What did we learn from the recent FORGIVEN series? I like to ask questions like that to assess the effectiveness of what we are doing as a church. If we are having “God ideas” and teaching God’s word then lives should be changing. Evaluation is healthy and necessary to avoid the deception that dead religious organizations fall into.
Before we answer that questions let me say that I am personally so very thankful for Charlie & Judy Pucillo, Ted & Gayle Haggard, and Bill Morgan for sharing their triumphant stories of forgiving and being forgiven. Without them and their courage the series would never have had the impact upon the lives of so many.
What did we learn? Well, we learned that God could forgive our most heinous sins, that even an adulterer can be forgiven. We learned that liars, homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts, criminals, hypocrites, and yes, even fallen preachers could be forgiven. We heard from people who wore those labels like badges of honor.
Then came the hard part for most of us. We learned that we can and must forgive all sins against ourselves to be forgiven. We learned that with God’s help we can forgive an unfaithful spouse, a trusted loved-one who lied to us, a friend who betrayed us, a pastor who let our trust down, a parent who abandoned us and more! We heard that we can forgive a person who molested us when we were young. We can forgive rapists even when they have no remorse! Unbelievable, unthinkable, yet true and possible.
We learned that we can forgive God when He didn’t protect us the way we thought He would. We can forgive God when He let’s a parent go to heaven when they are way too young instead of healing them.
We learned that all things are possible with God, even unforgivable things being FORGIVEN.