Forgiveness is at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16.)
“Believe” means “clings to, trusts, obeys.”
Jesus came to this earth, born of a virgin, lived here for 30 years then began to proclaim the kingdom of God. Three and a half years later He was crucified on the cross. He did this in order to forgive whoever believes in Him and follows His commandments so they should have eternal life.
He gave His life for us. He was bloodied, beaten, cursed and mocked as He hung on the cross for you and me.
He paid the penalty for our sins with His own life. He was the Lamb of sacrifice.
If we claim to be followers of Jesus Christ then God says we must forgive everybody.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15.)
Because of the price paid by Jesus Christ to forgive us God is very angry if we fail to forgive other people. He gives the example of a Master forgiving a servant from a great sum of money then the servant failing to forgive others. This is an example of us having been forgiven by God but not forgiving others.
We see the result of this in Matthew 18:34-35 which says, “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you of each of you, from his heart does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
In other words if we fail to forgive others God will deliver us to the torturers (demons).
The Lord’s prayer also requires us to forgive other people.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.” (Matthew 6:12.)
When we pray we must be forgiving others.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespassers.
“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses”. (Mark 11:25-26.)
Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
That you may be the sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45.)
When we pray a blessing on those who are hurting or damaging us then we reverse any curse that is coming from them and which could affect us.
What does all this mean? It is clear that if we do not forgive we are not obeying Christ and we will not inherit the kingdom of God. We may be a pastor, we may be a leading evangelist or we may be an ordinary Christian but we must forgive others. This is essential.
We must forgive regardless of the cost just as Jesus paid the price with His life to forgive us. If we do not do so we will go into the fires of hell.
We are not on our own. God has sent His Holy Spirit to the believer in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer and is there to help us through every situation.
As we submit to God through Jesus Christ, the Helper, the Holy Spirit is beside us and within us to carry us through every situation no matter how difficult it may seem.
In order to have the Helper, the Holy Spirit with us, we need to give our life to Jesus Christ and be born again of the Spirit of God. Follow His commandments in the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit within us to guide us, help us and love us. (John 14:15-18.)
If we obey Him, Jesus by the Holy Spirit “will never leave us nor forsake us.” (Hebrews 13:5.)