Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac
Unforgiveness is the single most popular poison that the enemy uses against God’s people, and it is one of the deadliest poisons a person can take spiritually.
Text: Mark 11:26
“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses”
1. Matthew 22:37-40
2. John 15:12
3. Matthew 18:23-35
4. Hebrews 12:15
5. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
In the New Testament, Jesus gave us two commandments (Matthew 22:37-40). ‘’Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’’
Jesus gave us very important commandments to follow; one of them was to love one another, as He has loved us (John 15:12). Love is the exact opposite of unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, hate, pride and bitterness. You can’t truly love somebody and hold bitterness or unforgiveness against him or her at the same time.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY (To Forgive others)
God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, so that we may be reconciled to Him, without spot or blemish. He asks that we give others the same forgiveness that He paid for us. He tells a parable in Matthew 18:23-35 that says the same thing:
“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So, when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.”
How Deep Is The Battle (Love)?
In John 15:12, Jesus commands us to love one another, as He has loved us. True love doesn’t hold bitterness or unforgiveness against that person. If we are bitter or hold unforgiveness against somebody, then we don’t love them as Christ loved us. If we don’t keep Jesus’ commandments, then it proves we don’t love Him.
John 14:24, “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings”
• Prevents God from forgiving our sins
Matthew 6:15, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
• Opens us up to the tormentors (the devil)
“Therefore is the Kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his accounts of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him the thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, lord have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet and besought him saying, Have patience with me, and I will thee all. And he would not; but went and cats him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. Then the lord, after that he called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave the all the debt, because thou desirest me/l Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? And the lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.”
• Blocks God from answering our prayers
Mark 11:24, 25, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought (something) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Matthew 7:7, 12, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you… Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…”
John 15:5, 10 tells us that if we abide in Christ, we will produce much spiritual fruit, and the way that we abide in Christ is by keeping His commandments. Verse 12 tells us that His commandment is to love one another as He has loved us. Verse 7 tells us that if we abide in Him (by keeping His commandments), and His Word in us, we can ask for anything and it will be given onto us! The reason a lot of people’s prayers go unanswered, is because they aren’t keeping the commandments that Jesus gave us; therefore they aren’t abiding in Christ’s love, and if we aren’t abiding in Christ’s love, how can we expect Him to hear our prayers?
• Defiles a person
Hebrews 12:15, “….. lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
Notice at the end it says, “many be defiled.” This is a VERY common, if not one of the most common everyday things that defile people! Many bondages can be shed when a person forgives those who have wronged him or her.
• Gives Satan an advantage
2 Corinthians 2:10-11, “To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything. To whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgive I it in the person of Christ; lest Satan should get advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
• Keeps a person out of heaven
Matthew 7:12, 21, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets… Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
• Prevents us from being fruitful spiritually
John 15:5 tells us that if we abide in Christ, we will produce much spiritual fruit, and the way that we abide in Christ is by keeping His commandments (verse 10). Verse 12 tells us that His commandment is that we love one another as He has loved us. Therefore, if we don’t love one another, as He has loved us, then we do not abide in Him, and how are we suppose to produce much spiritual fruit if we don’t abide in Him? According to verse 6, the branch that doesn’t abide in the vine will be cast into the fire.
• Opens us up to curses
When people in the Old Testament disobeyed God’s commandments, it opened them up to curses (Deut. 27:26). When people nowadays disobey God, it can do the same thing; it can open them up to curses. Curses can cause mental and emotional problems (Deut. 28:28), physical problems (Deut. 28:35, 60, 61), financial problems (Deut. 28:17, 38, 43), divorce and unfaithful spouse (Deut. 28:30, 56), emotional stress (Deut. 28:34), childlessness (Lev 20:21), and that’s not all, plus those curses can be handed down to your future generations (Exodus 20:5).
• Provokes Sickness
It causes everything from mental depression, to health problems such as cancer and arthritis. I’m not saying that in every single case of cancer, it is due to unforgiveness, but I am saying that it can cause cancer. Cancer comes from the devil, scientist can’t explain it, doctors don’t understand where it comes from; it’s the symptoms of a curse.
God allowed the Israelites to face diseases and sickness when they disobeyed Him (Deut. 28:58-61), and when they would turn back to Him, He would heal their land and take sickness from their midst (Exodus 23:25, Deut. 7:15).
PROMINENT VICTIMS OF UNFORGIVENESS
1. Joab (2 Samuel 3: 29)
2. Absalom (2 Samuel 13: 28)
3. Ahitophel (2 Samuel 15 - 17)
4. Dinah’s Brothers (Simeon and Levi in Gen 34:25)
5. Haman (Esther 3 – 5)
The blessings of forgiveness
When we forgive, it opens us up to God’s forgiveness (Matthew 6:15), it puts us in a receiving position when we pray (Mark 11:24, 25), it helps us become spiritually fruitful (John 15:10, 12, 5), and we will know that we have passed from spiritual death to being reconciled with our heavenly Father when we love each other (1 John 3:14)! When we keep God’s commandments and love one another, we prove that we love Jesus (John 14:21), and we abide in Christ’s love (John 15:10)! What a magnificent blessing forgiveness really is!!!
Let us all remain conduits for the blessings and mercies of God.