Monday, April 20, 2015

The Forgiveness Factor (part 5): “Don’t be ignorant of Satan’s schemes” (2 Cor. 2:11)

Satan can say many thing to deceive us. He could say things like:

  • “There is no God.” The difficulty with this is that the evidence of God is overwhelming. Anyone who has the faith to believe Satan’s lie, God calls a “Fool.” 
  • “There is no judgment.” The difficulty here is that anyone and everyone know that actions have consequences, not to mention the sense of “guilt” and “shame.”
Instead, Satan's says things like this: “there is no hurry. Just listen to God’s word, and take care of matters--later.” You know as well as I that “later” never comes.

Why should Satan gain by tempting us to put off what God says to do today--specifically, to forgive someone who turns from their sin, their own wrong-doing? God calls coveting a sin. A person who will go to ANY means to gain what they want, even if it means withholding forgiveness, is exactly like Satan, the devil. Why should Satan gain by deceiving the Church except to scar what Christ is building.

Realize what Paul is saying here: the Church is to enjoy fellowship, communion with one another. Christians are to be known by “LOVE.”
  • If (in the name of “love”) the church does nothing about sin in the church, Satan makes ugly what Christ makes beautiful in the Church, by building with people called OUT of the world. LOVE is not permissive!
  • If (in the name of “love”) the church does not restore one who repents to fellowship, then Satan makes ugly what Christ makes beautiful in the Church with unkindness, unforgiveness. 
While Satan takes pot shots at the flags of the Kingdom (stirring up trouble with minor issues), we level our cannon at the foundations of the gates of hell to bring the whole thing down around his head.

We don’t have to be outwitted by Satan!

Chuck Swindoll reminded me how kids throw rocks at frogs for fun, but adults tend to throw rocks at each other--and spit. It even happens in the church. Sometimes rocks are thrown with no intention of causing hurt or harm--just like kids skip rocks at the lake. But accidents do happen. “I was only kidding” doesn’t stop internal bleeding. Neither does withholding forgiveness.

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