The Church Hurt Me

The Church Hurt Me

Have you ever heard someone say: “the church hurt me?” or, maybe you were the one who felt hurt by the church. Knowing and understanding that the church is made up of imperfect people who gather together in an imperfect and fallen world provides a bit of perspective for when pain or injury occurs. Our challenge comes in what we do with that hurt.

In this message, we explored Paul’s teachings in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, as he challenges the church in Corinth with appropriate ways to handle hurt and sin within the church. Our challenge: Identify and lovingly confront, forgive, and allow for Christ to be glorified and Satan to be bound.

Understanding and accepting the forgiveness that was offered to us through Christ’s death on the cross, provides for us an example and reason for extending forgiveness to others.

Some have asked for a copy of the letter which I read at the conclusion of the service. I have included that letter here in hopes that you may share it with others who could use fresh perspective on forgiveness. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

A letter written to a man on death row, from the Father who’s son this man killed.

You are probably surprised that I, of all people, am writing a letter to you, but I ask you to read it in its entirety and consider its request seriously. As the Father of the man whom you took part in murdering, I have something very important to say to you.

I forgive you. With all my heart, I forgive you.

I realize it may be hard for you to believe, but I really do. At your trial, when you confessed to your part in the events that cost my Son his life and asked for my forgiveness, I immediately granted you that forgiving love from my heart. I can only hope you believe me and will accept my forgiveness.

But this is not all I have to say to you. I want to make you an offer — I want you to become my adopted child. You see, my Son who died was my only child, and I now want to share my life with you and leave my riches to you.

This may not make sense to you or anyone else, but I believe you are worth the offer. I have arranged matters so that if you will receive my offer of forgiveness, not only will you be pardoned for your crime, but you also will be set free from your imprisonment, and your sentence of death will be dismissed. At that point, you will become my adopted child and heir to all my riches.

I realize this is a risky offer for me to make to you — you might be tempted to reject my offer completely — but I make it to you without reservation. Also, I realize it may seem foolish to make such an offer to one who cost my Son his life, but I now have a great love and an unchangeable forgiveness in my heart for you.

Finally, you may be concerned that once you accept my offer you may do something to cause you to be denied your rights as an heir to my wealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I can forgive you for your part in my Son’s death, I can forgive you for anything.

I know you never will be perfect, but you do not have to be perfect to receive my offer. Besides, I believe that once you have accepted my offer and begin to experience the riches that will come to you from me, that your primary (though not always) response will be gratitude and loyalty.

Some would call me foolish for my offer to you, but I wish for you to call me your Father.

Sincerely,
The Father of Jesus

May you live in the freedom of forgiveness and grace!

~Scott Tilley

For Scriptures referenced during this message, check out:

There are many great resources on the topic of forgiveness to be found at www.CBD.com. One helpful resource is “The Gift of Forgiveness” by Charles Stanley.

Message Title: The Church Hurt Me
Series: When Good Churches Go Bad
Message Date: February 1, 2015
Speaker: Scott Tilley

 

 

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