In Matthew 18.21-35 we read that Jesus tells Peter that we should forgive our fellow-man, not 7 times, but 70 x 7 times. 490 times. Most of us think He was probably not giving us an actual NUMBER, but… let’s do some math on this.
Jesus goes on to tell the story of a servant who owed the king a certain amount of money (10,000 talents) and then of another man who owed this man 100 pence. And how it angered the king when he forgave the 10,000 talents but the man went back and had no mercy on the one owing him 100 pence.
According to my Googling today it means that at today’s rate, the man owed the king $14,001,165,700. 14 BILLION Dollars. And the other man owed this man $15. That’s how big the difference was.
If we divide 14,001,164,700 by 15 we see that the king forgave 933,411,046 times the amount that he expected the servant to forgive.
So, now bear with me as I imagine that Jesus is the king, and we are the servants. This would mean that God will forgive us 933,411,046 times 490 times. Which comes out to 457,371,412,866 times. Yes. 457 BILLION, 371 MILLION, 412 THOUSAND and 866 times.
If we divide this by 365 it seems that He would forgive us once per day for 1,253,072,364 years.
Further dividing by 24 it seems that He would forgive us once per hour for 52,211,348 years.
Further dividing by 60, it seems that He would forgive us once per minute for 870,189 years.
We could divide by 60 again to see that He will forgive us once per second for 14,503 years.
If it takes you 2 seconds to say “oh God please forgive me” then you could just do that continually for 29 thousand years.
And, since you probably wont’ live much past 100 years old…. The point is that you don’t have time to run out. And how long does it take to sin?
By time time you’ve sinned, you’ve already gained another lifetime worth of forgiveness!
Now look - it’s worth nothing that God is not mocked! You can’t just “sin on purpose” because you know He wants to forgive you. But too many times I hear people actually sorry for their sin and worrying that maybe God is just tired of forgiving them. This post is for those worried people.
(Matt 18:21) Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
(Matt 18:22) Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
(Matt 18:23) Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, who would take account of his servants.
(Matt 18:24) And when he had begun the reckoning, one was brought unto him, who owed him ten thousand talents.
(Matt 18:25) But since he had nothing to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
(Matt 18:26) The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
(Matt 18:27) Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and released him, and forgave him the debt.
(Matt 18:28) But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what you owe.
(Matt 18:29) And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
(Matt 18:30) And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
(Matt 18:31) So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
(Matt 18:32) Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired me:
(Matt 18:33) Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?
(Matt 18:34) And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
(Matt 18:35) So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.