into account a wrong. Yeah, well, you know, that's – notice that that's –
I'm giving my hand the Cooley hand thing. Yeah, but notice it says a wrong, okay, not wrongs, not plural, and this is just so many that I have to take into account.
The unforgiving spirit is the number one killer of spiritual life. Let me just change that up for Pastor Steve.
The unforgiving spirit is the number one killer of a marriage. Oh, absolutely.
I mean, you know, I think it was – maybe it was Ruth Bell Graham who said, you know, the key to marriage is to have two good forgivers.
And, you know, what you're saying here, you know, the killer of a marriage is unforgiving.
Well, listen, you can't – if you live with somebody and you can't forgive them, then what's going on?
I mean, there's like, you know, from the old Get Smart show, the cone of silence basically descends on your relationship, and you become nothing more than two ships that pass in the night, two roommates, two whatevers, and the clock's ticking.
The pressure's on. One of you is going to crack sooner or later. Who's it going to be? And, you know, the key really is forgiveness and restoration, you know, coming together and just going, you know what,
I don't know if you can forgive me, but I hope you can. And, you know, I need your forgiveness and just kind of working things out.
Because if you can't communicate and you can't forgive, then what kind of relationship do you really have? Steve, when
I hear about these couples that have been married for 30 years and then get divorced, it's like they don't forgive each other.
They hang in there for the kid's sake. Good for them. I mean, that's admirable in that regard. And then when the kids are gone, then it's time to get divorced.
Time to pull the plug and move on. Because I already noticed that it's hard for Kim and I. We're at home now without the kids.
And then there's all this time now that we used to spend doing all these other things. So now what do we do?
And you better have a good relationship because then what? Right? I can't say, well, my wife's mad at me, so I'm going to go hang out with Luke or something like that.
Right? You're just together. And then we're we sin against each other regularly. And so then people just split up.
Here's another quote. Refusing to forgive is a horrible sin. Forgiveness reflects the character of God.
Unforgiveness is therefore ungodly. Yeah, I was thinking, you know, unforgiveness when you
I think you said that quote on Sunday, and I thought, unforgiveness, I want to change it and say it's satanic.
Right? Because what he's the accuser of the brethren. He's the one who wants to stir up and bring up all your sins.
And I'm like, okay, just think about that. Let's go back to the marriage context. Let's say I won't forgive my wife.
Well, what role am I really playing? I'm no longer the, you know, loving my wife like Christ loved the church.
I'm loving my wife like Satan loves the church. How does Satan love the church? Yes. And just raking her over the coals and accusing her of every vile thing.
And I mean, just horrible. Horrible. Don't let the sun go down in your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.
Yes. All right. Here's another quote. I'll tell you who said this one. Martley Jones. I say to the glory of God, and in utter humility, that whenever I see myself before God and realize even something of what my blessed
Lord has done for me, I am ready to forgive anybody, anything. Well, and I believe him.
I mean, first of all, because now he's dead. But secondly, because I just think if we start the day just thinking,
I deserve nothing but hell. I deserve the wrath of God. Like right now, if he was just grab me and throw me in hell,
I'd go, you know what? I deserve it. But he doesn't do that.
And in light of the fact that he doesn't do that, well, then how should I look at other people? If God can be gracious to me, and it's good for me to think of myself as the chief of all sinners, the worst of sinners or whatever.
Why? Because there's nobody I know who reveals as much of their thought life as I have revealed to me, right?
I know me, and there's no part of me that I can commend as good. So, if I have a right view of myself, then
I look out at everybody else and I go, why wouldn't I forgive? Right? Because in relation to everybody else, as far as I know,
I'm the worst sinner there is. Steve, all this talk about love God, love neighbor, essence of the
Ten Commandments, essence of the moral law of God, put on billboards outside of churches. Love covers a multitude of sins, right?
It's not ungodly to forgive only. It is ungodly. It's not satanic not to forgive.
It is satanic, but it's also the most unloving thing you could do. It's awful. I mean, it is absolutely awful.
What does love do? I want what's best for you. And when you have received forgiveness, like if I sit against Kim and, you know, fellowship is broken and I finally humble myself and I say,
I've asked the Lord to forgive me. Would you please forgive me? I don't have any excuses. I love you. I'm sorry.
Please forgive me. And then she does. It's almost like she's gracing, well, she is gracing me.
And that's one of the things that I'm thinking, I feel so good now because fellowship is restored. Isn't that what love is supposed to do?
You said something so important there that, you know, when that fellowship is interrupted, we ought to want to make things right.
But so often we want to do it with the caveat of, you know what, I really hope you'll forgive me.
But part of the reason I did this was because of what you said, or, you know, if it hadn't been for this, that, the other thing,
I never would have done that. But, you know, I hope you can forgive me anyway. And when we talk about forgiveness, you know, the flip side of that is repentance.
And so often our repentance is so bad, it's no wonder people don't want to forgive us, right? Because it's filled with excuse making and all this other stuff.
Nobody can look in the Bible and see a really repentant person and say, well, he gave a list of excuses. Nope. What they do when they're repentant is just please forgive me.
You know, I've sinned against you and against God. Thief on the cross, parable of the tax collector and the sinner there, the publican and the sinner, all those things.
You said something about Satan earlier, and we'll end with this. 2 Corinthians 2, it struck me when
I read, but whom you forgive, Paul said, anything, for whom you forgive anything, I forgive you also.
For indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
So it's Satan influencing. Divide and conquer, baby. Oh, brother, I hate to be anybody's pawn, let alone
Satan's pawn. I don't want to be duped by these emails. $50 million in your account from Nicaragua.
I don't want to be duped. That wasn't legit. I sent him my passport information.
I'm still waiting for the check. I don't want to be duped by people. I think somebody came into the house yesterday, and I thought it was someone else for the
Bible study that Kim was having at night, and it was somebody selling solar panels, but Kim had already answered. And it didn't take very long before Kim shut the door, because I was in the other room, my foot was hurting.
And I said, what'd you say? She said, I don't believe in solar panels. They didn't know what to say, so they just walked off.
I don't believe in solar panels. Like John Lennon, I don't believe in Zimmerman. Anyway, today,
No Compromise Radio, Pastor Steve and Pastor Mike, are you a forgiving person? Is there somebody in your life that you need to forgive?
Somebody you need to restore into Christian fellowship? Today might be a good day to do that, don't you think?