Many really believe that once Christ forgives them, they are forever forgiven. This is an extremely important issue. A persons eternal destiny is at stake.
This is what Jesus, Himself said about forgiveness,
Matthew 18:23-35 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he had begun to settle the accounts, a person who owed him 10,000 talents was brought to him. Because he couldn't pay, his master ordered him, his wife, his children, and all that he had to be sold so that payment could be made. Then the servant fell down and bowed low before him, saying, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay you everything!' The master of that servant had compassion and released him, canceling his debt. But when that servant went away, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him, seized him by the throat, and said, 'Pay what you owe!' Then his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, 'Be patient with me and I will repay you!' But he refused and went and had him thrown into prison until he could repay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were very disturbed and went and reported to their master all that had occurred. Then his master sent for him and said to him, 'You evil servant! I canceled that entire debt for you because you begged me. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' In anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he could repay the entire debt. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each one of you unless you forgive your brother from your hearts."
Here Christ tells about a king who forgave his servant 10,000 talents. Mat 18:27 "The master of that servant had compassion and released him, canceling his debt." At this point in time the servant was truly forgiven. His entire debt had been totally canceled by the King.
After he had been forgiven, this servant found another person who owed him a very small amount and demanded payment. But when this other person refused he threw him in jail because he could not pay. When the king heard about this he had the servant who he had forgiven brought to him. He told him that he also should have had compassion on his fellow servant, even as he had pity on him. The king was so angry that he TOOK BACK his forgiveness and gave this person to the torturers until he paid all that was owed to him. The king canceled his forgiveness and now the servant had the debt restored to him again.
Then Jesus said in Matt. 18:36 "So likewise will my heavenly Father also do unto you, if you do not forgive from your heart every one their sins and trespasses."
Here is absolute proof that even if you have truly forgiven by God, God WILL take back His forgiveness if you choose not to forgive someone else.
PLEASE HEAD THIS WARNING!! God may have totally forgiven you in the past, but God WILL take back His forgiveness, if you refuse to forgive.
I have heard many people say "the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin". This statement, by itself, is taken out of context. Look at 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleans us from all sin." This is a CONDITIONAL statement. ONLY IF we walk in the light, as He is in the light can we ever expect to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is possible for anyone who has been totally forgiven to chose to not walk in the light. The Bible does not teach any person can expect to be cleansed from sin if a they person choose to live in rebellion and sin. 1 John 3:4-10 " Everyone who keeps living in sin also practices disobedience. In fact, sin is disobedience. You know that He was revealed to take away sins, and there is not any sin in Him. No one who remains in Him goes on sinning. The one who goes on sinning hasn't seen Him or known Him. Little children, don't let anyone deceive you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. The person who practices sin belongs to the evil one, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God was revealed was to destroy the works of the devil. No one who has been born from God practices sin, because God's seed abides in him. Indeed, he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born from God. This is how God's children and the devil's children are distinguished. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God."
Many people are deceived, they think they are truly God's children when they are not. It is very simple and easy to tell a true child of God from a false one. The true child of God practices righteousness and does not keep on sinning. Which are you?
There are many who claim to be Christian but hold resentment, bitterness and resentment in their heart toward others. These people are deceived. The Bible makes perfectly clear that it is impossible for a Christian to be unforgiving. God will not forgive any person who has not truly forgiven others.
You are deceived if you think you are a Christian but now hold on to bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness. If you refuse to repent, you will not be forgiven. Even if God has forgiven you in the past He will take it back if you now refuse to forgive. You must forgive no matter what sins another person has committed against you. If this is you, repent now and forgive all who may have harmed you in any way. Do not consider for a second that you are a Christian if you refuse to forgive any person.
Matt. 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Matt. 6:12 "And forgive us our sins, just as we forgive those who have sinned against us."
Luke 11:4a "And forgive us our sins; just as we forgive every one that has sinned against us."
Mark 11:25-26 "And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your sins."
Luke 6:36-37 "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you will be forgiven:
James 5:9 "Do not hold a grudge against anyone, brothers, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge stands before the door. "
It is simple, if you hold a grudge or resentment against anyone you will be condemned and judged.
A person has never repented if he places the blame for his sin on low self-esteem, some past event or crime committed against him. While a person sees the sins of others greater than his own he will never truly forgive anyone or repent.
For example, an innocent girl was sexually abused by her father when she was young. After the abuse the girl became very bitter and resentful toward her father. The focus of this girl's life became the crime her father committed against her. The cure for this problem is not inner healing or healing of the memories. The problem is not lack of self esteem or lack of self love. The real problem is she does not see nor realize her own sin. While she has the mind set that her dad is the villain and she is an innocent victim she will never forgive him nor repent. Her response of bitterness to the abuse is sin even if she was 100% innocent in the abuse. God does not hold her responsible for her Dad's sin. While her focus is her father's crime she will never truly forgive him. She will never really forgive him while she neglects to see her own sin.
The real cure to this problem is the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. The girl must see her own sin from God's point of view. When the Holy Spirit convicts her she will be so overwhelmed with her own guilt that her dad's sin will become insignificant in her eyes. She will now find it easy to forgive her father because she knows that her own sin, in respect to her fathers, is greater because she was the sole creator and source of it. She can truly forgive him and repent only when she knows that she was the true criminal toward God and that her own sin far exceeds that of her dad's sin.
If your focus is another person's crime against you, then you are looking at the sin in another person's life and are sinning. You need stop looking at the other persons sin and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see your own sins. Seeing your own sin is the only thing that will break this sinful mind set. You must see your sin from God's point of view. You need to realize how your sins have affected God and have broken his heart. You need to know that your sins have crucified Christ. You must see that your crimes against God far out exceed anything done against you. Only after the Spirit shows you your sin will you realize that in respect to your sin, their sin is insignificant.
Luke 6:41-42 "And why do you look at the mote that is in your brother's eye? but do not perceive the beam that is in your own eye? Either how can you say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when you yourself do not see or look at the beam that is in your own eye. You hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to pull out the mote that is in your brother's eye."