The perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ covers any sin. Jesus gave up His life to save all of mankind and gave us the opportunity to be part of His kingdom. Jesus died for us and paid the penalty of sin so that we will be saved (John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23). As this might be the case, it is very important to note that it is still possible for God not to forgive our sins. You know why? Find out the answer by reading the rest of this blog post.
Repentance is needed for our sins to be forgiven
Repentance is a common word for Christians today but only a few really know its true meaning. The concept of repentance is taught by Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus said:
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15).
The Apostle Peter and Paul both recognized the importance of repentance and commanded the followers of God to do so (Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30-31).
You can only find forgiveness by seeking it with repentance.
So what exactly is repentance and why is it needed for God to forgive us our sins? Repentance came from the Greek word metanoia which means reversal or change. In the Biblical standpoint, repentance is the recognition of our sin and asking God’s forgiveness for it.
Repentance is not a mere feeling of sorrow, guilt, and remorse. It is not a feeling of being sorry because you got caught. Though being sorrowful and sorry about our sins are part of repentance, it must be accompanied by the willingness to change one’s mind and turn AWAY from his or her evil deeds.
The Apostle Paul makes it very clear in II Corinthians 7:10.
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
For us to start a healthy and intimate relationship with God, we need to repent of our sins. Our iniquities and unrighteous deeds will naturally separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2). If we don’t repent of our sins, the gulf between us and God will continue to widen.
If we continue to willfully sin and ignore the warnings of God, we will be in danger of not being forgiven. If we have known better and we already have the gift of truth, God expects us to act upon what we know.
Hebrews 10:26-27 makes it very clear:
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, THERE REMAINS NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
God is the God of mercy. His unending mercy will never fail. His mercy is renewed day by day (Lamentations 3:22). As long as you are willing to repent of your sin and change your ways as an evidence of true repentance, God will forgive us.
Repentance means nothing if it is not accompanied with change.
Sadly, if a person decides not to repent, continue on sinning or simply just doesn’t care, that’s the time when God will not forgive him or her anymore.
Simply put, if there’s no repentance, there will also no forgiveness. The Apostle John was inspired by God to write:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Forgive one another for God to forgive us
In addition of repentance, God requires us to forgive those people who have also sinned against us – those people who have done wrong to us.
In the Model Prayer of Jesus Christ, there is one particular portion that He overemphasized. This is about forgiveness. He said:
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12).
Jesus Christ made His point even clearer by adding:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14).
From this passage, it is very clear that God expects us to forgive other people before He can forgive our sins.
This may be a SHOCKING TRUTH for people who can’t let go of their anger and resentment. We might be doing our best in praying for God’s forgiveness, but if we fail to forgive others, all of those prayers will be in vain. Even if we pour out all our hearts to God and ask for forgiveness, God will still not forgive us if we don’t forgive others as well.
We need to understand that forgiving other people is not really about them. It is about you. Forgiveness has more benefit to people who give it rather than to the people who receive it. Sometimes, we need to forgive for our own good and peace of mind.
Forgiving one another is a Christian duty. It is not optional. It is mandatory.
So why would God not forgive us if we don’t forgive other people? The simple answer is that He wants us to learn a lesson. He wants us to develop the same mercy and character that He has. If we are going to be a partaker of God’s divine nature, we need to learn how to forgive other people.
God expects us to readily forgive one another. Jesus even mentioned that we need to forgive our brother as often as he asks for forgiveness (Matthew 18:22). Even if our brother does not ask for forgiveness, God still wants us to treat our brother or sister with love and compassion, without harboring ill-feeling and malice.
That’s the type of love and mercy God wants us to exhibit as His sons and daughters. The standards may be high, but we all need to strive for perfection (Matthew 5:48).
In summary, to answer the question, “Why God will not forgive your sins?” There are two answers:
- He will not forgive us if we don’t repent.
- He will not forgive us if we don’t forgive others.
These are the reasons why God will not forgive us. As this might be the case, God is so loving and merciful as He constantly gives us the chance to repent of our sins and forgive one another. The outcome really lies within us. God will not force His ways down our throat.
Repentance and forgiving other people should come from us. It must be willingly done by us. It is not something that we are forced to do. Therefore, remember the points discussed in this post the next time you ask for forgiveness from God.
Do you know of other reasons for God not to forgive us? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.