Jesus says something shocking they you may never have seen (or never perceived) before. This statement Jesus made is in diametric opposition to the most core, fundamental principles of Calvinism, western Christianity, and the doctrines of total depravity and unconditional grace. This condition is stated plainly in Matthew 6:15: “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.“
This shocking statement totally blows Calvinism out of the water, but is often either unknown or ignored by Christians. Jesus says that if you do not perform a “work”, by forgiving others, then you will not be forgiven. So much for “unconditional” grace. If we harbor resentment and unforgiveness in our hearts, it does not matter how many times we say “I’m sorry” to God, God is not listening because you are not listening to Him.
Unforgiveness can block your prayers
Have you ever talked to someone and had them completely ignore what you were saying and continue to go on about whatever they wanted to talk about? I think maybe this is how God feels when people ignore the Bible and the commands of God, such as that you need to forgive others before you will be forgiven, and go praying to God asking for forgiveness and other things.
People wonder why their prayers are not answered. There are many reasons, and sometimes prayers are answered just not the way they expected. But what prayers are not answered, this is probably a primary reason. People are taught by modern Christianity they don’t have to do anything for salvation besides say the words once, and they are automatically “washed clean by the blood of Jesus”.This isn’t what Jesus said, however.
People may think that all they have to do is say “I’m sorry” in prayer, or they may think that they are already forgiven before they even did a particular sin. However, Jesus himself said something that is entirely contrary to this false doctrine. Jesus said that if you don’t forgive other people, then you will not be forgiven.
Again, in Mark, Jesus said this, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). Why do you think Jesus told people that it is a requirement to forgive people in order to be forgiven, if it really wasn’t? Was Jesus a liar?
People ignore many things Jesus said, because it conflicts what they are taught by the modern church. I don’t think they do it intentionally. However, it just isn’t true. The things that Jesus said are what is really true. Jesus said that we won’t be forgiven if we don’t forgive other people.
It isn’t optional to forgive?
Jesus didn’t say that it was optional to forgive other people, that as long as we said a sinner’s prayer once now we are automatically forgiven of everything. No, Jesus said clearly, at multiple times, that in order to be forgiven, we must forgive others, and that if we do not forgive others, then we will not be forgiven.
This means that if you are harboring resentment and unforgiveness in your heart against anyone who has ever wronged you, then you are headed straight toward eternal death, despite the fact that you said the sinner’s prayer once (and even meant it). If you are harboring unforgiveness in your heart, I encourage you to immediately go to God in prayer and ask God to reveal anyone you have not forgiven and to give you the strength to forgive them.
If this is new to you, it could take awhile before you are able to open your heart enough to do so. It took me years before I could truly forgive and let go some of the most horrific things that have happened to me – and many by so-called “Christians”. Now, however, as I draw closer to God, it becomes easier and easier to forgive others, even for grave sins. Soon you will be able to let things go immediately and react with grace as God intended.
Impact of unforgiveness on the heart
On a side note, it is not a wonder why some Christians can be such depraved and miserable people. So many so-called Christians harbor resentment and unforgiveness in their hearts, and I believe that this builds up over time and turns people into the evil, vindictive, terrible people that many Christians have become. Maybe this is why God made this a requirement, because God knew that harboring unforgiveness causes people to become like this.
By letting this go and truly forgiving from your heart, you are resolving one of the most fundamental conditions for salvation. If you do not forgive others, it doesn’t matter how much you “believe in your heart”, you are still headed to hell. This is because despite believing, you have broken the condition that Jesus required for forgiveness.
Perhaps this is why the Bible says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). How can you be angry if you have forgiven whatever you are angry about? You could not. The root of anger therefore is unforgiveness. Perhaps Paul who wrote Ephesians (by divine inspiration) was aware that there is no guarantee you will wake up in the morning, and if you die in your sleep with unforgiveness in your heart, then Jesus said that “you will not be forgiven” and therefore you are bound for hell. This is a scary thing to consider! Therefore take this to heart and understand the urgency and critical importance of forgiving others as a fundamental condition of salvation.
Wasn’t Jesus’ sacrifice enough?
Does this mean that God is not a perfect, loving God? Absolutely not. On the contrary, God is perfect and loving and good, but the reason most Christians do not understand this requirement is because they have been indoctrinated into the idea of a God who doesn’t care about sin. But this is not the God of the Bible.
Does this mean that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough to cover your sin of unforgiveness? This is a huge fallacy of Calvinism. Of course Jesus’ sacrifice was enough, but Jesus’ sacrifice was never intended to cover the sins of those who reject God by disobeying his laws in the Bible. Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to cover your sins – after you do what God commanded and Jesus spoke about while he was here on the earth. Do you really want to risk being wrong and losing your salvation because you didn’t think your sinful lifestyle mattered for salvation?
On a side note, consider how wonderful the world would be if everyone always forgave everyone immediately and reacted in grace and peace! How amazing and joyful a world we would live in. I could continue to talk about unforgiveness as more scriptures come to mind regarding it, but I will move forward as this article is already very long, perhaps I will make an article in the future on forgiveness and unforgiveness.