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(c) 2010 (02 October 2010)
PraiseLight Christian Radio
(Truth Ministries)
Ben J. Ditzel
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A Young Christians Cry

by Ben Ditzel

 

I want to take the time in this article to relate a few thoughts I have. But before I do, I also want to say that any of you who have any thoughts you would like to express on this subject, any views, and opinions, as well as pointers or guidelines, PLEASE send them to me as soon as you can with permission to publish some or all of what you write. I would very much like to hear from you all and know what you have to say.

Now, my thoughts. I have been thinking about this a lot more than usual the past 24 hours and some thoughts have occurred to me, some of which I have expressed before, but I feel need to be said again. First and foremost, I very strongly feel that when someone repents of a sin, we, as Christians, MUST forgive them. In the New Testament, Jesus' disciples come to Him and ask Him (not sure of exact words) "Master, if a brother sins against us, how many times should we forgive him? Up to seven times?" And Jesus answers them saying "I tell you, forgive him seventy TIMES seven." That is 490 times! In other words, NEVER stop forgiving him. Someone could sin (and I am not only talking about the sins we've been talking about, sexual, and lust etc.., but ANY SIN) and come to me for forgiveness. OK, granted, most people will say, "Oh they are sorry, forgive them." But what if they do the same thing again AFTER they are truly sorry the first time and then the second time they again come to me and tell me they are sorry. Should I still be willing and ready to forgive them? Of course! What did Jesus' say? ... But what if they do this 3, 4, 5, 6, or even more times? And each time they slip up, they cry out and ask for forgiveness. At this point, I have to be careful I am discerning if they are REALLY TRULY sorry, but if they are (and one can usually tell), then I must forgive them. The Bible says in another place "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."! Sound familiar? Most of you probably heard it as the golden rule as children. But do we really put it into practice? What if we were in their place? What if we were the ones aching for the things that we'd had which were wrong; what if WE were the ones that fell into temptation and even instigated sin? When we repented and cried out to God and to our friends for forgiveness, how would we like it if they said, "I've given you 2 chances, you blew it. I can't always give forgiveness when you just turn around and do it all over again in a few months." How would we feel. I think we'd cry, "But I want so much to have just another chance! Can't you see I'm TRYING? I stumble and I fall so often, but please bear with me, PLEASE!" I've been there; I know when you loose people's trust and they won't give you another chance. It takes YEARS to gain that trust back. The same not only with trust like lying, but any sin: uncontrollable anger, hate, lust, backbiting, sex before marriage, bitterness, and even things we may not consider to be serious like wilfully misunderstanding someone, jealousy, and all the things in between. Readers, everyone is watching Christians to see what kind of example they set. This is very true. And if we have Jesus stickers, Icthus fish, and Christian radio bumper stickers on our car, we go to church, and always preach Jesus to everyone we meet, but turn around and don't even have the basic grace to accept someone who is asking for another chance no matter how many times they've failed before, ... what is the world going to think? They are going to say, "What hypocrites! What two faced people Christians must be! I don't really want to be associated in that group."

Friends, we need to realize that we must give others the grace and acceptance that God has so graciously given to us through His Son. And another point is, and I want to make this very clear and I am firm on this as well. When a fellow Christian is struggling in his or her life and asks for forgiveness when he or she stumbles and commits a sin, what are we going to do? I pray that we will do as Jesus commands us and be each others support; strengthen one another and edify one another with our conversation, and encourage them. But do you know what I see today? I see Christians against Christians and this frankly makes me sick! This is division in the church; among the brethren. I see Christians judging other Christians just because they are struggling and claiming that those who are struggling are not valid in their cries for help and forgiveness because they have done it all before... BEFORE!!! What does before mean to God? Well? What does it mean? I want you to think about it. What I believe it means in a case like this is... NOTHING. If they repent TO GOD, THERE IS NO BEFORE- period- end of sentence. Christ washes away our sins with Jesus' blood that HE shed for His elect children. When He looks at our past, instead of a liar, He sees an honest person IN HIM, instead of angry and hating person, He sees a loving and caring person IN HIM, instead of someone who hasn't waited for marriage to have sex, He sees a young man or woman made a virgin again- ready to start fresh once again IN HIM! This is what WE NEED TO SEE AS WELL. A lot of Christians today seem to turn their backs on the young Christians struggling to please Him. If not literally, then they turn their backs in a not so noticeable way like spreading rumours or tearing them down in the name of helping them. I have seen this happened so much in my life. I have seen it in churches, families, and friends. We need to seriously think what kind of example we are setting here, but far more importantly, THINK of the ones that some of of are WRITING OFF as being insincere and hopeless ONLY BECAUSE OF THE PAST WAY THEY HAVE BEEN. Forgiveness is quite similar to another chance and that is what Jesus said to us, his disciples. Give them seventy times seven chances. He loves all of us His children equally. He loves those of us who THINK we are really doing great in our faith and are in a place to look down on our fellow brothers; He loves those of us who are struggling to live for Him. Let's seriously consider where each one of us stands in what I have said here. If I have confused you, I'm sorry. It is VERY late here, but some things need to be said and I had the mind to say it now. :) Let me know if you have questions about this. I really want to hear your thoughts, responses and anything else.

And a note of encouragement: For those of you who are stumbling and falling down either by accident or willingly sitting down, I want to say this. You are not alone. If you fall down, get up and try again just lie a little child learning to walk. For those of you who 'fall' for temptation whether it be from the outside or from your inside and you sit down and don't want to think about your path you are trying to live by, but instead want to forget that just for a bit while you 'lie and rest', remember, whether we like it or not, no matter where we are, God is watching us. He has and does see everything we do even when we don't think or want to think about Him. He is our Father and is disappointed in us when we CHOOSE to fail, but then, if and when we get up, and we, with tears streaming from our faces in sorrow and realization of what we have just done, brush off the dirt from our clothes and continue on, He is standing there with open arms cheering us on saying YOU CAN DO IT! And I just want to say to those of you who feel you are in that place right now, you CAN do it, but only with His help.

'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that SAVED a WRETCH like ME. I once was LOST, but NOW am found, was blind but now I see...'


And what about right now? If you haven't done so, but feel that you need Him to re-enter your life; once again, if you feel you have drawn far away from Him (not LOST your salvation, but LOST His touch and your close communion with Him, just sincerely ask Him to restore you again because you once were lost, but now you are found. God bless you; Go in peace. May God's love touch you and may He give the mercy to stretch out His arm and help you, if you have a desire to be helped, and keep you from falling and even keep you from sitting down along the way. Amen, so be it!

 

 

 

Living4Christ Ministries