I hear the statement made by people over and over again, “I was hurt by…” Sometimes it was a family member, sometimes it was a teacher, sometimes it is a church or someone in a church, sometimes it is a spouse. But the statement is made as an excuse why they no longer talk to certain people, go to family events, or go to church. The people I hear this from say it like their choice to boycott certain people, or groups of people is somehow a punishment they are giving out for being treated in such a way. JBC has had a radio program for years that is the preaching of myself and Mike Dedera, and I get feedback from people who listen faithfully almost every day to the program. Many times I find out in conversation with them that the program is their church. When I ask why they don’t attend a real church I hear it again, “I was hurt by the church …” What all those people are saying is that they have chosen not to forgive someone for an offense committed against them. When any individual chooses not to forgive another person for the wrongs done against them, the consequences that come into their life from God are enormous. In Matthew Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus says, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” That is a pretty black and white statement made by the one who has the power to send anyone to hell forever. I have asked people regularly, “have you ever thought about the consequences of God not forgiving you of your sins”. We are in the Christmas season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God becoming man, so that we could be forgiven of our sins and live with God for all eternity. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus makes one of the saddest statements in the Bible, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter……then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me”. Can you imagine the shock of the person who hears that statement , “depart from Me” . We don’t forgive others because they deserve to be forgiven, we don’t forgive others because they have paid their penance to us, we forgive others for one legitimate reason, because God has forgiven us of everything we have ever done because we have asked Him to, and because He paid for our sins completely, on the cross.