Unforgiveness stands out as a means that could cause a christian to lose salvation . Let us consider the following scripture :
Matt 18: 21 – 35 :
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Notice that Jesus is making an example of how the King of heaven deals with his servants ! He explicitly states in verse 35 that His heavenly Father will operate this way with ” each of you ” . Who would be the servants of the Father above ? In this context, it is believers ! The torturers are alluding to the enemy . Ultimately , unforgiveness cannot be tolerated by God . He knows we need time to work through things . He knows we are but dust . He is patient . He knows our human frailties . But ultimately , we cannot take unforgiveness to heaven with us ! I’ll put it this way : I would not want to try heaven’s front door while carrying a red hot load of unforgiveness ! *** See addenda at bottom of page ***
Let us look at Mark 11:25 as well :
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
And Matthew 6 : 12 from the Lord’s Prayer :
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Unforgiveness Without Repentance Cuts Off Your Own Forgiveness !
Forgiveness is a pre – requisite to being forgiven . Much hindrance comes to saints in this earthly life through significant , prolonged unforgiveness . What about the saint who leaves earth without forgiving from the heart ? Time is up ! Unforgiveness shuts off God’s forgiveness . It is that simple . I would not carry unforgiveness beyond this earth . And since none of us really knows when we are leaving , best to deal with it now ! Consider Luke 6 : 37 – 38 :
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Here is the problem with unforgiveness. As christians, we like that God forgives us . It is accepted with us that Christ endured being tortured to death for us, and at the last said ” Father, forgive them ! “. We accept that this happened to perfect , holy God, and for Him to forgive us our sins . But when a saint is wronged or hurt and will not forgive … Oh, Now THAT is apparently a whole higher level of offense that cannot be forgiven ? It is acceptable for God to be wronged, and forgive , but not ME ? NOW we are talking about unforgivable !
See , if I do that, I have just made myself to be higher than God . And put Him down by comparison. Any such notion making me look higher than God is an obvious lie . And if God were to forgive the one who is unforgiving , then God would be agreeing with a lie ! God would be validating that the unforgiving one is higher and better than Him . No way ! See Numbers 23:19 !
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
And, 2 Tim 2:13 :
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
The person who goes into eternity treating the Lord like this is embracing peril . Jesus is blunt about it in Matt 18:35 . Best to work out our forgiveness issues while still in the flesh , and as soon as possible ! It is hard sometimes . Brothers, Sisters … I have had my fair share of these issues ! But consider this :
The saint who overcomes and radically FORGIVES , unleashes an awesome weapon of war . Forgiveness ! It breaks the chains of the enemy !
Oh, and one more little thing …
When we obey and forgive , it BURNS the devil UP ! Because God makes it a MORAL IMPERATIVE for the Christian to deal the very same thing that the devil and all of his demons cannot possibly GET from God ! That God cannot and will not give to satan … God gives foregiveness to us if we will give it to others !
One of the most important ways to ABIDE in Jesus Christ is to forgive . Then , I am better able to keep a firm grip on the line between Christ and me !
4/4/16 : While driving home today and pondering this article , I had a time with the Holy Spirit right in the car . God gives me to understand that Christians who willfully harbor frank unforgiveness in obstinate , rebellious , refusal to repent imperil themselves at the moment of the rapture , whenever that will be . The Christian who is this kind of unpresentable at the front door of heaven needs to realize that this is a sin that God cannot just let go . Many will go right in the front door of heaven with some level of embarrasment over everyday , garden – variety sin recently done . But they will be cleansed and forgiven if they themselves are repentant and forgiving . Remember, there will be those saved as though by fire . But the unforgiving Christian risks being left behind at the rapture . It would be mercy from God to leave this one behind to have more time to forgive . Because if God brings up an unforgiving Christian, He must judge the unforgiveness !