Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 7 July 2021
Page 5

Ananias and Forgiveness

Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorterChristians talk a great deal about the forgiveness of God. Christians are thankful for the forgiveness of God. We understand that God is willing to forgive us of all our sins if we repent and obey Him. He is willing to love us and give us a multitude of spiritual blessings if we will turn from our sins. He no longer holds us guilty of our past sins when we are forgiven.

Christians strive to be just as forgiving as God. We are to be long suffering towards those who desire to live for God. We strive to forget past wrongs toward us and others, as well as to embrace new Christians.

Ananias demonstrated proper forgiveness. He was contacted by God in Acts 9 to go and to preach to Saul about conversion to Christ; Saul was known as the great persecutor of Christians. He was in Damascus to find and to imprison Christians. Ananias was hesitant, but God assured him that Saul was turning from his past actions; he desired to do what was right. So, Ananias went and told him what to do to become a Christian.

That was impressive enough, but in verse 19, we find that Ananias was now willing to eat with Saul. When one understands how intimate the action of eating with someone was to a first century Christian, one understands how important it was that we are told that Ananias was willing to eat with Saul. This shows acceptance. This shows love. This shows that Ananias did accept Saul as a brother in Christ.

Ananias took it further. He was willing to listen to Saul preach. It would have been easy for Ananias to get haughty and believe that since he had converted Saul that Saul should be the one listening to him teach and preach. It would have been easy for Ananias to get jealous of the position that Saul was taking in the church. It would have been easy for him to attempt to undermine Saul’s teaching by murmuring about Saul’s past evil actions. Yet, Ananias had forgiven Saul.

Finally, Ananias was willing to help Saul escape from being killed (v. 25). It would have been easy to get rid of an upstart new Christian just by allowing enemies of the church to kill him. However, Ananias had forgiven Saul and desired for him to be able to continue to serve God in whatever capacity God desired. Ananias would not allow evil personal thoughts to hinder preaching by Saul.

Be like Ananias. Be willing to forgive those who have done evil in the past but now are willing to live for Christ. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

A Much Better Place

David Myers

Several years ago, I was talking with a member of the church about the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I remember how grateful I was to be able to be in such a beautiful place that dazzled the senses. It was wonderful to get up in the morning and start our hike among the mountain flowers and trees all around us that were changing their colors. There were times during the hike that we would just stop and absorb the beauty and many fragrances. Thinking about all that beauty brings to mind a faint glimpse of Heaven’s glory.

A Much Better Place

After our hike, we all stood outside our cabin, looking at the Georgia mountains in the distance. What an overwhelming spectacle that was! Just a glimpse of Heaven’s glory!

A Much Better Place

Our Savior assured His apostles that He would return to His Father and His eternal home to prepare a place of such beauty and splendor that nothing on earth can compare with it.

A Much Better Place

Are you ready and prepared to go to such a better place called Heaven? Have you obeyed God’s plan of salvation? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24, 31-32)? Are you willing to repent of your sins and turn to God (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30-31; 2:38; 18:8)? Will you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died, was buried and resurrected from the dead (Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10)? Are you willing to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 18:8; 1 Peter 3:21)?

If you are willing to obey the Lord, trust in His atoning death on the cross and obey His will, one day He will welcome you into that glorious beauty and eternal joy.

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