Message “Be Reconciled? Not a Chance!” by Randy Roberts
Part 5 - Forgiveness: Scandalous Yet Splendid!
Pastoral Welcome: Marvin and Shirley Ponder
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:23–26, TNIV - Nabil and Janet Razzouk
Prayer: Burton Clark
Interview: Dan Matthews
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERMON
It’s hard to believe that camp meeting ends today! These five weeks went by quickly, didn’t they? It has been an important time. God has been with us to bless, guide, convict and empower. Through his Word, he has issued to us a call to be a community known for its willingness and ability to forgive.
So let me ask you: Have you allowed the Spirit to work God’s forgiveness into your soul? Do you know the riches of his grace in bridging the chasm that so often separates us from God? Do you know the realities of the ridiculously large debt that God has forgiven you (as per the parable we studied last week)?
If you do know the reality of such things, then I have to go one step further and ask you: How are you doing with your decision to forgive? Remember the second part of last week’s parable – the servant who remembered – rather than forgiving – the ridiculously small debt? That parable gives us the motivation to forgive – God’s grand and glorious forgiveness of our sins.
The first week we were together, I asked if you would consider the possibility of forgiving. I know that many of you opened your hearts to such. Now, the last week of camp meeting, I have to ask you: Are you ready to speak the words, “I forgive you” to someone in your life? I hope so. God will empower you and be with you as you do it.
I urge you not to allow this time to pass without following through. It is so easy to die on the rocks of good intentions. The road to continued strained relationships, they say, is paved with good intentions. So make that phone call or that visit; write that letter or that email; have that conversation – and, empowered by the grace of God, speak those words, I forgive you. I will be praying for you – and our whole community.
Now, about today? One more sermon. In today’s sermon, we focus on the question, What is the end toward which forgiveness moves us? In other words, What is the ultimate purpose of forgiveness?
You may be surprised – and even a bit disturbed – by the answer. But God has a plan for us, for his church, and for all creation. And that plan prospers in the climate of forgiveness.
May God’s forgiveness work in you and through you.