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August 30, 2020 12:01 am
Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. This is a servant of God manifest as a prophet of God.
This immense and on special mission. This is a man who was used of God to bring an entire city to its knees before a holy God this matter. Just had an incredible spiritual victory, but three times. He wants to die because he says this is not my plan was welcome this week to a call to the nation with Carter Conlon, as Christians, we are all ambassadors of Christ and his kingdom which is forever and will not fade away, and it's a kingdom built on the cornerstone of forgiveness of God. We are ambassadors of this wonderful kingdom that God established when he chose to forgive us through the death of his son Jesus Christ.
But sometimes we can get angered at the forgiveness of God hears Carter to explain more to start in Matthew chapter 18 organ finish in the book of Jonah chapter 4, you might want to take a look and find those so that we can all be in the word of God together. Matthew chapter 18 verse 21 then Peter came to him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him up to seven times. But Jesus said to him I did not send you up to seven times but up to 70×7.
Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king wanted to settle accounts with a servant is not a keep in mind, Jesus is still answering the question how many times on my brother sin against me and I forgive him and wanted begun.
Verse 24 to settle accounts.
One was brought to him alone, and 10,000 talents. That's it. The huge amount of money in our currency of today. But as he was not able to pay his master commanded that he be sold, and his wife and his children and all that he had in the payment be made in an unreal but you, but I'd I just think of my own life and the debt that I owed to God that I couldn't repay says the servant fell down before him, said master, have patience with me and I will pay you all than the master that servant was moved with compassion released him and forgave him the debt. And I thank God.
To this day with all my heart of the day in 1978 that I pulled over in the side of the road and I prayed a simple prayer, Lord Jesus. If this is true what my friends told me another police officer told me about this freedom and salvation. I could have in Christ, if it's true then I open my heart to to be my Lord and my Savior and that day Christ received me that day he forgive my… Day.
The curse which would have come on my home and not only would I be sold as a slave to sin, but it would affect my wife and my children and all that I had and so God forgive me this incredible debt that I owed. Then the master of that servant. Verse 27 was moved with compassion released him and forgave him the debt without servant went out and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him 100 denarii. No. In other words, what the other. This other man old him in comparison to what he owed God to put it this way was so insignificant was almost not even worth considering the debt that anybody owes me is so small compared to what I owed God.
That's the contrast is being made here and he laid hands on them and took him by the throat and say pay me what you owe me another word so we see we see in anger in this man and this is the problem. I think that all of us face from time to time were betrayed as Jesus was on the cross were lied about were abused and bruised and taken for granted targeted all kinds of things somebody borrows money doesn't pay back there for all kinds of things happen to us, our human tendency is to reach out and take.net even if it's not physically so all we do it in the spirit we take them by the throat and we we we exact payment say I will not release you of the of the debt you owe me and what you've done to me and until you pay me all in the fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, have patience with me and I will pay you all and he would not, but went and threw them into prison until he should pay the debt. And don't we do that now that we do though we lock people out of our lives. We lock them away would put them away and say are not forgive you and you can't come anywhere near me. My doors locked to you and I'm on but you don't exist anymore and in the you know we go out of our way to share the story with others because we that's the proof that we still have that person by the throat and keep in mind, I opened by saying tonight.
We are ambassadors of the kingdom of forgiveness some Abbasid or we are one.
When this kind of the spirit gets a hold of us and it does get a hold of us from time to time.
It's only by the spirit of Christ within us the spirit of God the Holy Spirit inside of our lives that we have the power now to subdue this other nature.
There will always want to rise and always want to take the preeminence in our dealings with other people. Verse 31 says so what is fellow servants saw what had been done there were very grieved and came and told her master.
All that had been done then his master after he had called him so dim you wicked servant, I forgive you all that debt because you begged me should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you and his master was angry and delivered him to the torturers in the King James original and says to the tormentors tutu torment and delivered into torment until he should pay all that was due.
To him, so my heavenly father will also do to you if each of you from his heart does not forgive his brother, his trespasses, how do we get beyond that. How do we as as God's people put that away and think that somehow it's not going to affect us to see, there are choices that we have to make when it comes to forgiveness. We have so many people today battling in the kingdom of God to forgive. Now we are to be the of the opposite spirit to the people of this world and our time who don't want to forgive. They want to hurt the they want to vilify that they want to marginalize, they they they want vengeance and we know they'll never be happy. Nobody will only God can bring that healing into the heart that can enable us to forgive one another in the book of Jonah.
