No Forgiveness for the Unrepentant — Bible Study Express

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No Forgiveness for the Unrepentant
No Forgiveness for the Unrepentant
No Forgiveness for the Unrepentant

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Have you ever had it happen that when you rebuked an abuser, not only did she refuse to apologize, repent, or change her hurtful behavior, but she then proceeded to smugly inform you that “God forgives her” because “God forgives everything”, and that the Bible says that you have to forgive her, too? I have, more than once.

And all I can say to that is, “Nice try.” Because it’s just not true. Biblical forgiveness doesn’t work that way. Not even close. God forgives everybody who REPENTS, not everybody who doesn’t repent, and continues sinning. Repentance means turning from one’s sinful ways and changing one’s LIFE. It does not mean continuing on as before, and it also does not mean stopping just one or two obnoxious behaviors while continuing all the rest, or even finding some new ones. It might surprise such self-righteous offenders to learn that God does NOT forgive “everybody”, and that he does NOT tell us to, either. In fact, there is NOT ONE INSTANCE in Scripture of the Lord forgiving anyone who remains “stiff-necked” (stubborn) and unrepentant.

Before one starts quoting the Bible, it might be a good idea to actually READ IT first. When ungodly people state that God’s Word says something that justifies or facilitates their wickedness, I just love to hand them a Bible and ask them to show me exactly where it says that. Usually, they get all flustered, angry, or embarrassed, and quickly change the subject or storm off in a huff. If, by some remote chance, they can actually find the Scripture they’re referring to (and conveniently misinterpreting), then we can read it in context and explore it together – but that hasn’t happened to me yet!

Those who know the Lord and study his Word know that he has such a heart of love for the downtrodden and the broken-hearted, and that he desires us to be free of every kind of bondage. God’s Word is infallible, and God does not play mean little tricks on abuse victims. He NEVER says anything that would make it easier for a sinner to keep on sinning or an abuser to keep on abusing. To even suggest otherwise is to reveal a profound ignorance of God’s divine nature.

Biblically speaking, NO ONE gets forgiven without changing his ways and turning to God and godliness. The New Testament includes an additional requirement for meriting forgiveness – accepting Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior (and no one who has genuinely done that can continue abusing others). Abusers would just love an excuse to obligate us to forgive them without the slightest effort to make amends, commitment to change, or anything expected of them at all. It’s the Abuser’s Dream Gig – to be able to commit one evil deed after another with impunity, and then pervert the Word of God by claiming that others have to repeatedly and unconditionally forgive her. This is utter nonsense.

Galatians 6:7
KJV 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. CEV 7 You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant.

The Bible is not an excuse for abusive people to have a field day without ever suffering any consequences. Distorting the Word of God to get away with evil is an indication of the demonic nature of such people, not of their innocence and good intentions. Ask any deliverance minister and you will learn that twisting God’s Word to facilitate evil is one of the most common tactics used by demons.

Abusers by definition wouldn’t have the slightest idea what the Bible REALLY says about forgiveness, or anything else. It’s not like they spend a lot of time studying God’s Word and applying it to their lives. They’re just repeating something they heard somewhere along the line, and twisting it to suit their own purposes. They’re using what they imagine Scripture says to pressure us and guilt us into forgiving them when they have done nothing whatsoever to deserve our forgiveness.

Some abusers like to call themselves Christians, because it enables them to get away with abusive behavior more frequently without being challenged or confronted. These people might actually be familiar with Scripture, and then use it, twist it, and take it out of context to justify their behavior and attempt to deceive us into forgiving them when no forgiveness is warranted. But talk is cheap. We need to study the Bible concerning this, and pray for the discernment and wisdom to distinguish between REAL Christians and PRETEND Christians- those who are conveniently “Christian” only when it suits them. One big clue is that REAL Christians ACT LIKE real Christians. This means they do NOT mistreat other people.

The Bible does in fact tell us that we should forgive as the Lord forgave us: Colossians 3:13
KJV 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. CEV 13 Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32
KJV 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. CEV 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.
But there are requirements for forgiveness. If we read in more depth and in context about God forgiving us, including the hows, whys and under what circumstances, we will see that he only forgives us when we come to him in the spirit of remorse, change our lives through his Son, ask for forgiveness, and repent (CHANGE). So if we are to forgive others as God forgives us, then we are to forgive them AFTER they have shown genuine remorse by the grace of Jesus’ cleansing blood, and AFTER they have repented (CHANGED), NOT BEFORE. That is the formula for forgiveness which God models for us, and that is the formula which he instructs us to follow.

