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Freedom Conference (2 of 4)

Mike Connell

So for example if Jurgen said to me hey Mike, look I just damaged something of yours and it's just broken. I hope you don't mind - and I say yeah, yeah, no problem at all. Now you notice I haven't actually asked what it was. I haven't discovered what it was that he did, so then I say oh by the way, what was it? And he says oh it was just nothing, it was that pen you left me, I broke it. I say oh, it's nothing, don't worry about it. Notice it's a little thing that's of no consequence or impact on me - but what if he said well you know you let me have your house to live in. We had a bit of a fire and it's burnt to the ground ... [Laughter] ... and there's no insurance because we weren't supposed to be there. Now I'm dealing with a different issue. Now what is different about it? The difference is the impact on me, so the impact on me has to be considered when processing forgiveness, and one of the problems people get stuck in as Christians, we kind of know you've got to forgive - you know and there's scripture there that says when you stand, pray and forgive, you offend against anyone, you forgive them. If you don't forgive them your Father won't forgive you and you see that and oh blow, I've got to forgive and I don't want to forgive! Oh in Jesus' name I forgive. ... [Laughter] ... but it's not coming from the heart.

The heart is still angry. The heart is functioning under law and it's not functioning under grace so it's not free when it's like that, and so many Christians are stuck and they say I've forgiven it, I've moved on - and actually you can tell from the tone of voice they haven't moved on at all. ... [Laughter] ... They're still stuck way back there and they're still very upset and angry and still reacting just like they were, like it's still alive inside them. The only thing that's changed is they've denied that they've got an issue ... [Laughter] ... but everyone else can see it you know? Everyone can see it - and the problem is they think that they've forgiven because they said I forgive in Jesus' name. But that didn't do it because in Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus makes a very - now I want you just to read this just quickly with me - Matthew, Chapter 18, and it's the story of the person - how many times should I forgive? You remember this story very well. It's about the servant who was forgiven much and forgiven millions and millions and tens of millions of dollars he was forgiven - equivalent to tens of millions of dollars - and he was forgiven because the master was moved with compassion towards him.

So because of compassion - not because he deserved it - because of the master's compassion, because he's compassionate, he released him. So he gave grace that flowed out of love and compassion, okay? Now the guy goes out and meets someone who owes him just a few bucks and then he begins to throttle him and says pay what you owe. The guy pleads with him and there's no compassion and so he judges him and puts him into prison and it comes to the master's ears and the master's told about this and notice what it says - the master - Verse 34 - was very angry. Why was he so angry? Notice it says in this, Verse 33; Should you have had compassion on your fellow servant as I had compassion on you.

So here's the deal. God has compassion, because He's compassionate He forgives us not because we deserve it but because He's compassionate and that is called grace. But if you want to stay in grace you have to extend grace to others, so what He expected was that He would extend the grace he'd received to others, not sit on the little offences he had and so what happens then, it says the master was angry - notice this - he delivered him to the torturers - whatever that means. It doesn't sound nice does it? You think of - chained in there and your fingernails being torn off ... [Laughter] ... feet burned and all that kind of thing. I mean it's torturous. ... [Laughter] ... I know it's a sensitive topic in America but there it is - torturous. I don't think it's just water torture either you know? They really knew how to do it in those days. ... [Laughter] ... See - until he should pay everything that was due so they're just torturing him to extract what's owing. See, he's come under law. Come under law - has to pay what's due see?

Now we all know that parable but here's the punch line that's really hard to walk away from. He said so shall my heavenly Father do to you - what? I thought He was compassionate? He is, it's just for you to stay in his compassion you must live in compassion. Whoa! I just wanted to be forgiven. I don't necessarily want to forgive anyone else! I mean what they did was really bad. You wanna hear what they did - man, give me a few minutes to tell you. See, now you understand the heart hasn't got free at all and He says my Father will do to you if from your heart you don't forgive everyone each of his trespasses and they used the word 'trespasses' there - things or faults against us.