In the Old Testament there was a man who was sent by God for a specific reason. The specific ministry that God had given to him.
He ran from that ministry now want you to consider. Maybe forgiveness is your ministry at this present point. Is it because you can't be an investor forgiveness until you forgive so maybe, just maybe, God is asking it to forgive somebody that has wounded you.
That has hurt you that has brought difficulty into your life. Maybe, just maybe, some of the physical afflictions of people are suffering some of the mental torment that they're going through some of the addictions people are praying for online or submitting prayer because four of you ever thought they might be just link to unforgiveness. Online research it yourself doctors will tell you psychiatrist will tell you that there are all kinds of afflictions released not only into the human mind but into the human body because of a bitterness and unforgiveness. The Bible and the book of Hebrews calls unforgiveness a route send the goes down deep into the character the body of the person and defiles the whole body.
There are secretions that are released in the body that cause disease because a bitterness and unforgiveness.
I remember years ago I was transferred into an office in the police department there was of a gentleman. Another officer on the desk. He was only 32 years old and he had a terminal illness and he was he was put there really to answer the phone until he became incapacitated at a certain point he asked me about what I believed I was able to share Christ with women in the office.
I led him to Jesus Christ. He received Christ as his Savior and about a week or two later he went to the doctor and the doctor just went for his his weekly checkup because it is his illness was terminal. The doctor said I don't know how to explain this to you is said but your completely healed. There is no longer any disease in your body says I have no explanation for this was not a recent diagnosis thing had gone on in his life for quite some time, is that you have no more disease in your body. I remembered it totally tamed and he told Mrs. a I I'm healed I'm healed and loose. I am afraid for him.
When everyone talked about healing. I led him to Christ.
I said how do you think the healing happened in your body. Here's what he told me when I was a boy my father would was a cruel man and he would stand me in the bathtub of ice cold water and beat me with his belt until were waltz all over my body is that I heated that man and I lived to see him die in pain when Jesus came into my life is that I forgive my father and with the forgiveness with the bitterness. Out went the disease that was his testimony to admit he'd never taken a course on this and never the book, he said to me with the forgiveness of my father with the bitterness when the bitterness left my life. The disease went with it is not amazing. I'm not suggesting that's going to happen in every case, but it does happen. In some cases, so look at this man, Jonah, not just for a couple of minutes he himself, he abdicated his ministry and ended up going in the opposite direction.
Scripture says in Jonah chapter 2 verses two to is that I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and he answered me out of the belly of sale of the place of the dead.
I cried and you heard my voice so he cried in his distress that he cried out in his rebellion to God and his indifference and everything else is gone. And God heard him and God forgave him and God restored him and God send them to do the thing that he was called to do anyone into the city called Nineveh and he preached judgment, no mercy in it.
He just preached judgment 40 days, and it's all over you know this is kind of the beginning of of what a God called him to do because God had something in mind. And Jonah wasn't at this point really a partaker of the heart of God as a matter fact he was angered he was about to be angered by what God was going to do.
So what happened is he preach that message all through this particular city. The city of all of the Syrians as the city of people at a history of violence against his own people. This the city of gross betrayal and immorality in and conquest in all kinds of evil is this thing that he would find below some so God ends up forgiving the Ninevites talks to them about judgment, they end up dressing in sackcloth and ashes. They end up turning from long asking God for mercy. Humbling themselves in the sight of God. Now Jonah goes to a mountaintop and he sits there and he waits for the city to burn and God didn't burn it. It actually forgave the people in verse chapter 4 verse one it says it this the displeased to Jonah exceedingly and he became angry. That's amazing.
You know some people did. Angered by the forgiveness of God get angered when God forgives somebody that hurt you. God forgives him. It hurt your family God forgives somebody that may be torture people. God forgives them now something starts happening to him, his prayer now starts becoming a complaint against the ways of God. Hard to imagine that you know the God could actually forgive a people and he starts to complain in his prayer against the way God has dealt with his enemies and it verse three of chapter forces. Therefore, now, old Lord Melissa prayer okay. Please take my life for me, for it is better for me to die than to live his soul offended, the God would forgive the enemies of his people that he loses now the will to go on and he asks the Lord is so mad at God.
