Forgiveness

   The Kingdom of God can be summed up like this.  For years two young men were bitter enemies.  As children whenever they met foul language or blows were exchanged.  This continued until they were teens when one chose a life of crime and spent the majority of his teen years in jail.  The other later became a Christian and joined a local church.     One day as the young man was sitting in church his bitter rival walked into the sanctuary.  The enemy had been invited to church by one of the young ladies of the youth group.  They stared at each other throughout the service.  The young man slipped out of the church after service mad at God and the young lady for inviting his bitter rival.     Then the Holy Spirit spoke into his heart reminding him that just a few months before he was just like his enemy a sinner needing salvation.  His heart melted a little.  The following Friday both found themselves at youth group.  They kept their distance but no unpleasantries came about.  The following Sunday they both were again at church but something extra-ordinary happened the rival became a Christian.     The young man again slipped out of church mad at God.  "This will not do," he thought to himself.  "When he was not a Christian I could justify my feelings of hate but now that he is a brother in the Lord."  said the young man to the Lord.  Once again the Holy Spirit reminded him that his enemy now was a fellow believer.     The young man knew what he had to do.  That night before the service as his rival now brother in the Lord was sitting down the young man walked up to him.  With a wary look this new brother in the Lord look at him.  Before any encounter usually ended badly.  The young man extended his hand and said, "welcome to the family, let us leave the past in the past and start again."  They shook hands and a new friendship started built on forgiveness.