One of my favorite topics by far is the topic of forgiveness. I don’t think I’ve read up and researched any other topic more than the topic of forgiveness. Is there another topic that so directly influence our relationship with God? Here’s a few more thoughts I have on it:
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27).
These are indeed radical words by Jesus. We are prompted to extend the hand of forgiveness and love towards those who hate us, not only those we got along with, but also those who can be considered our enemies. It is easy to forgive someone who asks for it, but what about the people that refuses our forgiveness? What about the people that does not accept our deed of love or forgiveness? Does it make us forgiving them any less applicable or real? Are they still forgiven even if they reject it? Jesus indeed had no conditions on these words. It is as plain and simple as it reads; EVEN your enemies, forgive them. The forgiveness still remains as powerful as the moment it leaves the forgiving persons mouth. Receiving or rejecting ones forgiveness does not make it any less real. They are still forgiven, whether they accept it or not. They will only start experiencing the benefits of your forgiveness once they accept it.
This got me thinking about God, surely He also then forgives those who can be considered as His ‘enemies’, or the people that keep rejecting it. Surely they are ALSO forgiven even if they reject it. The forgiveness remains. Here’s the radical statement: All mankind has already been forgiven, whether you have accepted it or not. It needs only to be received in order for it to become real for the person being forgiven.
“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them.”
I know what you are thinking, “does this mean everybody is going to heaven seeing as they are all forgiven?”. Answer: No. There is a difference between forgiveness and salvation. Receiving one does not mean you have the other. People don’t go to heaven because their sins are forgiven, they go to heaven because they put their trust and their lives in the person of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is a bonus we all received even prior to our ‘Salvation’.
Here’s the bottom line. Jesus would not have told us to love and forgive our enemies if He has not done the same. Free of charge, no conditions added. Bonus. Forgiven. Completely. Past present and Future.
Now wrap your head around that…