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Can We Miss Heaven By Not Forgiving

This question is very important because your eternal home will be decided according to your

answer.  This passage begins with the following familiar question.


Matthew 18:21-35 

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?  

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.  

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.  

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.  

29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.  

31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:  

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.


35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

This question must be understood in the context of the cultural background at the time. For

example, during that period, the Jews were in the habit of quantifying their religious duties.  In

the Apocrypha, a man named Ben Sira mentioned that a neighbor who has committed a sin

must be given two opportunities.  The rabbis taught that the neighbor’s crime must be forgiven three times and no more.  Peter, however, suggested that they forgive seven times.  He was expecting a compliment when he said that.  However, his expectation turned into shock when Jesus replied

Matthew 18:21

I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

They thought this was extreme, and Jesus knew what their reaction would be, so he went on to explain by telling a parable.  This parable contains the greatest teaching on forgiveness in the whole bible.  Unfortunately, not many people honestly face the truths shown in this parable.  Many are in great danger, yet they do not realize it.

Today, too many people believe in the wrong doctrine that says, once saved, never rejected or always saved.  This doctrine goes against the message of forgiveness and the serious warning Jesus gave in verse 35.

Matthew 18:35

This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from

your heart.

He was talking to believers, not unbelievers when he said this; in this passage, the servant

received a tremendous cancellation of debt (salvation), and a serious warning was given.  To

true Christians, not just those in the name.  Jesus gave this warning because true Christians can be unforgiving, and if they remain unforgiving, their souls can be destroyed.

So why must Christians forgive others? There are two reasons.


1.  They were forgiven.


Jesus used talents to show the weightiness of forgiveness.  One talent was six thousand times the average worker's daily wage of one denarius.  Therefore, one talent equaled twenty years of wage by one laborer, but ten thousand talents meant two hundred thousand years of wages by one laborer.  But the other servant was only owed a few denarii; one denarii was a day’s wages.  So, what is the point in all of this? No matter how much other people have wronged us, it is nothing compared to the sin we have committed against God.  And if you want to forgive others, you must not dwell on the sins that you need to forgive but on the sins of which you were forgiven.  And you must consider the magnitude of your sins that were forgiven rather than the measure of sins committed against you.


2.  They need to be forgiven

There are three daily necessities in life: our daily bread, God’s forgiveness, and God’s

protection.  This is why Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:11


Matthew 6:11-13 

11 Give us this day our daily bread.  

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the

power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Jesus said we must pray this daily because these are essential to us; this is how my heavenly

Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.


I read a story about a woman in Denver who had a daughter in her thirties in a seminary, but

one day the daughter was ruthlessly stabbed to death by a murderer.  That murderer had killed many other women before, and he was finally caught and arrested by a policeman.  After the death of her daughter, the mother, a believer, fell into great sadness and despair.  She blamed God and was filled with hatred toward the murderer.  One Saturday night, God spoke to her.  If you do not forgive the murder, I cannot forgive you as well.  Since you cannot forgive the sin of another, I cannot forgive your sin.  After hearing God’s voice, she came to her senses at last.  She decided to forgive the criminal who had murdered her daughter and gave him a bible through a member of the Gideon Society.  When, by God’s miraculous work, the murderer accepted Jesus Christ, she helped him to study in a seminary through correspondence courses.  Afterward, the murderer became a prison missionary.  The forgiven criminal became the servant of God instead of her daughter.


Matthew 6:14-15 

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Even if we confess our sins according to 1 John 1:9, we will not be forgiven if we do not forgive

others.  Am I saying the unforgiving cannot be forgiven, then the unbelieving Christians will fall into hell?  You reap what you sow, you sow forgiveness, you reap forgiveness.  Repeat this after me: forgiving others means forgiving myself.  Condemning others means condemning myself.


As I was saying before, forgiveness is a command of God we must not disobey.  We do not have a right to choose whether we will forgive.  We are Gods forgiven ones.  In other words we are indebted to God’s love.  We must forgive the way God forgives; many who have thought they have forgiven have not.


Ephesians 4:31-32 

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from

you, with all malice:  

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

God forgave us using two methods, and we must follow his example.

Number one, God forgave us daily and ceaselessly; when Jesus told Peter 490 times, he was not speaking of numbers but forgiving endlessly.  How many times do you think god will forgive you in the future, and then we must forgive the same way?

Secondly, God forgives us with all his heart; this is why the bible says in

Psalm 103:12 

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Jeremiah 31:34 

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Ezekiel 18:21-22 

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

Micah 7:18-19 

18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  

19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Sometimes, we say we have forgiven, but in reality, we have not really forgiven.  In that case,

we will recall the person’s evil deed against us and be filled with anger or anguish.  We feel this way because we have not truly forgiven the other person from our hearts.  In Matthew 18:35, Jesus says, this is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.  Therefore, we must not only forgive with our mouths, but we must do it from our hearts.  So, what is forgiveness from our hearts?  It means forgiveness in which our word deed and heart coincide.  In other words, it has no future recollection or revenge or even a glimpse of hurt feelings...  so the quantity of forgiveness must be endless, and the quality of forgiveness must be sincere.





The Lord spoke of the frightening price that an unforgiving person must pay in this life and the


Matthew 18:32-35 (Amplified Bible)

32 Then his master called him and said to him, you contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to. 

33 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you? 

34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.   

35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.

So, what is the price one must pay who refuses to forgive?

Firstly, the unforgiving person loses his freedom; this is eternal freedom in hell and also in

bondage to demons while living on the earth.  Secondly, the unforgiving person will be

tortured.  In this passage, the term jailers are called basanites; they are not simply jail-keepers,

but ones who torture.  That is, they are troubleshooters who exert pressure upon the guilty and his family to take back the money owed.  In other words, in bible days, people would bury their money in the ground to keep from paying debt, and the troubleshooters would torture them to get them to tell where their money is.  They used physical or mental pain or whatever is necessary to get the job done.  So, who are the tortures today? They are demons.  God allows them to inflict pain even on Christians until they forgive.  Did you know that today, doctors and scientists relate such things as arthritis and cancer with unforgiving or grievous hearts; also, many mental disorders are related to unforgiveness.

Mark 11:22-26 (Amplified Bible)

22 And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly].  

23 Truly I tell you, whoever

says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.  

24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. 

25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and  [a] let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.  

26[b] But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.

So, Jesus tells us here whether you are declaring the word or praying the word your faith want

work if you do not forgive, and you will not be forgiven if you do not forgive.  This is the third

price one must pay for not forgiving, and fourthly, one will be confined to hell eternally if one

carry your unforgiveness beyond death.

Matthew 7:21 (Amplified Bible)

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who

does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

I believe Jesus is saying hear not everyone who will just arbitrarily say you are my lord will

enter, but he Is also saying those who claim to be born again and are born again will not enter,

and we have shown you one reason why.

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