Other Scriptural examples of the Lord forgiving us IF AND WHEN WE REPENT are written in the following passages:

Ezekiel 33:10-20
KJV 10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. 13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. 14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. 17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. 18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. 19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. 20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. CEV 10 The Lord said: Ezekiel, son of man, the people of Israel are complaining that the punishment for their sins is more than they can stand. They have lost all hope for survival, and they blame me. 11 Tell them that as surely as I am the living Lord God, I don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live. So if the Israelites want to live, they must stop sinning and turn back to me. 12 Tell them that when good people start sinning, all the good they did in the past cannot save them from being punished. And remind them that when wicked people stop sinning, their past sins will be completely forgiven, and they won’t be punished. 13 Suppose I promise good people that they will live, then later they start sinning and believe they will be saved by the good they did in the past. These people will certainly be put to death because of their sins. Their good deeds will be forgotten. 14 Suppose I warn wicked people that they will die because of their sins, and they stop sinning and start doing right. 15 For example, they need to return anything they have taken as security for a loan and anything they have stolen. Then if they stop doing evil and start obeying my Law, they will live. 16 Their past sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they have done right. 17 Ezekiel, your people accuse me of being unfair. But they are the ones who are unfair. 18 If good people start doing evil, they will be put to death, because they have sinned. 19 And if wicked people stop sinning and start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. 20 But the Israelites still think I am unfair. So warn them that they will be punished for what they have done.

Isaiah 55:6-7
KJV 6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. CEV 6 Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near. 7 Give up your crooked ways and your evil thoughts. Return to the Lord our God. He will be merciful and forgive your sins.

Jeremiah 6:16-30
KJV 16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. 23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. 24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. 27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them. CEV 16 The Lord said: My people, when you stood at the crossroads, I told you, “Follow the road your ancestors took, and you will find peace.” But you refused. 17 I also sent prophets to warn you of danger, but when they sounded the alarm, you paid no attention. 18 So I tell all nations on earth, “Watch what I will do! 19 My people ignored me and rejected my laws. They planned to do evil, and now the evil they planned will happen to them.” 20 People of Judah, you bring me incense from Sheba and spices from distant lands. You offer sacrifices of all kinds. But why bother? I hate these gifts of yours! 21 So I will put stumbling blocks in your path, and everyone will die, including parents and children, neighbors and friends. 22 The Lord said, “Look toward the north, where a powerful nation has prepared for war. 23 Its well-armed troops are cruel and never show mercy. Their galloping horses sound like ocean waves pounding on the shore. This army will attack you, lovely Jerusalem.” 24 Then the people said, “Just hearing about them makes us tremble with fear, and we twist and turn in pain like a woman giving birth.” 25 The Lord said, “Don’t work in your fields or walk along the roads. It’s too dangerous. The enemy is well armed 26 and attacks without warning. So mourn, my people, as though your only child had died. Wear clothes made of sackcloth and roll in the ash pile.” The Lord said: 27 Jeremiah, test my people as though they were metal. 28 And you’ll find they are hard like bronze and iron. They are stubborn rebels, always spreading lies. 29 Silver can be purified in a fiery furnace, 30 but my people are too wicked to be made pure, and so I have rejected them.

Jeremiah 26:3
KJV 3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. CEV 3 Maybe the people will listen this time. And if they stop doing wrong, I will change my mind and not punish them for their sins.

Luke 13:3
KJV 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. CEV 3 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also be killed.

Luke 13:5
KJV 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. CEV 5 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also die.

Acts 3:19
KJV 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. CEV 19 So turn to God! Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven.

These are just a few of the examples we can study that will educate us about God’s prerequisites and requirements for forgiveness.

We are not to cheapen the gift of forgiveness by giving it prematurely or undeservedly, to those who demand it and act as if they are entitled to it, and yet have done nothing to merit it. The Lord’s higher purpose is to change men’s hearts and make them turn from evil, give up their wicked ways, and choose to follow HIM instead of Satan. He does that by requiring repentance before forgiveness, not by giving evildoers a free ride.

In Luke Jesus tells us very clearly that we are to forgive someone who sins against us IF he repents – Luke 17:3
KJV 3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. CEV 3 So be careful what you do. Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry.
He does NOT tell us to forgive everyone, including those who have absolutely no remorse and fully intend to continue abusing others and behaving badly. That would be preposterous and contradictory. God does not do nonsensical things that do not serve his ultimate purpose of bringing all men into his grace and his presence.

