God’s di­vine na­ture of for­give­ness

AF­TER Pas­tor Adian Mumba’s The Fam­ily is Un­der At­tack pre­sen­ta­tion, the man of God fol­lowed up with a ser­mon on for­give­ness.

The Manica Post - - Health / Faith - Mor­ris Mtisi Post Cor­re­spon­dent

THE SDA fam­ily-life pas­tor and evan­ge­list em­pha­sised the need to know that for ev­ery chal­lenge and problem mankind ex­pe­ri­enced, God had a so­lu­tion. For fam­i­lies un­der at­tack and suf­fer­ing from lack of love, cheat­ing, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and other forms of mat­ri­mo­nial ag­o­nies and men­aces, for­give­ness was key . . . not ret­ri­bu­tion and fight­ing. And Pas­tor Mumba was on hor­i­zon­tal for­give­ness be­tween wife and hus­band, im­ply­ing quite the same even be­tween man and man.

Then Pas­tor Ma­somere fol­lowed with a deeply in­trigu­ing and dis­turbingly true per­cep­tion of God’s for­give­ness.

All this hap­pened and hap­pens ev­ery Thurs­day at 9pm on the ASI Ra­dio Min­istries spon­sored pro­gramme, The Bi­ble Speaks.

“Some peo­ple go to church and wor­ship God, not be­cause they love Him, but be­cause they fear Him. Whether they are aware of it or not, they per­ceive God as one in­tol­er­ant, tough, cruel and non-for­giv­ing. They are afraid of Him,” said Pas­tor Ma­somere.

“Ro­mans Chap­ter 5 vs 6 to 8 says, Je­sus died for peo­ple who didn’t know God or Je­sus him­self. God’s love has noth­ing to do with our knowl­edge or love of Him. (Read­ing> ‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still pow­er­less, Christ died for the un­godly . . . while we were still sin­ners, Christ died for us.’) God’s love was ex­hib­ited in Je­sus’ com­ing to die for us not be­cause we were good boys and girls. So He (God) is for­giv­ing even if we don’t love Him. What more if we also love Him? Re­mem­ber, the pas­tor gave an illustration, “. . . be­fore you tell some­one that you love him or her, that love is use­less, un­til you tell him or her. That way only, can a re­la­tion­ship be built! God there­fore cares. He loves you. He for­gives. But you ought to tell Him.”

Jeremiah Chap­ter 29 vs 11: (Read­ing> ‘For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to pros­per you and not to harm you . . . to give you hope and a fu­ture . . . ” Why then do Chris­tians say, ‘God has done His will’ all the time they are in pain, in some chal­lenge, are in fear or trou­ble: a death, a road ac­ci­dent, may be a house break etc? Pas­tor Ma­somere said this is be­cause they have no trust in God. They sus­pect He is be­hind ev­ery atroc­ity.

“But,” he asked, “Where is the devil when all this is hap­pen­ing? Is Satan fold­ing his hands watch­ing in piti­ful sagac­ity? Clearly Chris­tians ex­on­er­ate the devil and ac­cuse God. They de­clare God ‘Guilty!’ and Satan ‘Not guilty! For many Chris­tians by de­fault or on pur­pose, Satan has a bad name only, but is not in­volved in our pains and calami­ties. He is not in­volved in peo­ple’s tears and suf­fer­ing. But he is in all of it. Satan is there in the drama of mankind’s suf­fer­ing and cry­ing. But we Chris­tians, of all peo­ple, hold God ac­count­able: “Ah Mwari vaita kuda kwavo!” Even when Satan per­forms and acts, we hold God ac­count­able and ac­cuse Him.

“Let the Bi­ble speak to you on this,” said Pas­tor Ma­somere. “Chap­ter 1 verse 18 of Isa­iah speaks God’s plea and as­sur­ance: ‘Come now, let us rea­son to­gether . . . Though your sins are like scar­let, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crim­son, they shall be like wool . . .’ God for­gives the worst of sins. Some Chris­tians think some sins are be­yond God’s tol­er­ance and are un­for­giv­able. But here He is invit­ing you to come . . .

