To forgive someone presupposes that that someone, has offended you.
Question: Can you forgive that one even if they refuse to accept your
forgiveness seeing as "forgiveness" is in your power to give. So, if
you deem someone to be "forgiven!" are they indeed forgiven; is
forgiveness affected towards them
regardless of their personal response
to it? i.e., whether they accept it or not.
If one answers "No they are not forgiven" then this needs explaining
as to how it is that they are not forgiven.
If one answers "Yes they are forgiven" then how is it that God cannot
have ministered the selfsame forgiveness through Jesus Christ toward
humanity? Does humanity's "apparent" refusal, be it in ignorance or
arrogance, nullify the work of the Cross in drawing "all" to
Himself? [Jn 12:32]. What did Paul say:
"For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the
faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not!" Rom
What did God say through His prophet Isaiah concerning Israel's state of
Isa 44:22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your
transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for
I have redeemed you.
"Return" [an act of repentance] is only possible because of the prior
establishment of redemption not unlike that of Rom 5:10 "when
we were enemies we were reconciled".
It may be argued that one must believe to benefit from it true
on one level, but does that mean that un-forgiveness therefore remains
no! It simply means that life is not being lived to the full in
experiencing the benefits of forgiveness.
Now believing is an important matter, but believing does not determine
where one ends up when this life is over if OUR believing could
establish that, then what need was there for the Cross? was THAT even
the focus of what "believing" was all about?
Believing truth does not make truth true, belief does not create
truth truth however can create belief. You cannot invent something
to believe and make it truth, no; you must discover truth and then agree
with it accepting it and so making it applicable in your life.
For instance: You do not have to believe in gravity for gravity
to have its total effect on you, as much as someone else who does
believe in and understands gravity belief or non-belief does not negate
the effect of gravity upon you. So, what does "believing" in gravity do
for you? It will save you you will not do what you know to be
contrary to gravity and thus endanger your life. Through
experience-observance you conclude that gravity is an absolute
regardless of belief. Believing in gravity however makes it
beneficial rather than struggling against it. So, whether we believe
it or not, absolute truth affects us however, it can benefit us
greatly if we accept it, just as it is.
Another example: The person who is kidnapped does not have to believe
a ransom has been paid; the police however do. Once the ransom is
paid the police move in to free the person. Likewise, it was God that
had to believe the ransom had been paid in full. Once the ransom was
paid [1Tim 2:5-6; 1Jn 2:2] and He satisfied that it was [Isa
53:11], deliverance came to all. That is why
"redemption-reconciliation" was solely an issue between God and Christ
alone but always on humanity's behalf. Believing this is
where "salvation" becomes an issue for the individual.
It is a clear biblical doctrine and teaching that one person can determine
the destiny of the entire world. It's just that evangelicalism believes
that the first Adam had the power to do that, but the last Adam did not.
The last Adam did not die to give this world a chance to live in
the presence of God when this life was over. No, Jesus Christ died to
redeem and reconcile the entire world back to God completely
and the benefits of that start in this life in the here-and-now. The
result: if you will but believe it, you will be able to experience in
this life now some of what is coming in the next. It was this that Jesus
determined and established in the Cross-Parousia event near 20 centuries
This is what LIFE is all about we have been
forgiven-redeemed-reconciled, now come walk in it; doing so brings rest
[salvation-transformation] to the soul [the inner man].
Think about it how is it that God would require and demand of
believers, something that He himself cannot or will not do
to love and forgive one's enemies
the very thing the likes of 'eternal conscious torment' and
'annihilationism' implicitly denies God does.
With absolutely no repentant faith response from those involved in his
crucifixion, Jesus prayed to God "Father, forgive them; for they
know not what they do" [Lk 23:34].
Questions to ponder:
 Who really nailed Jesus to the cross?
 Did God really answer Jesus' prayer?
 What are the implications of your answers?
Forgiveness lies in the heart of the forgiver [God] so much the better
when we the forgiven realise it.
David G. Embury
© Copyright 2006ΰ