FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO

CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

SUNDAY DECEMBER 4TH 2022

Sermon by Pastor Marc Simeon

FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO

Lu 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Mt 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Acts 7:59-60 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 3:17-18 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers.

18 “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

John 16:1-3 ¶ “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.

2 “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

3 “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.

INTRODUCTION

  • I have a great admiration for people who work with mental patients.
  • I’ve watched a particular person recently who was dealing with a person with dementia.
  • The person with the mental issue did a lot of things that could easily irritate the person.
  • I almost had to refrain myself from rebuking the person in question.
  • I sat there wondering how anybody can survive a prolonged situation like that.
  • You have to constantly remind yourself that the person is not reasoning well.
  • You must never allow yourself to absorb the words of insult or ungratefulness that comes out of that person’s mouth.
  • My grandmother from my father side came to live with us in her last days. She lived to be 106 years old.
  • She thought that our house belonged to her.
  • She told me when she planted every tree in our yard.
  • She was very authoritative and very demanding.
  • She would not manage her words when addressing to people.
  • While somebody was preparing the food, some dogs were getting too close to the food.
  • She asked them to chase the dog away repeatedly.
  • When she saw that she was ignored, then she said, “The reason you refuse to chase the dog away is because you and the dog are one.” LOL
  • I remembered the look she got from the person she insulted, but we all knew that she wasn’t well.
  • But how comes she finds this exact thing to say. Lol
  • People who are supposedly right minded can also do gross things to others out of ignorance.
  • When I was little, although I have no recollection of it, my mom told me that once took some banana someone was selling and eat them, after that I paid with little flat stone.
  • In Haiti, kids used to play with little flat stones as money.
  • Since, I did not know the difference between real and false money, I did the rational thing by paying for what I purchased with what I believed was money in my pocket.
  • I did the wrong thing thinking that I did the right thing.

GOD OVERLOOKS THE TIME OF IGNORANCE

  • When Paul went to Athens, he found the Athenians to be very religious people.
  • They even erected an altar to an unknown god.
  • Paul commanded them for their zeal and told them.
  • Ac 17:30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
  • God is waiting for you and I to share the truth with all are in ignorance.

THE CASE OF SODOM

  • The Bible tells us that the people of Sodom were exceedingly wicked, and we see plenty of evidence of that.
  • Although God had to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with fire, but it was just a desperate measure to prevent the rapid spread of their iniquity.
  • When Jesus was on earth, He surprisingly said something positive about Sodom:
  • Mt 11:23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
  • Meaning, they would have repented and be spared of the judgment of God.
  • God knows that the biggest problem with mankind is ignorance.
  • If they only knew better.
  • If they were only exposed with the truth, repentance would have been produced in them.

THE CASE OF NINEVEH

  • When God sent Jonah to Nineveh, the prophet refused to go initially.
  • He wanted the people of Nineveh to remain in their sins so that they could attract the judgment of God upon them.
  • Against his wishes, Jonah found himself in Nineveh by a submarine UBER.
  • The ride was not all that comfortable.
  • I am not sure the fish got a good rating from Jonah the rider, but anyway, the ride reached its destination in the span of three days.
  • Jonah’s message was simple and direct. “Prepare to die in 40 days.”
  • The message that was not intended to produce any repentance broke the record.
  • Jonah was the first prophet who ever got a 100% response.
  • His message produced a national repentance.
  • The prophet was more worried about his reputation as a prophet than the impact his message had upon the people.
  • In the 40 days mark, Jonah hung around nearby the city to watch the show.
  • When Jonah saw that God refrained Himself from destroying Nineveh, the prophet got really mad at God and wanted to die.
  • God told Jonah something that caught my attention in line with this message.
  • Jon 4:1 ¶ But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.
  •  2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.
  •  3 “Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”
  •  4 Then the LORD said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
  • Jonah 4:9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”
  •  10 But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.
  •  11 “And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left-and much livestock?”
  • The people of Nineveh had no concepts of God, that’s why they persisted in their sins.
  • Once they realized that they were in God’s radar for an imminent judgment, they quickly repented and humbled themselves before God.
  • God has a rule that works for all sinners.
  • 1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • God is no respecter of person, the people of Nineveh were wise in their effort to appease God’s wrath against them and it worked.

GOD IS COUNTING ON US CHRISTIANS TO BRING THIS WORLD OUT OF IGNORANCE

  • Many are waiting for God to bring judgment on our present generation for their wickedness.
  • Very few Christians sense the burden to reach the unsaved with the message of salvation. 
  • Many Christians are living in a pseudo reality, thinking that, somehow, the people in this world will start behaving better without the influence of the Gospel.
  • God pities this generation for they simply do not know what they do and no one care to tell them the truth.
  • Those of us, who know the truth and have kept it captive must be aware that the judgment of God is near.
  • Those who were once enlightened with the truth of the Gospel and have allowed the enemy to snatch it from them are responsible for the poor spiritual state of this world.

FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO

  • Lu 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
  • This forgiveness that Jesus called for also applies in our interactions with one another.
  • Forgiveness to others is an obligation for all Christians.
  • God’s forgiveness toward his children is proportionate to the degree that we are willing to forgive others.
  • To forgive is to relinquish the right to retaliate against those who wronged us.
  • To forgive is to release our offenders from the prison of our heart.
  • To forgive is to free oneself from the grips of rage, bitterness, hate and vengeance.
  • I invite you to empty your prison right now and let go of all your prisoners and let God take control over the situation.
  • Without condoning the wrong that each person did to you, try to understand that they too might have been victims of some serious offenses.
  • It is said: “Hurt people hurt people,”
  • Jesus said Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do.
  • Many people are acting under some negative influences.
  • Some of the wrongs influences could be insecurity, shame, hopelessness, abandonment, poverty, learning deficiency, rejection, fear, loneliness, a sense of worthlessness, physical and mental disabilities, etc.
  • You may be paying for what someone else did to them.
  • Some people were raised in broken homes and have never known serenity.
  • Some people are dragging the shame of the pitfalls of their family.
  • Some may tend to hurt in advance in fear of being hurt.
  • Some are using hostility as a mask to keep people away from them.
  • Some have loss all faith in humanity.

EXCUSE THEM AND THEN FORGIVE THEM

  • You need to formulate or imagine some excuses to help you forgive more quickly.
  • Remember that the people who are not covered under the blood of Christ are vulnerable to the promptings of the enemy.
  • Ask God for discernment to know when you are dealing with a person who is under demonic influence.
  • Jesus rebuked Peter saying, “Get the behind me Satan!”
  • Forgive them all and honestly ask God to forgive them as well.

CONCLUSION

FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO

  • God gave me this message as a revelation.
  • It just came out of my mouth out of the blue, and I knew in my spirit that this was the message for today.
  • Some of you like many Christians are dealing with the difficulty to forgive others.
  • Today, I want you to see your enemies from a different optic.
  • See them as victims also.
  • Remember that you are not always the victim but sometimes you are the villain.
  • Before the Holy God, we are all villains in need of forgiveness.
  • As a disciple of Christ, our job is to imitate our Master.
  • Jesus forgave all his aggressors and so must we.
  • The reason is “For they do not know what they do.”

AMEN!

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