Peter asked Jesus a straight forward and an important question “How many times must we forgive seven times? We can find the answer (Matthew 18: 21-35)
Jesus clearly said in sharing this Kingdom of God truth that our Heavenly Father will forgive those who have a repentant heart.
It must be clearly understood that if that person who has been forgiven, having had their slate wiped clean, experienced the new birth, but then refuses to forgive another person from their heart when they stand before our Heavenly Father because they did not show mercy (as they had been shown mercy), they will now be required to pay for their sins.
Examine precisely what is written in the Word of God: “Then summoning him, his Lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way, that I had mercy on you?’ And his Lord moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” ( Matthew 18 v 32 – 35 )
Jesus said that our wonderful, merciful, gracious heavenly Father, after wiping our slates clean, offering us complete forgiveness in Jesus Christ for our past sins He would be moved with anger and make each of us pay for our sins IF we do not forgive our brother/sister from our hearts.
Jesus confirmed this again: But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:15)
It is with the heaviness of my heart to say that I know of people who consider themselves to be Christians. Yet, they have held unforgiveness towards others for several years, and they are regular church attendees, they regularly take communion, sadly, however, they have allowed their hearts to become hard and unforgiving.
Jesus Christ, Himself has decreed that unless they repent they will not be forgiven, and they will have to pay the price in full for their sins because the forgiveness and mercy extended to them in Jesus Christ, the Father will remove. (Matthew 18: 21-35) (Matthew 6:15)
Why is there no fear in their hearts of the consequence that they will pay for their unrepentance of holding unforgiveness in their heart? It’s because these people believe ‘once saved always saved’ which is the gospel that satan not God promotes. Sadly this is all they have ever heard preached.
An anointed brother in Christ shared this excellent example of the Grace of God. Imagine a person wanted to run in a marathon but couldn’t afford the entrance fee. A person came to him and said “I will pay your entrance fee, but you must run the race” If it wasn’t for the grace and the kindness of that person he could not have entered into the race, but now the responsibility to run that race and cross the finish line is his!
The example above sums up the gospel, in a nutshell, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have paid the entrance fee, an entrance fee no one else could ever pay!! Jesus Christ is enthroned on the right-hand side of our Heavenly Father, and we are commanded to run the race, we are commanded to deny ourselves, it is we that are commanded to pick up our cross daily and follow Him.
The Great Commission of our Lord has never changed in the eyes of God, but sadly in the eyes of man, the great commission has changed because it’s not very popular to tell people if they don’t continue to follow Christ if they don’t live a life of denying themselves and picking up their cross daily that they will lose their salvation.
The full gospel of Jesus has given way to a false gospel of just grace, not Grace and Truth which is the gospel that Jesus Christ taught and commanded His disciples to take to the end of the earth.
When my wife and I first became Christians in 1982, we started attending a church, and there was a sister in Christ who was already advanced in years.
My wife was speaking to this sister in Christ, and the conversation got around to praying in the spirit, speaking in tongues. She said to my wife “I used to speak in tongues, but for many years I have not been able too” She then related how for years as a young woman she knew that the Lord was calling her to Africa to be a missionary, she said how the Lord would repeatedly give her dreams of black people calling out to her, beckoning for her to come to Africa….but she didn’t want to go..she didn’t want to leave her family.
This sister had been a member of a church fellowship for years. Faithfully every Sunday she sat in the meetings, took communion, she looked like a perfect Christian in every aspect, except, her refusal to go to Africa meant that the evidence of the Spirit of God in her life was no longer there, sadly it was the same problem then, as it is today, she was taught from the pulpit once saved always saved.
This sister had refused, over and over again to heed to the will of God; she suffered severe consequences for her disobedience. If she had heard that her salvation could be lost, indeed she would have obeyed the Lord and not experienced the terror of His Spirit being removed from her life!
It’s perilous ground to think we can ignore any words that Jesus Christ spoke because Jesus clearly said: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father who sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12 v 49)
Some people hold to the doctrine of once saved always saved based solely upon this scripture: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” ( John 10 v 27 – 29 )
Firstly and very importantly, Jesus said His sheep are those who Hear His Voice…and Follow Him…they are the ones He knows..they are the ones that are safe in His hands, the Lord revealed to us that being in His hands was a place of security for those who desire to remain and not a prison for those who wish to leave!”
How often did Jesus say “IF you remain in Me”… IF you abide in me …IF is referring to something we have the free will to choose to do, or not to do.
No one in the natural or spiritual realm can pluck us out of the hands of Jesus or the Father, BUT neither our Heavenly Father nor Jesus Christ will force anyone to stay!
The Word of God reveals that our Heavenly Father has always given us, His creation, a Freewill that is evident from the creation of Adam and Eve they were given the Freewill to choose life or death, good or evil and sadly they chose death, however, Fathers gift of a Freewill has never been removed from His creation!