If God does not forgive someone, why should I consider forgiving that person?
This is a very interesting question and seems completely logical. However, one needs to ask oneself: “Are there ever times when God does not forgive?”
Let us open God’s Scriptures to find the answer.
Eph 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” NIV
Col 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” NIV
Paul is quite clear not to be selective in our forgiveness. We are encouraged to “forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” and to “Forgive as the Lord forgave you”.
How willing was Jesus to forgive?
While hanging on the cross, He looked at His persecutors and said:
Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” NIV
That is love, true love! Looking into the eyes of His tormentors, He willingly forgave them!
Moreover, the apostle Paul encourages us to:
Col 3:14 “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” NIV
Love should be the reason to forgive. Love for God and love for one another! By this we are fulfilling Jesus’ desire:
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” NIV
In fact the whole gospel message is a message of reconciliation!
2 Cor 5:18-19 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” NIV
If God is so willing to forgive our awful, evil sins, how could we not forgive the sins that others have committed against us?
Is God willing to forgive anyone, or are there exceptions?
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” NIV
God loved “the world” so much, which includes you and me! The text does not say God loved the believers so much or He loved Christians so much. It says “God so loved the world” and that includes every human being on this planet, no matter of his upbringing, of his religion and of his social status. God is willing to forgive anyone, no matter his hideous sins!
When did God reconcile with us?
Rom 5:10 “When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…” NIV
Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” NIV
He reconciled with us when we were still God’s enemies! He loves us no matter what and went through great straights to procure us salvation!
Does God exclude His forgiveness from certain people?
1 Tim 2:3-4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” NIV
Far from it! His desire is for everyone to be saved! However He won’t force this decision on anyone. We have the choice to accept His offer or to reject it.
If I have been accused of speeding and I have to go to court, I have to face my consequences for breaking the law. If the judge in his leniency forgives my transgression, I am free to go. However if I turn my back on him and refuse his verdict, I will end up having to pay a hefty fine and possible prison.
The amazing thing is that God does forgive and Jesus willingly died in our place so that we could be forgiven, but people have the choice to reject His offer.
Our choice is to continue to live a life of unforgiveness and pursue our own sinful ways that leads us to a miserable bondage or turn to Jesus and accept His offer of forgiveness. Turn to Him now and accept His offer at Http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html
Remember that it is more rewarding to live a life imitating Christ, than leading a selfish, sinful one. If Christ forgives, which He always does, we should do the same!
Eph 5:1-2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” NIV
God is all forgiving. As long as we repent truly in our hearts for our sins. We need to forgive in order for our Father to forgive us.
Matthew 18:21-22 says; Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me. Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”
Luke 17:3,4 says So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
All throughout scripture it is told that we MUST repent in order to be forgiven. If one does not repent of his sins he is choosing death over life and will not gain the crown of glory in Heaven with our Father.
We must forgive in order for our sins to be forgiven. By forgiving someone, it is not blotting out the fact that they sinned and did wrong, but we are forgiving them as the Lord would forgive us in order for our own wrongs to be forgiven.
Repentance is key. We must be truly sorry for what we’ve done and turn away from our wrong doing and sin no more.
We are not the judge of others, the Lord is, and when the time comes HE will be the judge of all sins, not us. We are not to put ourselves in the place of the Lord and be judgmental.
We simply are to forgive. It’s very true that one can forgive but can’t forget. But by forgiving, we are freeing our soul to be forgiven of our own sins when we repent to our Father for them. We are freeing ourselves of the evil one taking control of us.
The answer is clearly found in the scriptures: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
When we forgive others, God forgives us and when God forgives us we are happy and blessed.
The verses below are but a few that give us direction as to our forgiveness of others. As for our Lord’s forgiveness, I think we should never put ourselves on God’s level. I have an obligation to forgive any and everyone that trespass against me and I must believe God will will make His decisions according to His Word to man.
