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Forgiveness, the Answer to War

This title may sound simplistic but it is being spoken by Stephen Khoury, a minister of God in the streets of Jerusalem.

Did you know that forgiveness is taught in Christianity, Judaism and Islam?  All three religions require a vocal confession of sin, Godly sorrow, repentance, and reparation. Has forgiveness disappeared in our lifetime?

 I would like to make three points on forgiveness.

The first point: parents teach your children the Ten Commandments. Teach them what is right and wrong in God’s eyes not the world’s eyes.  Teach them to memorize the commandments and teach in depth the sins each commandment covers.  Recently, while at work, I discovered in silent horror that the adults of a younger generation no longer consider fornication and adultery as sin.  It falls under their right to be happy.

Teach the children that God is love and that He actually spoke the words of the Ten Commandments to each man, woman and child at the foot of Mt. Sinai.  God forgives their sin and remembers it no more, in order for them to clean and free and happy… Only then, when they know what sin is, will they be able to receive forgiveness and give it to others.  It would be a great idea to act out with the children the events of Ex.19 and 20.  Include the blowing of the shofar through which all the people heard the Voice of God.

Do not wait for the Church to do this teaching or it may not happen. I am not saying this to offend but for all of us to wake up and realize how long it has been since we have heard the words sin, forgiveness and the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all our sin in our churches.

How do parents teach forgiveness?  They live it.  Would divorce be a thing of the past, if mothers and fathers walked in forgiveness, if they forgave each other seventy times seven, because God first forgave them?  What If parents spoke the words, “I am sorry,” to each other and to the children every day?

Would children’s self condemnation and rebellion disappear, if instead of them carrying weapons and the burdens of guilt and anger, they knew to go to Jesus and say, “I am sorry,” and be forgiven?

My second point is an example of someone who forgives.  In Israel, I met Stephen Khoury, a Palestinian Christian pastor, living under horrific conditions of persecution from his own Arab people. In spite of this, Khoury boldly speaks out that forgiveness is the only way to bring peace in the Middle East.  Khoury is like a prophet of old standing in the streets of Jerusalem, except that he is crying out a NEW message; that it is the Messiah Jesus “the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world” who has come to us as the Prince of Peace.

My third point is to ask the questions, “Has the knowledge of forgiveness disappeared in our land in our own time? Is it no longer in vogue?  Has psychology replaced it?  Have we renamed sin a disease?  Does a drug cover our sin? Does it take only one generation for the knowledge of God to disappear?

Is this the cause of all turmoil around the world?   It appears so.   In the world it appears that the knowledge of sin has disappeared and therefore so has the God of forgiveness. 

The good news is that the God of forgiveness is only a breath away.

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