The Lord Of Forgiveness

Jesus is the Master of forgiveness and the transformed life. Are you honoring God by your actions on His day?

Scripture: Mark 1-3


Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Oh, I trust so. Bless your heart.

Well, we finished Mark and I decided just to tiptoe a little bit through the chapters, by way of summary, before we leave it, finally, for another passage in the Word of God. Chapter One introduced us to the basic message of the Lord Jesus, “The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye and believe the gospel.” He introduced us to the basic business of the Christian, “Come ye after me and I’ll make you to become fishers of men.” Go over into Chapter two and you’ll find that the Lord Jesus is the master of forgiveness. Verses 1-11, “He is the master of transformed life,” Levi the son of Alphaeus. He is the master of the lifestyle, which involves fasting and all of that. And then, it says, “He’s the master, also of the Lord’s day. The Son of Man is Lord, also of the Sabbath. Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” God isn’t interested in the slavish keeping of rules. He is interested in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of all. And that means, He must be Lord of your life, and of mine.

Interestingly enough, the Lord Jesus said, “You can’t heal this man and you can’t forgive sins either way.” But He says, “I want you to know that I can forgive sins, so I’ll do something else that you can’t do, I’ll heal him.” And so he said to the sick man, “In order that you may know,” He said to them that, “the Son of Man has power on Earth to forgive sins.” He said, “I’m gonna do this.” And He said to the sick man, “Arise. Take up your pallet that you’re lying on and go your way into your house.” Immediately, he arose, took up the pallet, and went forth before them all. They were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “They never saw anything like this.” The Lord Jesus is the Lord of forgiveness.

This is something that needs to be remembered in these days, I think. Many of us are heartsick over the failures of people in high places, not only religious people, but political people, as well, have stumbled and fallen. And it makes you sick at heart, doesn’t it? Well, let’s just remember that, “There is forgiveness with Thee,” the Bible says, “That thou mayest be feared.”

You and I need to pray earnestly for those who’ve stumbled and fallen. We need to pray that God will restore them and forgive them. And in our own hearts, as Jesus reminded us, we also need to forgive them. “When you stand praying,” the Lord Jesus said, “Forgive, if ye have ought against any, in order that your Heavenly Father may forgive you your trespasses… If you do not, from your heart, forgive every man his trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.” This is the Word of the Lord Jesus.

Forgiveness is something that you and I must face, if we’re going to talk with God. He’s the Lord of forgiveness. Am I talking to somebody that’s stumbled, and fallen, and failed, and you’re saying sadly, “Well, I’ve blown it. No chance for me. It’s all over?” Beloved, it isn’t all over. Like Yogi Berra says, “It isn’t over ’til it’s over.” And you have the blessed opportunity of turning heavenward, even this instant, and saying, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, and forgive my sins, and cleanse my heart, and give me a new touch.” He will. He will, dear brother, dear sister. Yes, He will.

And if you’ve never asked God to save you, if you’re unsaved today, just remember the Bible says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Walter Kallenbach, the famous evangelist, who was a famous jazz trumpeter before he was saved, he had to learn that the hard way. He was involved in a hunting accident and both of his eyes were shot out. And when he came to in the hospital, all he could remember, in the blinding blur of pain, and the haze of suffering, and the realization that he had bandages all over his face… Not realizing, even then, that he was blind for the rest of his life. He did remember, he told me, he did remember what the old minister had said to him, “Walter, you don’t think you need Jesus now, but someday you will need Him. You’ll know you need Him. And when you do, just say, ‘Jesus, Jesus save me.’ And He will, because, ‘Whosoever,’ the Bible says, ‘Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ”

And Dr Walter Kallenbach, that jazz trumpeter, who was to become a famous evangelist, there as he lay in the hospital bed, he spoke aloud. He didn’t know if anybody was there, but he spoke aloud and he said, “Jesus, Jesus save me.” And when he told me that story years later, as he sat in my home, turned those sightless eyes toward me, and his face lit up in a smile, he said, “You know, Brother Bob, He did.” If I’m talking to somebody, that has never asked God to save you, do it now. Call, He’ll answer. Open your heart, He’ll come in.

Well, we’re looking at the Book of Mark, just hitting the high spots and we come into that Third Chapter. And one of the great questions that the Lord Jesus asked was, “Is it right to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil, to save life, or to kill?” They were watching Him to see whether he would keep their rules.