This is take my life this the way you going to do things that kill me kill me if this is the way you're going to if you're gonna if you're going to be clients of my enemies in the new module just to execute your wrath on me take my life I really don't care. It's better for me right now to die than to live in a verse eight. From that point onward to get some temporary comfort and shade the girls around of any sort. He finds a little bit of comfort in God's in his mercy tries to reason with them.
By removing those temporary comfort and no one were not living for God when were not doing things God's way. He does have a way of getting a hold of us.
He does have a way of of as relevancy. Turning the screws are will start to consider his ways and turn away from ours. Remember that the sin nature of fallen humanity is to be as God is, and to become a judge of what is good and what is evil. That's a sin nature and that nature will come to the surface and start telling us that something evil is good and something good is evil, only the spirit of God and the word of God can bring us back into line again and for God to do that he will trouble us again in verse eight he says it's better for me to die than to live. He wants to die when God tries to reason with him by removing temporary comfort Cecil angered at the forgiveness of God and God is still trying to reach him and it it's the second time now that he ask God really to take his life on about you but I'm thankful that sometimes our prayers are not answered right on the spot. Thankfully, God is a God of mercy and in spite of our folly.
He still is a God who forgives thank God for that. Then lastly, he is so entrenched in his own worldview that he starts declaring the ways of God to be wrong.
I want you to think about this in the context of what we are experiencing in our culture today. When is the people of God. We are to be ambassadors of forgiveness, we can end up like David once did on the wrong side of the battle standing with the Philistines preparing to fight against the army of God.
I often wonder what was in his mind. At that point. How did I get to where I am and if you're not careful you can end up fighting on the wrong side fighting for the wrong kingdom standing for what you think is just but in the sight of God, it isn't. It's really just on forgiveness. He holds to his own worldview and declares the ways of God to be wrong.
Then God said to Jonah, is it right for you to be angry about the plant now. The other plant that died that was giving shade and he said it is right for me to be angry, even to death think this through. This is a servant of God that affect is a prophet of God. This immense and on the special mission. This is the man who was used of God to bring an entire city to its knees before a holy God this matter.
Just had an incredible spiritual victory, but three times. He wants to die because he says this is not what my plan was. This is not what was in my heart. This is why I didn't want to go in verse two, he says, Lord.
Is this not what I said when I was still in my country. Therefore, I fled previously to Tarsus for I know your gracious and merciful God, slow to anger abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents from doing harm. This is, I did not tell you this was going to happen that I was going to go to my enemies. I was going to go to my peoples enemies. I was going talk to them about judgment and you were going to forgive them if they repented. I knew this was going to happen and so for the third time he says I am.
I am so angry that you forgave these people that I would rather die than live hard to think that somebody can get that way, but the can. Hard to think of the kind of the spirit could get a hold of a servant of God, but it can.
If we let the lower nature begin to reign in situations of crisis and betrayal and difficulty that we become ambassadors of much lower kingdom than the one that we are called to represent the last two verses of chapter 4 and then will close the Lord said, you've had pity on the plant for which you have not labored or made it grow which came up in the night in Paris in the night and should I not pitting in about that great city in which are more than 120,000 persons who cannot discern between the right hand and the left and much livestock. The Lord says you cared because you lost your own comfort. Should I not care for those created in my image hundred and 20,000 people live in spiritual ignorance hundred 20,000 people live violent lives hundred and 20,000 people who have conquered the Syrians were known for their forced marches that would conquer cities and put rings evolved of of of iron in people's noses and chains on their hands and take them on forced marches and many of them would die the hardship on that March. The avowed enemies of the people of God and the Lord says should I not have pity. Should I not say one more time. Father forgive them. They don't know what the deuce who don't know the right hand from the left have no idea they don't know what right and wrong is the live in spiritual ignorance. But Jonah, you don't live in ignorance that should not be your testimony.
You knew that I'm long-suffering you knew that on client you know that I forgive why were you so unwilling to be an ambassador of that forgiveness. So in strict just in obedience to God, forgive them, whether it has to be a letter or card phone call or just in your heart may be the person you need to forgive is already gone on. They've already died but you still need to forgive them and you just simply do it by faith say Lord I just released the debt and if the person is still alive.
