OUR RIGHT TO FORGIVE OR NOT TO FORGIVE - PRELUDE
FOR THE SAKE OF THE SIMPLE AND THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT THIS TOPIC IS MISUNDERSTOOD, I HAVE TO ADDRESS IT SO THAT OUR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE TOPIC CAN BE ENLIGHTENED:
THE TOPIC IS: OUR RIGHT TO FORGIVE OR NOT TO FORGIVE
Reference: John 20:20-23 New International Version (NIV) "After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
THESE ARE THE VERY WORDS OF THE MASTER, NOT PASTOR EJC'S WORDS, OPINION OR QUOTES.
JESUS said, "If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
This means He gave the disciples authority to forgive sins or not to forgive sins, just after His resurrection. The Golden news article on YOUR RIGHT TO FORGIVE OR NOT TO FORGIVE is completely based on the written Word of God. Notably, if you read this very ARTICLE, it addressed the topic properly, letting you know that even though you have this right, you must always choose the better option which is to forgive, instead of using your right to justify sinful and evil choices.
The problem is our understanding, not the topic. It is completely a Biblical insight based on the Master's Word. It's like when God addressed our choices of life and death in Deuteronomy 30:19, which reads:
"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
He presented before us life and death, blessing and curses. Yet He told us what to choose. Now this is the same concerning the topic: OUR RIGHT TO FORGIVE OR NOT TO FORGIVE. Jesus has given us that right because God raised us together with Him and we are seated together in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. So we have been empowered by the authority of Christ to act like our heavenly Father.
What do I mean by acting like God? Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) says, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Note this phrase: "your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins." In other words, only God has the right not to forgive. After Christ's resurrection, He gave us that right. However, we must choose to always forgive.
Interestingly, there are cases Christians use this right of not to forgive. For instance, in some churches, they hold services that denote "divine vengeance". Nahum 1:2 reads, "God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries…" This means that sometimes we engage God's ability to execute His vengeance upon those who chose to work against God's people. We hear testimonies of how, for instance, wicked and unreasonable persons in a particular remote place who had been tormenting their family members in other towns and bewitching them were visited by God's anger and struck death because of the prayer of the saints. In this case, the saints did not forgive the wickedness of our enemies. They engaged God to execute His vengeance and vent His wrath against their enemies. This also justifies our right to forgive or not to forgive.
Through divine vengeance, God judges our enemies, if we choose to. Christ bequeathed an unconditional authority to every born again Christian. No wonder Matthew 18:18 (NLT) says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven." "Whatever" is a word used to emphasize a lack of restriction in referring to any thing or amount, no matter what. It means all; anything you allow. No limits to what your authority can allow or disallow.
Beloved you have the right to forgive or not to forgive, and its given to you by the Lord Jesus. However, the Spirit of God dwells in you to lead and guide you aright in exercising your authority in Christ and in all your decision making.
Now there are hard topics on high level revelation knowledge I have not been able to share because of the simple minded. Just like Jesus said in John 16:12 (NLT): There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can't bear it now.
However keep enjoying God's Word. And remember, His joy is your strength.