Let me say to you again, slavish devotion to some rule is not gonna save you or make you a better Christian. You may just end up being a very effective hypocrite. And, well, they didn’t answer Him. So He said to this man, who had the withered hand, He said, “Stretch forth thine hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was healed. The question is this, are you giving any thought to serving God, especially on His day? Are you? Now, you may be one of our Seventh Day Adventist friends. For you, you especially observe Saturday as your day of worship and that’s alright. I have no quarrel whatsoever with you. I have so many dear friends of that particular persuasion and missionaries all over the world, who are doing such a good job. You may also belong to the larger group of evangelicals, who observe what we call the Lord’s Day, the first day, where the disciples gather together on the first day. And Paul said, “Take up your offerings on the first day,” and so on.

We celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus on the first day of the week, Sunday. However that may be, we’re not gonna argue about it. And please don’t write to me, and quarrel with me about it. If you have a deep conviction, one way or another, well, enjoy it. But be sure you’re serving the Lord. My point is, Jesus went over the special rule-keeping prejudices of the people who were watching him critically. He said, “The thing that really counts, is to do good and to save life.” That’s what He was telling them. So I wanna ask you something, whatever your particular belief about one day in seven may be, are you really honoring your Lord in a very special way? It seems to me that the observance of God’s day has fallen into something of disuse and disrepute in the last some decades. I remember when Sunday was a day when you really tried to honor God. It was a day when you didn’t engage in worldly pursuits. It was a day when you did something special. My father, bless him, was a wise man, not highly educated, but a very fine practicing psychologist. As I look back on some of the things he did, and some of the things he taught me, and so as a young high school lad, Sunday afternoon could very well be a time of grumbling, because I wouldn’t be allowed to go out, and do some of the things that one might do on a weekday.

And you know what he did? He said, “Come on, boy, let’s go over to Rossford and give out Sunday School papers.” He always subscribed to what was then known as the ‘Sunday School Times.’ That was a very excellent weekly paper, that has now folded some years ago. And people do miss it. I know I do. But in those days, he subscribed for it by the bundle. He would get 50 or 100 of them delivered, and then he would get on his bicycle, and I’d get on mine, and we would ride five or 10 miles out into some of the outlying areas of Toledo, Ohio. Rossford was one of them. And that’s where he met my darling mother. They were married and established their home there during the first years of their marriage. But he had a lot of friends then and acquaintances. And he would go from house to house, and deliver these Sunday School papers. And I would have a chance to talk, and play with some of the kids along the way, and we’d make a good afternoon of it, and come home happy, and tired. He did something special to honor God, and at the same time, provided his teenage boy with a pretty good outlet for that extra energy.

All I’m asking is this, do you do anything special to honor the Lord on His day? Oh, I know we’re supposed to serve Him all week long and I know many of you do. That isn’t the point I’m raising now. I’m raising this point, do you do something special to honor your Lord and to help others? See, Jesus talked about doing good and saving life. Do you do anything special to help others on God’s day? Something to think about, maybe. Wouldn’t you agree? Well, that was Chapter Three of Mark. The end of that chapter gives a tremendous principle that you and I must never forget. The multitude has sat about Him. He was in a house and the place was jammed with people. And they said, “Behold thy mother and thy brother, they’re outside, and they are looking for you.” He said, “Behold… ” He looked around about on them which sat about him and said, “Behold, my mother and my brethren, for whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, my sister, and my mother.” What was He saying? Human relationships pale into insignificance, beside that relationship which will never fall apart, your relationship with Almighty God. “Whosoever shall do the will of God.”

John the Apostle said, “The world passeth away and the desires thereof, but he that doeth the will of God, abideth forever.” Our Lord Jesus enunciated this principle. When they were saying, “Hey, your family’s looking for you,” He said, “My family are those who obey God.” The writer to the Hebrews says, “For this cause, He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Jesus isn’t ashamed to own up to the fact that you belong to His family. How do you get to the place where He’s not ashamed to call you His brother or sister? You get to that place by obeying God. It’s that simple. Now, every one of you listening to my voice this minute knows, at least, one thing that you ought to do today to obey God. Isn’t that true? There is, at least, one thing on the agenda, that has never been taken care of, which you know you ought to do, if you’re gonna obey God. Now, if you really want to be close to Jesus and you really wanna know that He is proud to own you as a member of his family, start obeying God in that matter. You’d be surprised at how it will enrich your relationship with the Savior.

Dear Father, today, oh, wilt Thou work in our lives Thy perfect will and grant to us, to honor Thee, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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