No video for this message- it’s a short one.
Just about everyone knows that when he was being nailed to the execution stake Yeshua asked God to “forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
When we pray for others it is called Intercession. Intercession is a good thing, and I believe it has shown itself to be a powerful means to bring corporate prayer to God’s throne, and that God will act upon it.
But what about interceding with God by asking that he forgive someone else’s sins? Doesn’t the bible tells us that we must each, individually, ask for forgiveness of our sins?
Wasn’t one of the arguments used against Yeshua during his ministry that he was forgiving the sins of others, which only God can do? Of course, Yeshua answered them by showing that he was authorized to forgive sin by healing the paraplegic man (Luke 5:17-26) and through other healings. But that was Yeshua…I am not him, and neither is anyone else reading this (well, maybe he is reading it but you know what I mean) so when we pray for others to have their sins forgiven, will God do that?
I don’t know for sure- after all, God can (and will) do whatever he wants to. On the other hand, he is restricted by his own rules and regulations. Therefore, I believe when we pray to God for him to forgive someone else’s sin(s), it may make God more willing to be merciful in his punishment of that person but I do not believe God will forgive anyone of their sins unless that person is repentant and asks for forgiveness.
As such, we should pray for God to open the eyes of the sinner, to send angels of mercy to the sinner to help him or her see the error of their ways, but I believe that praying to God to forgive someone’s sins when the person themself doesn’t care is useless.
Each of us will be held accountable for our actions and words when we come before the Lord on the Day of Judgement, and without Yeshua standing at our side we really have no chance. When we “eat sour grapes” it is our own teeth that will be “set on edge” (Ezekiel 18:2) so we need to go to God, individually, to ask for forgiveness. And we must be truly repentant (do T’Shuvah) when we ask God to forgive us.
I believe intercession is a wonderful thing, and I confess I am not compassionate or caring enough to intercede for others, but many are. It is a gift from God, and as such should be used carefully and with discernment.
When you want to ask God to come to the aid of a sinner, do so by asking for the sinner to be made aware of their sin and to be shown the pathway to forgiveness. That is what we can pray for, and then we must trust in God to take whatever actions are necessary to do that. Ultimately, though, we are each and every one of us personally accountable to God for our actions and words and, as such, must ask for forgiveness individually.
I believe by praying for someone who is a sinner to be shown the way to be forgiven is how we help that person find their salvation.