“Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matt. 18:22)
Your pastor is caught in an adulterous affair, admitting his sin only after it is found out. He repents, truly repents with all his being. Should the church allow him to preach next Sunday morning as if nothing had happened?
We forgive people when they trespass against us, but it is impossible to forget, and so we remember differently, if you will, the action against us. We recall the times that we have done ill towards others, how we were forgiven, and we forgive as we have been forgiven.
I ask that you recall the question posed to the Lord Jesus Christ that day in the previous verse. “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matt. 18:21) My brother. One must consider, at a foundational level, we all came from Adam and Eve, so to that degree we all are brothers and sisters, yet not in the Lord.
Forgiveness means not seeking revenge, not repaying evil with evil, but there are always consequences to our actions. That pastor in our opening statement, do you believe he should immediately be allowed back behind the pulpit, that forgiving him entails no consequences for his actions? That man up there is rarely questioned by those who do not study to show themselves approved, in fact to them, he is the voice of God, he is the earthly shepherd of their souls, and as such, when he sins, and my friends we all sin, it would seem almost ludicrous to not allow him to continue preaching to some, for we are after all to forgive if one repents.
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numb. 32:23)
He is a brother in Christ, not one of the wicked, and so as much as we love our brothers and sisters in Christ to a greater degree than we do those who are in open and willful rebellion against the Lord, but the question remains, should there be consequences for our actions even after we have repented?
Many a man in prison has come to true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, turning completely away from their vile and evil ways and serving the Lord for the glory of God, but their sentences are not remitted, they will do their time. There are consequences for our sins even after we repent in dust and ashes, even after that broken and contrite heart is accepted by the Almighty. Ponder here the tears of David when he finally met the child that died.
Can trust lost be re-earned with simple words?
Sin can kill more than life my friends, it can kill relationships even after forgiveness has been offered and accepted, it can destroy friendships and families, I believe it can even cause one to lose the rewards they have accumulated up to that point in their walk with the Lord, I have experienced it in my own life, perhaps you have also.
It isn’t correct to say the Lord does not know what we will do in the future, for He knows the beginning from the end, but even after we have confessed our sins, even after we have truly repented with a broken heart, there will be consequences for our actions. Trust may be earned again from the Lord, He knows us and all we will do throughout all eternity, but by those who have sinned and repented that trust may, and many times will, require more than just words.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16)
Some of us fall seventy times seven times.