Originally posted by stellspalfie
how far does gods forgiveness stretch? will he forgive anybody as longs they repent?
how does this translate to earthly doings of christians? are chrisftians expected to show forgiveness to anybody who repents. i guess what im asking is do churches have the right to ban people from attending if they have cause for concern, or if a person with a shady ...[text shortened]... hat has banned people?
has anybody been banned from a church (looking in your direction r.j.)
how does this translate to earthly doings of christians? are chrisftians expected to show forgiveness to anybody who repents. i guess what im asking is do churches have the right to ban people from attending if they have cause for concern, or if a person with a shady past says they have found god and have repented does the church have to take them by there words?
I have allowed a little time to digest the post on God's forgiveness. Shortly, I will take up the next section of your question.
You need to realize that there are FOUR classes (for lack of a better word) of forgiveness in the New Testament. In this post I will only outline for you these five distinct kinds of forgiveness. (Maybe there is a fifth. I cannot recall it now).
When you realize how fogiveness is used in the Bible along these four species, you can not be confused about various mentions of forgiveness.
1.) Forgiveness unto eternal redemption.
This is the forgiveness which results in the believer obtaining eternal life as a irrevocable gift
. My post above was only focused on this first class of God's forgiveness.
This is a verticle forgiveness between the human and God in Christ alone. Only God can bestow this forgiveness unto eternal redemption to God.
2.) Forgiveness for maintaining daily fellowship with God
. This is not related to all the sinner's past sins. This is related to the ever encreasing enlightement in the believer, of the way he still lives which causes some interruption in the moment by moment fellowship between him and God.
Though my past has been eradicated. I now embark on my daily communion with God - a moment by moment spiritual walk. As I grow I become more and more aware of things in my living which need confession before God, forgivenss for restored and smooth continued fellowship between God and man.
3.) Forgiveness of the local church toward a fellow Christian
. This is the forgiveness related to the second class. It is more horizontal. Offenses against the church may be forgiven. The previous verticle forgivenss was to maintain smooth continued moment by moment fellowship with the Father in our daily walk. This horizontal forgiveness is for smooth and continued fellowship between believer and believer for a practical unity.
The church cannot determine to take away anyone's eternal redemption. The pope cannot determine that a person is not eternally forgiven. And no Christian can take away the eternal redemption Christ has bestowed by any
form of church discipline.
The assembly may, however, forgive behavior that damages the peaceful churching life of its members.
4.) Forgivness related to dispensational reward or discipline
. This forgiveness is related to the believers reward or discipline during the 1,000 year millennial kingdom immediately following the second coming of Christ.
Notice that in #2 it is understood that a man confess his sins in order to be forgiven for continuous fellowship. But suppose I as a Christian never confess a certain sin which God has brought to light in my living.
I must confess sometime. And if I do not confess and forsake that behavior in the age of grace there is the possibility that I will be disciplined during the 1,000 year kingdom. There is a forgivness related to the reward or punishment of believers not in eternity, but during the 1,000 year millennial kingdom.
Examples of these different classes of forgiveness can be provided from the Bible. And studied carefully there should be no confusion. But this I need to write before I would directly address your questions about church discipline etc.