If you die with unforgiveness in your heart, will you go to Heaven or Hell?
Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. Regular viewers know we’re working our way through the Sermon on the Mount, and boy, it’s the words of Jesus so nothing compares with the words of Jesus, right? We’re right in the heart of the Lord’s Prayer, coming to the end of it. Of course, one of the things Jesus taught us and his disciples of his current day to pray found in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 in verse number 12, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors,” and some versions say transgressions as we’ve forgiven those who transgressed against us. Some say trespass.
It doesn’t make a difference. It’s all the same, basically, the same thing. That is that when we sin, we have a debt to God, and we need to get His forgiveness by asking for His forgiveness. When somebody sins against us, they’re our debtor. They’ve trespassed. They owe us an apology, and we owe them mercy if they ask for the apology, and we owe them mercy even if they don’t ask for the apology. It’s just a little bit different form of mercy in each case.
The mercy we show to the people that don’t ask for forgiveness is we show them the mercy of loving them, even if they don’t deserve it, being nice to them, and speaking kind words in return for their nasty words to shame them with the hope and the goal of them realizing, “What a jerk I’ve been,” and coming to you and asking for your forgiveness, at which time then you show them the second mercy, which is, “I forgive you,” and as forgiven people, we’re obligated to do that.
Now, Jesus did elaborate on this later on. After he shared the Lord’s Prayer, he gave a little commentary on that one verse about “forgive us our debts as we’ve forgiven our debtors.” Just to make sure everybody understand what’s involved in that prayer and that concept, that’s Matthew 6:14 and 15, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Our forgiveness from God is conditional upon our forgiving others, “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” It’s the positive and the negative of the condition of getting our transgressions forgiven by God. We have to be forgiven. If we’re not forgiving, then we can’t come to God and ask for His forgiveness.
Well, I have talked about this very subject on a couple of other Little Lessons and asking the question, do I have to forgive those who don’t ask for forgiveness, and although people disagree with me on this, some people do, and I love them anyways, I personally believe you don’t have to forgive people who don’t ask for forgiveness because God doesn’t forgive people who don’t ask for forgiveness. His forgiving them is conditional, so I’m following His example.
If He finds fault with me, I can say to Him, “Well, you don’t do it, so why should I do it?” which I think is fair logic, but does that mean I’m saying you go to hold grudge and hate somebody? No. No. Oh, no. I never said that. You can love somebody and not forgive somebody. Sure, you can. God do that with most people on the planet. He loves everybody, but He hasn’t forgiven everybody. He’s showing them mercy, giving them time to repent. He’s doing good to his enemies. He’s sending the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
See, He’s trying to shame people who think into repenting of their sins and coming to Him humbly and contritely asking for His forgiveness, and then He freely gives it, but His whole motivation there is to get people to ask for forgiveness. His method is showing them kindness and grace and mercy that they don’t really deserve.
I never said you can hold a grudge or get angry at someone. I said you have to love everybody, but you only have to forgive for those ask for your forgiveness, and of course, it’s so easy to forgive people that ask for your forgiveness. It’s very hard, if you’ve ever tried, to forgive people who haven’t asked your forgiveness, act like nothing happened, and then continue to be their abusive self or their offensive self.
This is good. It’s good. That’s why the Lord told us, “If your brother sins against you, go to him. Confront him because I don’t like what he did to you, but I want you to reconcile, and I don’t want you fighting feelings of resentment towards your brother. I want harmony. I like love.” When the relationship’s messed up, we’re to fix it up. You gotta communicate. Go to him. Confront him, gently, of course. Say, “Hey, man. You may not realize this, but what you did has built a little wall between us, and I value our relationship, so can we talk about this?” Most times, they’ll be wide open because they don’t even know what they did, and there might be something deeper that then you’ve discover. It’s always so much better just to get together and talk.
Now, question asked, if I die with unforgiveness, will I go to Heaven? Well, you can answer that question yourself. What happens to unforgiven people when they stand before God? Well, if He hasn’t forgiven them up until that point, they’re not forgiven people. Can they ask for forgiveness at that point? Hmm, seems to me like everybody, if they were standing before God and realized, “Oh, my goodness. There’s a possibility that I’m going to be cast into hell right now,” I think everybody would be motivated to be really quickly asking forgiveness, but I don’t see that the Bible is offering that kind of mercy after death because …
Well, I don’t know why. I don’t know why, because God is so gracious and so merciful, but perhaps, I’m just saying, perhaps, God would, of course, question the sincerity over the person who’s begging for forgiveness when they’ve ignored the load of guilt that they felt for years and years, and then they stand before Him, and they see Him face to face, and of course they’re going to be begging for mercy and forgiveness at that point in time, but is that what God wants? I don’t think so.
But anyways, that’s how I see the Bible. It’s hard for me to think that Bible teaches anything but that. This opens up a big can of worms, and it’s hard to put those worms back in the can once you’ve opened it, let me tell you, because Jesus was talking to his disciples, and he tells them, “Peter, James, John, if you don’t forgive others, your father will not forgive you,” so that means it’s possible that God would not forgive you on this earth for sins because you didn’t forgive others, and if you die, you stand before God unforgiven.
We don’t want to do that. Forgive, of course, forgive anyone who’s ever asked your forgiveness. It really grieves God, it makes Him angry when people ask for forgiveness, and you say, “No,” and the ones that didn’t ask for forgiveness, if you’re holding something against them, say, “Lord, help me to love them, and love them so much, I’m going to go to them and try to work this out, to repair, pull down this wall that’s been built.”
Much more to be said, but this is a Little Lesson. Thank you so much for joining me, God bless you.