2:8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Yesterday we walked with Jesus to where Adam and Eve were hiding. They hurt Him yet He went looking for them, not to seek revenge but to initiate healing. Paul wrote in Romans that "while we were yet sinners Jesus died for us..." In fact we see Jesus on the cross, while the crowd is blood thirsty and screaming for His death, say "Father forgive them for they know not what they do..."
Have you thought through the implications of all this? Do you see why Paul calls forgiveness a test of obedience? To say we are following Jesus yet refusing to forgive is like saying we belong to Green Peace yet killing every tree and plant in sight.
Every excuse I ever tried to use or heard others put forth for refusing forgiveness don't stand up next to the example of Jesus. He didn't wait until we asked. He didn't hold out until we said we were sorry. There were zero conditions for His offered forgiveness. The only people who will never experience His forgiveness are those who won't embrace it. I can be given money, stuff, etc... but it only benefits me if I take it. Not one person, no matter how evil their actions will be lost because of what they did. They will only be lost because they didn't accept His forgiveness or they accepted His but refused to extend the same forgiveness to others.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the whole world. Not one person is unforgiven.
That's a lot to think about. We'll continue tomorrow with what Jesus said about refusing to forgive others...