“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
There certainly is a lot of information packed into this little verse, and this information has eternal ramifications for all people.
As a Pastor and Christian Counselor, I can easily tell you that far too many people and shared with me exactly why it is that they simply cannot forgive someone else.
– “They will just continue to do the same thing to me over and over so I will not forgive them.”
– “You do not know what they did to me. If you did, you would understand why I cannot forgive them.”
– “I am always the one who is expected to forgive. I am tired of forgiving and I am not going to forgive them anymore.”
The list could go on and on, but you get the picture – they are many, many people who will not embrace forgiveness in the least, no matter what God tells them in the Bible.
In Matthew 6:12, as Jesus gives us the model prayer, He tells us, “And forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us.” This reaffirms what Matthew 6:15 tells us – we ourselves are in desperate need of forgiveness and therefore we must be quick to forgive others when they hurt us.
Can you imagine with God felt the same way about forgiveness as many of us do? Heaven would have hardly anyone in it at all!
We are so very quick to judge others and withhold grace from them when we ourselves are in such great need of grace and forgiveness ourselves.
The bottom line is we MUST remember what God tell us in Matthew 6:15 – if we refuse to forgive others, God WILL NOT forgive us and that leaves us only one eternal option – hell.
I know of many Christians who are 100% convinced that they will be in Heaven, yet they have some relationships where they are refusing to forgive others. Therefore, when they meet Jesus for their judgment, it is NOT going to go as they have planned.
Look, none of us are guaranteed another second here on Earth. Your eternity on the other hand will last forever and that is why it is so extremely important that we follow and obey God and forgive others. We must forgive others: when we do not want to, when it hurts to do so, and when others tells us we are right for not forgiving them.
It is my prayer for you that if you currently are in a relationship with someone where you have made the decision not to forgive them, that you will very quickly rethink your stance. They may have hurt you beyond repair, yet Jesus calls for forgiveness. They may have hurt you on purpose and even took joy from it, yet Jesus calls for forgiveness. They may even have died already, yet Jesus calls for forgiveness.
Forgive! It is right up there with Repent! Please do not wait until it is too late for you. Forgive today!
With great love,
Pastor Brad Komgenick