When an abuser refuses to change his ways, stop abusing, and start doing good, we are unable to grant him forgiveness. When we cannot forgive him because of his intention to continue repeating his wickedness, then God does not forgive him, either.

John 20:21-22
KJV 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: CEV 21 After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

God does not want us to continue to be abused. And he does not want us to allow abusers to continue their abuse with no consequences. In fact, we are told numerous times to shun evildoers:

Proverbs 22:10
KJV 10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. CEV 10 Arguments and fights will come to an end, if you chase away those who insult others.

Proverbs 22:24
KJV 24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: CEV 24 Don’t make friends with anyone who has a bad temper.

Proverbs 23:9
KJV 9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. CEV 9 Don’t talk to fools — they will just make fun.

Proverbs 24:25
KJV 25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. CEV 25 But if you punish the guilty, things will go well for you, and you will prosper.

Proverbs 25:4-5
KJV 4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. CEV 4 Silver must be purified before it can be used to make something of value. 5 Evil people must be removed before anyone can rule with justice.

Proverbs 24:24
KJV 24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: CEV 24 If you let the guilty go free, people of all nations will hate and curse you.

Proverbs 26:24-26
KJV 24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; 25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. CEV 24 The pleasant talk of an enemy hides more evil plans 25 than can be counted — so don’t believe a word! 26 Everyone will see through those evil plans.

Psalm 37:9
KJV 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. CEV 9 All sinners will disappear, but if you trust the Lord, the land will be yours.

Psalm 119:115
KJV 115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. CEV 115 All of you worthless people, get away from me! I am determined to obey the commands of my God.

Proverbs 19:19
KJV 19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. CEV 19 People with bad tempers are always in trouble, and they need help over and over again.

Matthew 18:15-17
KJV 15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. CEV 15 If one of my followers sins against you, go and point out what was wrong. But do it in private, just between the two of you. If that person listens, you have won back a follower. 16 But if that one refuses to listen, take along one or two others. The Scriptures teach that every complaint must be proven true by two or more witnesses. 17 If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church. Anyone who refuses to listen to the church must be treated like an unbeliever or a tax collector.

Titus 3:10-11
KJV 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. CEV 10 Warn troublemakers once or twice. Then don’t have anything else to do with them. 11 You know that their minds are twisted, and their own sins show how guilty they are.

1 Corinthians 5:11
KJV 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. CEV 11 I was talking about your own people who are immoral or greedy or worship idols or curse others or get drunk or cheat. Don’t even eat with them!

Look up “rebuke” in a large Concordance, and you will also find dozens of references.

The Bible teaches that all evil behavior has consequences. The only way to come into a state of grace is to give up sinfulness and walk in the ways of the Lord, in love for others. Abusers by nature could not care less about coming closer to God, and usually need some extra incentive to straighten up and fly right. That incentive is often some kind of social censure, which may, for a particular individual, include our refusal to forgive him until and if he has earned it.

There are times that God will use us in this way to bring a person into repentance and to him. By forgiving unremorseful evildoers, we are not helping them and we are not serving God’s purposes. We are depriving them of the opportunity to repent and transform their lives, to truly accept Jesus as their Savior so their sins can be washed away, and to walk forever with our Father. By interfering with God’s Law of Sowing and Reaping, we are preventing God’s purpose from being fulfilled in that individual’s life.

The Lord requires that we do our part in bringing others to repentance:

Ezekiel 33:7-9
KJV 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. CEV 7 Ezekiel, I have appointed you to stand watch for the people of Israel. So listen to what I say, then warn them for me. 8 When I tell wicked people they will die because of their sins, you must warn them to turn from their sinful ways. But if you refuse to warn them, you are responsible for their death. 9 If you do warn them, and they keep sinning, they will die because of their sins, and you will be innocent.

So despite attempts by ungodly people to mislead, deceive or pressure us, we need to stand firm in the knowledge that the Lord does not forgive those who are 'stiff-necked' , refuse to repent, and intend to continue in their sinful ways, and he does not expect us to, either. There is no such thing as unconditional forgiveness. There are CONDITIONS on receiving forgiveness, there is a REASON for those conditions, and the conditions are repentance and turning from one’s evil ways. Forgiveness is not to be given just because someone simply demands it, or insists he is entitled to it. It is only to be offered to those who are truly worthy of it.

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