One of the ways of getting out of the trap of bitterness and start praying for them every day. You can hate a person you're praying for tell you right now you might for little while but less and less and less every day you decide God and asked Lord to bless them.
Asked Lord to give them a prosperous journey. Also Lord that that one day maybe when you meet them at the throne that you can rejoice together asked for the forgiveness of Christ to become their portion as well as yours don't live in a place that you're not called to live and don't end up like Jonah on a mountain angry and asking to die to die to die angry with God saying your ways, and not right. You're not just your and you're not the person or the not God that I thought you were. And there's nothing here that says he ever changed his mind forever change the start. I don't know the end of Jonah. I just know he he he himself was shown great grace, but he did not want to show it to those who had hurt his family and hurt his people.
What the not be your testimony will let it not be mine tonight.
Here's my prayer for you and for me II don't want I don't want to go to my grave with unforgiveness towards a single person in my heart all I want my life to be clean and honestly want to die is an ambassador of the cross and ambassador grace. Now it's not always easy. There will always be a Judas. It will happen in your life. There will always be some people say or do or unkind unkind things. That's part of the cup of being a Christian, but I don't hold the grievance. I do want to grab a single person by the throat adjuster want to live there.
It's simply not worth it come too far to end up dying a fool now and so I encourage you with all my heart. Maybe, just maybe, we can ask the Holy Spirit for the courage and the strength to release the debt to somebody else. My DOS so thank God for what he does and maybe as you choose to receive and give the forgiveness of God who knows will leave your life, even a sense of self-loathing might might find its way out the door. An addiction some sort of mental addiction a physical addiction and substance abuse. Maybe your marriage is a mess because you just never forgiven somebody need to forgive. It's that important right now you see as the body of Christ. We don't have to give the tormentors access to us.
We can choose to lock the door on them by giving somebody forgiveness from Egypt. I've had to go through this festive traces of the growth of this pastor Tim is said to go through this. Pastor Patrick is had to do this. Everyone I know has had to release somebody from something that they did to them and I've known a few people along the way who did not hold close with this. I was asked one time to go see a missionary. He had been a missionary for 28 years in a foreign nation hit. He was famous he was decorated was honored by the president of the country for his work, and yet in his 70s, it was locked in his basement in his house and somebody called me and said postcard.
Could you go visit him to come out of the house and can't preach anymore. I went to visit this man and I went down in tears is basement and I talked with him and all he could do is rehearse an old grievance that happened to many many years before he even went to the mission field. If you can imagine, and even all those years of service on the mission field left and tormented at the end of his days because he refused to forgive some people would harm to Otis Otis. There is power in the gospel to forgive this power to release and is also a consequence when we don't. I could not reason that man out of his bitterness with all his years of preaching the gospel.
I could not reason him to a place where he could forgive those who would wrong. He held to the Applica that there's an old story of a bare ghost of campfire and he grabs a cauldron that's been burning on the fire and as it begins to burn his chest.
His instinct is to squeeze it tighter and so in the more burdensome the tighter him squeeze and not realizing it's the squeezing of this burning cauldron. It's actually going to take his life and bitterness is like that. It's grabbing a situation, squeezing it to your heart and refusing to let it go.
The longer we hold onto it the more it burns us, and eventually takes away our life. May God grant you grace because we are going to have to be a people of forgiveness or we will not make it through the coming days. I'm warning you, I'm warning you, you will not make it through the coming days.
If you don't forgive.
Forgiveness is not an option's command.
Forgiveness is something we fully realize we have to do is not just an add-on to all the Christian experience that we have. We have to forgive and by God's grace we can forgive by God's grace we can be given a new heart and a new mind and a new spirit that wants to be a partaker not just receiving but also giving the forgiveness of God. Lord, this is an opportunity for all of us who know you to be ambassadors of another kingdom give us the grace to forgive, give us the grace to receive and give this great forgiveness that was one for us on the cross. 2000 years ago. We recognize Lord you're not asking us to do this in our own strength.
For we could not do it, but by the power of your indwelling Holy Spirit.
We have the ability to release every debt help us Lord not to be angry with your desire to want to forgive our enemies we give you the praise and we give the glory in Jesus name, amen the message today has been brought to you by Carter Conlon from Times Square church. For more information log onto TSC.NYC that's TSC.NYC plan to be with us next week for a call to the nation with Carter,