Question 1.

Forgiveness figures prominently in the passages from the Bible. Jesus compared God to the angry king who revoked his forgiveness and threw the once-forgiven servant into jail. Can God really revoke his forgiveness and still be fair? Jesus warned, “So my Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother from the heart.” But does threatening help a person to forgive?

Jessica’s Response– I think that God can revoke His forgiveness and still be fair.  As stated in Matthew 18:35, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”  God wants us to repent and accept Him as our Savior.  He created us in His likeness and He offers forgiveness freely to all who repent.  That is the key, repentance.  This lesson is taught from the beginning.  How can we expect God to forgive us if we cannot forgive?  Just as in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:12, “and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”  We are to understand that to be forgiven means to forgive.  I do think that threatening helps a person to understand the importance of forgiveness.  I do not think God is threatening us with malicious intent, but begging us to forgive others so that He can open the gates of heaven to us when our time on earth is done.  To say to a sinner that if we are unable to forgive our brother or sister for their ill will towards us means that God will do to us what we have been unable to forgive is so powerful.  God knows all whether seen or unseen, He knows our hearts.  He wants us to understand that we cannot hide from Him and He wants us to be able to truly forgive others.  We are habitual sinners, all of us.  After all, God sent His son to die for all of our sins before we were even formed.  His son paid the ultimate price for sins we had yet to commit, and He forgave us.  How can we deny forgiveness to a brother or sister, whom we know and love?

Question 2.“Workers in the Vineyard” is a very disturbing parable of Jesus, perhaps offensive to some people. Would you want to work for this farmer who paid everyone the same wage regardless of how long they worked? What would be your reaction if in the end the instructor gave every student an A for this course? Most of us are employees in hospitals, clinics or other health care facilities. On what basis should the amount we get paid be made: Seniority? Performance? Percentage of income generated? Level of responsibility? Anything else?

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