What if you asked God to forgive you and He refused?
Is that even possible? Doesn’t God always forgive the one who asks him to?
I remember growing up in the United States. For the first few years of my public education, each day began with a reading from the Bible (a good thing) and the recitation of “The Lord’s Prayer” (not really a good thing.) How can I say that reciting the “Our Father”, as it is called in some circles, was not a good thing? Because Jesus gave His disciples a model for prayer expressly to avoid “empty phrases” or, as the King James renders it, “vain repetitions”! (Matthew 6.7) So repeating this prayer or any other prayer quickly becomes non-prayer, the very thing Jesus condemned.
Many professing Christians ignore Jesus’ teaching against empty repetition and recite Matthew 6.9-13 often. Many others–even those who criticize the former group–ignore what Jesus said right after He gave His disciples this marvelous pattern for prayer. In Matthew 6. 14,15 He issued this startling warning:
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The simple lesson here is this: If I am unwilling to extend forgiveness to others, I am presumptuous to expect forgiveness from God.
The next few posts will examine some critical biblical passages and precepts regarding forgiveness, that hard blessing.