Matthew 5:44-45 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mt 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:25-26 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
If God does not forgive someone, you should still consider forgiving that person because first of all you are not God; secondly, the person you are forgiving is your brothers or sisters in Jesus Christ. Lastly, when you forgive that person, you will find true happiness. If you don’t believe me then think about the people who hold grudges against others and do not forgive their brothers or sisters in Christ. Do you think they will sleep well at night when they are full of hatred and anger in their hearts? They tend to have loss of sleep, more high blood pressure and headaches and so on. Hence, when we forgive our brothers or sisters in Christ, we will have the feeling of true happiness.
Anthony Tan Nguyen
I do not think there is one whom God will not forgive his/her sin. Except sin against the Holy Spirit. He said, for as many that confess He will forgive. How do you know that God did not forgive him/her. By your forgiveness, you can win him to God – bring him to reconciliation with God. E.g. the disciples failed to forgive Saul when he had Damascus experience, but they were convinced to forgive, because God has arrested him.
It is also an individual thing, we should forgive all so as not to hinder us from entering the Kingdom of God
Deacon Femi Jacobs
Praise the Lord!!!
I pray that God will give us a clear understanding of what He has to say regarding forgiveness. Let us consider the first part of the question: If God does not forgive someone… According to Mark 11:25-26, Jesus said “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive your trespasses. But if ye do not, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We can clearly see that God does forgive us when we fall short of His glory. It is God’s will to forgive us when we sincerely confess and repent of sin. The “unforgivable” sin is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Read Matthew 12:31-32). God will forgive us and cleanse us from any other sin that we commit.
Let us now consider part two of the question: …why should I consider forgiving that person?
Let us examine a passage of scripture that is found in Luke 23:34. Jesus said “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Consider that Jesus is God, the Creator of everything in existence. Consider that when Jesus walked on the face of the earth, He taught the Word of God (which was from the law and prophets), healed many, many sick folk, cast devils out of many folk and performed many miracles. Jesus could have commanded the angelic host of heaven to “wipe out” the entire human race. Jesus could have decided to send all of mankind to hell. Notice that even in the midst of Him being mocked and beaten, Jesus still asks God to forgive them. In the midst of His great pain and suffering, Jesus still prays for the people.
If we have God’s Spirit on the inside of us, then we have the same capacity to forgive those who have hurt us or have mistreated us. Why should we forgive others who have “wronged” us? Since Jesus forgives us when we were doing, saying and thinking ungodly things, then we should extend the same love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness to those people even if we feel as though they do not deserve it.
Remember the scripture listed above from Mark 11:25-26. If we do not forgive others when they sin against us, then God will not forgive us when we sin against Him. We have to make up our minds that we will not allow the offence to hinder our relationship with God. We should ask ourselves “Is holding on to this grudge worth the risk of losing my salvation?” I would strongly encourage you to please forgive the person or people who have mistreated you so that you can be free to worship God in spirit and in truth. May God bless you as you submit to His Word.
Because HE is God and we are not. Jesus says if we can’t forgive another for his trespass, HE will not forgive you. When one can create SOMETHING outta NOTHING, well, we will see.
‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ 1 John 1:9.
The only condition that can make God not to forgive sin is if the sin is not confessed. However, no man would know when somebody’s sin is forgiven. So if somebody confesses to us we have to forgive as He [God] forgives us.
The bible says in Mat 6:14-15 “For if you let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will have forgiveness from your Father in heaven. But if you do not let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will not have forgiveness from your Father for your sins.”
Mat 18:35 So will my Father in heaven do to you, if you do not everyone, from your hearts, give forgiveness to his brother.
Luke 17:3 Give attention to yourselves: if your brother does wrong, say a sharp word to him; and if he has sorrow for his sin, let him have forgiveness. Luke 17:4 And if he does you wrong seven times in a day, and seven times comes to you and says, I have regret for what I have done; let him have forgiven.
From the above bible references we are not given an option on forgiving so we are commanded to forgive so we can also be forgiven by God. The bible also tells us that vengeance is for the lord so we should leave it all to GOD and should never ever avenge just forgive