Modern grace teachers today are teaching something very dangerous. This is the teaching of “total forgiveness”. It is the idea that all of your sins: past, present, and future, are all already forgiven.
This is completely and utterly unbiblical. It is a blatant false doctrine. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, or even suggest, that all sins in the future are automatically forgiven. On the contrary, it even says that your sins will not be forgiven, if you do not forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).
Popular Christian pastor false teachers are even going so far as to say – actually preaching this from the pulpit, as can be found on youtube – that you don’t even need to repent, or confess, or ask forgiveness, because your future sins were already forgiven. I would go so far as to say this is heresy. It is completely false and in fact, potentially condemning for those who believe this false doctrine.
If “total forgiveness” were true, then all the Bible verses would be false that say things like Matthew 6:15 which says, “if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”, and James 5:15 which states, “the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” How could the sick who were made well also be forgiven for their sins at that time, if they were already forgiven for all future sins? It is a contradiction. This modern grace lie is in diametric opposition to what the Bible teaches.
Further Biblical Evidence
One of the most important and obvious scriptures that provides the evidence that we must continue to seek forgiveness on an ongoing basis, and in doing so forgive others in order to receive this forgiveness, is the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Merely two verses later, Jesus follows up in Matthew 6:14-15 with the critical instructions, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Think about it. Why would Jesus include a request for forgiveness if we were already forgiven for future sins? Why would Jesus also require us to forgive others in order to be forgiven ourselves, if we were already forgiven for our future sins? The “total forgiveness” teaching contradicts the Bible.
This is the prayer that Jesus gave us to pray daily, or perhaps several times per day (although perhaps not verbatim, as we are not to simply recite a verse without thought or meaning, as it would be worthless, see the preceding Matthew 6:7). Since we are to pray this to God on a regular basis, then it is clear that we are not already forgiven for sins which we may commit in the future.
We must continue to repent, forgive, and seek forgiveness
Jesus directly instructed us to continue to seek forgiveness on an ongoing basis. Therefore by Jesus’ own words, even some of the most famous words that He ever spoke, these false teachers are wholly refuted. We are to continue to see forgiveness on an ongoing basis, because indeed we are not yet forgiven for our future sins; and we will not be forgiven for our sins if we also do not forgive others.
Forgiveness is not automatic. False teaching is not something that sounds horrible and shocking, or else no one would follow it. The devil uses sly words, twists the Bible out of context for those who do not know it well already. He makes lies pleasing to hear and gives us a warm feeling inside, like sugar on the tongue. Pandering lies by the devil are sweet, and deceptive. They are addictive.
The Bible speaks against such words. People love to hear that they are not responsible for their actions, but it is not true and it is completely unbiblical. The “total forgiveness” being taught by many modern grace teachers today is a false doctrine and therefore the teachers are false teachers. This is such a severe heresy that it puts your soul in peril by listening to these sweet deceptions.
The moment that a person begins to believe these false teachers, and begins to think that their future sins have no impact, and listens to the lies that they do not have to repent, or continually repent, or seek to be sanctified, or seek to be holy in all they do, before you know it they are out partying, lusting, lying, stealing, and being led astray.
The lie of modern grace doctrine is deadly
When a person is deceived into thinking they are not accountable for their actions, they are fooled into a lie that tricks them into being further deceived. I don’t think that anyone who truly believes in Jesus as savior starts out thinking, “I’m going to be a vile, lying, hateful scumbag”; but over the years, lack of fellowship with God, lack of reading scripture, and years of listening to false teachers, one day they will wake up and be completely blind to the state of peril their soul is in, and in grave danger of hell.
If they do not get a wakeup call that everything they have been taught about modern grace is a lie, it may be too late. So wake up! Wake other people up. It is our responsibility to spread the word, the teachings of the Bible, with those who we know are headed in the wrong direction. Whether that person listens is all up to them, but at least we can be confident that we shared, prayed for them, and persevered.
Is it truly any wonder the state of moral decay in today’s world, when people are being taught that their future sins are forgiven even before they commit them? When people are actually being taught in church that there are no consequences for sin, and that they do not need to repent or ask forgiveness for any sins? While there are many reasons for the decay of society, I personally believe that at least a major contributor is the false doctrine that, though despite it says it does not, really is teaching people that they have a license to sin.
This false teaching is nothing new
Interestingly, this is nothing new, because even during the writing of the books of the New Testament of the Bible in the days shortly after Christ ascended to heaven to the right hand of the throne of God, Galatians 4:18-19 says that some people, “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
This appears to be exactly what is occurring today with the modern grace doctrine, with ideals like total grace and other fallacies and lies. People are being darkened by ignorance of the scriptures, through not reading or knowing their Bible, and being led astray by false teachers, and “they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Timothy 4 3-4).
As a result people turn to lasciviousness (lustfulness, wantonness, lewdness), unafraid of the consequences, believing falsely that they are already forgiven. It is this seed that the devil can use to justify sin in people’s minds – falsely – and thus drive them straight into hell. This moreover is further evidence against the “once saved always saved” fallacy, which is likewise unbiblical.
If you were saved forever the moment you accepted Christ no matter what (and thus have “total forgiveness”, a prerequisite to that heresy), then what does it matter? Go steal, lie, use and abuse people, who cares? You need the money, right? You were having a bad day right? Rent is due and you have to do whatever it takes to survive, right? After all, at least you’re already saved and it doesn’t matter what you do, right? Wrong.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.