“Our problem how­ever,” the good pas­tor added, “. . . is that in­stead of go­ing to God who has in­vited us, we go to peo­ple, our fam­ily, our friends, our pas­tor, our prophet, our Papa. And what do we get from them? ‘Go away . . . and don’t sin again!’ Only God can for­give, not you friends, mu­fun­disi or prophet. The Bi­ble speaks here: “Come to me, all you who are weary and bur­dened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gen­tle and hum­ble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls . . . (Matthew Chap­ter 11 verses 28 and 29)

But you need to do some­thing. Con­fess your sins! To God, not to peo­ple! God does not take de­light in ex­pos­ing sin­ners, dis­grac­ing them, de­bas­ing them. (ku­fu­mura vatadzi). ‘If we con­fess our sins, He is faith­ful and just. He will for­give our sins and pu­rify us . . .’

“Why mankind, we, ac­cuse God all the time and seem to think God is our tor­men­tor who has no ears to hear, is be­cause sin sep­a­rated us from God’s eyes and ears: Isa­iah 59 vs 2 ‘. . . but your in­iq­ui­ties have sep­a­rated you from your God: your sins have hid­den His face from you, so that He will not hear . . . yet the Bi­ble speaks 59 vs 1, ‘Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear . . .’

The Rusape-based SDA pas­tor said, singing well in church, even if you sing like a nightin­gale, will not make God for­get or for­give your sin: not even if you play the drum like you were born play­ing drums, or dance like David who danced un­til the mother com­plained . . . you can do ev­ery­thing so well and so en­er­get­i­cally that you sweat from mouth and nose, God will not for­get and for­give you. “There is only one way,” said the ra­dio preacher. “Con­fess the sin to Him who for­gives! You need to stand up on your feet con­fess­ing or go down on your knees and con­fess. Tell your God, your Cre­ator and Maker, your sin . . . tell Him you are sorry and wish to be for­given. He will for­give. Why? He said so. It is that sim­ple.”

“Wa­ter does not cleanse sins. No dreamer or prophet can for­give sin. No amount of do­ing­good to­day can be good enough to deal with yes­ter­day’s sins. No amount of do­ing God’s will to­day, can delete yes­ter­day’s sins. No to­day’s right­eous­ness can en­gage God’s for­give­ness gear if you sinned yes­ter­day. You can­not say be­cause I’ve done well to­day, my yes­ter­day sins are au­to­mat­i­cally for­given. It does not hap­pen that way.”

Ended the good pas­tor: “We have many sins we think were for­given be­cause we told peo­ple . . . our bish­ops, pas­tors, our el­ders, our friends, our so-called prophets and prophetesses . . . our Papa even! Alas, they are not. All these good peo­ple can­not do any­thing to for­give you. Only God can for­give sin.”

ASI Ra­dio Min­istries in­vites more lis­ten­ers to tune in to The Bi­ble Speaks ev­ery Thurs­day night at 9pm. It is God’s space to speak the di­vine truth. It is time ra­dio be­comes church for 30 min­utes and more than church in the con­text of ra­dio’s abil­ity to reach out to tens of hun­dreds or thou­sands at the same time, both al­ready Chris­tian and those await­ing Je­sus to be their Saviour.

Church to­day is ra­dio and tele­vi­sion and other so­cial plat­forms be­cause that is where the peo­ple are.

While some churches con­tinue to preach and spir­i­tu­ally ser­vice their few friends and loved ones in the con­fines of their church walls (and that too is very good), oth­ers have em­braced tech­nol­ogy and the me­dia to stand up for Je­sus. ASI Ra­dio Min­istries which spon­sors The Bi­ble Speaks on air on Di­a­mond FM Ra­dio is one such model of 21st cen­tury evan­ge­lism.

May God con­tinue to pros­per this mis­sion and bless the pas­tors and or­gan­is­ers of this great mod­ern util­ity ra­dio-evan­ge­lism!

Un­til we meet again on Mat­ters of Faith, let us re­mem­ber to pray each in our lit­tle worlds and work places to do what we can for Je­sus . . . ev­ery day, and not just on Sab­bath day.

Re­mem­ber also, that gen­uine prayer is not what you say when your eyes are shut, but what you do and how you live your life af­ter the ‘Amen’ and when your eyes are open.

Pas­tor Ma­somere and Mrs Mun­yaradzi Mavuku on the ra­dio pro­gramme — The Bi­ble Speaks.

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