" Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
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.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
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:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. " Matthew 18:21-35
I know most of us, even those of us who believe in Jesus, choose the verses in the Holy Bible that we like and reject the verses in the Holy Bible that we do not like and think it does not apply to us.
However, Jesus clearly said;
" So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. "
and yes, Jesus did say;
Jesus said this in direct response to Peter's question about forgiving someone.
My friend, even those of us who are saved, born again, washed in the blood of Jesus and forgiven, must forgive others or we will reap consequences...according to Jesus.
" Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. " Ephesians 4:31-32
Jesus also said;
" For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. " Matthew 6:14-15
If satan cannot get those of us who believe in Jesus into hell, he will still try to leave a scar on us eternally, even though we are in Heaven.
We go to Heaven by grace through faith.
However, our works will still be judged, which includes forgiving others who have done us wrong.
Paul said about those of us who believe in Jesus;
" For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. " 2 Corinthians 5:10
My friend, this is serious for the born again believer.
Learn to forgive and we will be forgiven for the wrong we have done as born again believers.
" And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. " Luke 16:22-31
There is some disagreement among Evangelicals today as to whether the soul goes anywhere after physical death.
Some believe the soul stays in the grave until the resurrection.
It is quite evident from what Jesus said, that the rich man and the beggar did not stay in the grave after physical death...nor did Abraham.
It is also clear that Jesus told the criminal hanging there next to Him that he would not be left in the grave but will be with Him after physical death...even that same day.
" And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. " Luke 23:42-43
Paul did not mention being left in the grave.
" We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. " 2 Corinthians 5:8
" For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: " Philippians 1:23
James never mentioned soul sleep either.
" For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. " James 2:26
John saw the souls of those who were slain because of their faith in Jesus. If their souls were still in the grave, then John would not have seen them in Heaven.
" And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. " Revelation 6:9-11
My friend, when we draw that last breath in this earthly life, we will either be with Jesus in Heaven or in hell, depending on who we put our faith in.
I choose to believe in Jesus.
My wife also believed in Jesus as being quite literally the only way to Heaven, ( not merely one of many ways to Heaven as some people now think ) and I know she is in Heaven with Jesus because of her faith in Him.
Let me encourage all of you to put your faith in Jesus Christ and keep your faith in Jesus Christ to the end.
" For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: " Romans 9:3
" And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. " Exodus 32:31-32
It is interesting the love Moses and Paul had for the Jews, that they would pay the price of going to hell, if it meant the Jews would be saved.
I can relate to this kind of love because I loved my wife so much I would have gone to hell if it meant her being in Heaven.
What is interesting is that we do not have to pay the price to get those we love into Heaven.
Jesus paid the price.
" Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. " Acts 20:28
If they will just believe in Jesus, they will be saved.
The criminal on the cross believed in Jesus just shortly before he died.
My wife also believed in Jesus and I know she is with Him there.