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Thread: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

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    Default How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    At what point do we stop forgiving another person for their sin, and start thinking of them as evil?

    On the one hand, there is Matthew 18:21-22 in which Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” and Jesus answers, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” On the other hand, we have Hebrews 10:26-27 which says, “…if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

    Does that mean that we must forgive a person who sins 77 times, but on the 78th time it is up to God as to what to do with them? Do we keep track of the number of times a person sins, by keeping a ledger? Do we put notches on a wall for each time, so we can make sure we do not forgive the person on their 78th sin?

    Everyone, including those who strive for righteousness and have accepted the truth of Jesus, was conceived in a world of sin. After all, the world is the domain of Satan, who goes to and fro to prey on the morally weak among us and tries to get them to commit sins toward becoming evil. Those of us who have accepted God through Jesus stand a better chance of being forgiven of our sins then those who’ve rejected Him.

    But how do we distinguish those who have accepted God through Jesus and, because of the world in which we live, are prone to sin now and then, from those who purposely sin and are thus following Satan or other gods? How do we distinguish between a God-fearing person who sins up to 77 times, and an evil person who is on their way toward sinning 78 times and more?
    What resources does the Bible give us, to make such a discernment?

    Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by TESTING you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We know what is good, from what the Bible tells us. Goodness involves loving God with all one’s heart, soul and mind, and loving eachother.

    At the end of the day, though we do not know what is in the hearts and minds of others; only God knows that. We can guess, and if we have had enough experience in the world the chances are we will guess right. What does God expect from us, as part of loving Him and eachother, but as he directed Adam and Eve in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth? In that regard, any act committed which prevents others from being fruitful and, either directly or through their children, to multiply, and which prevents others who are God-fearing from going forth, is an act of sin.

    So, we have a standard of sorts, but it is not perfect. A person who sins up to 77 times may try to deceive us into believing that they are really God-fearing, and after all, nobody’s perfect, etc., but in reality they could be the embodiment of evil. This could be where our testing comes in. ‘Is the person good in other ways?’ ‘Can we let this person into our house?’ But once the person is in our house, do they become a drag or a threat on our own striving for righteousness?

    We can only hope, with God’s help, that despite our imperfections we do the right thing on the whole.
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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    70 times 7 is not 77......just pointing that out.......and how many sins does JESUS forgive us of......answer...all of them

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    So, we should forgive a person up to 490 times. That could make things worse, since the person committing up to that many sins may just be evil, and subject to Hebrews 10:26-27. I'd hate to think of the carnage such a person may cause if we wait until the 491st time to think, 'Hmmm, maybe that person is evil after all!'


    Last edited by newton3003; 1 Week Ago at 12:18 PM.

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?



    Embrace the Grace and Rejoice in His Everlasting Mercy and Love

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    The point in not 490 times.....the point is every time........and the key is if a BROTHER sins against you....a brother by birth will always be a brother by birth.......and if the BROTHER comes to you to GET RIGHT<--the key
    Last edited by dcontroversal; 1 Week Ago at 12:42 PM.
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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    On the one hand, there is Matthew 18:21-22 in which Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” and Jesus answers, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” On the other hand, we have Hebrews 10:26-27 which says, “…if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
    To be honest I think we need to separate the two sets of verses you have posted.
    In Matthew Jesus is making a point.

    From what I understand that to the Jewish nation either 3 or 4 times was the max. Can't remember which one.
    It's somewhere in Amos.

    So maybe Peter was being quite generous.

    The point is that Jesus is saying do not keep a count but always be willing to forgive.
    I think we should do that even if they do not ask for forgiveness.
    "Forgiveness is to set the prisoner free only to realise that the prisoner was you" (Lewis B Smedes)

    As for the Hebrews passage. That's a totally different story depending on your theological bent, or maybe not.
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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    We are to forgive people that offend us no matter how many times they offend us,and Jesus was giving an example of 70x7 as an example that we are always to forgive them and that is why He used such a huge number.

    We do not forgive them for so long,and then look at them as evil,for if they keep offending us and are of the world,or if they claim Christ but hold unto that sin of offending people they are evil,at least in that area,but love is the fulfilling of the law so if they keep offending liking it then they are not right with God.

    And when the Bible says that if a person sins wilfully then there is no more sacrifice for sins,does not mean that God does not stop forgiving us after we commit a certain amount of sins,but it is our attitude concerning sin that if a person holds unto sin then the blood of Christ cannot wash it away,for God will not take away a sin that we hold unto.

    In Roman chapter 1 it states that because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge that He turns them over to a reprobate mind,and some think this can also mean people that claim Christ but are hypocritical,but this is not true,for these people deny a personal God even though creation testifies of that,and do not claim Jesus as Lord and Savior,so God allows them to only see the ways of the flesh,and does not work in their life.

    The Bible says that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance on His part,so once God calls a person then He will work with them concerning the truth,and if they do not deny the God of Israel,and Jesus,and claim Him as Lord and Savior,if they are hypocritical God is still working in their life to straighten them out,and they would not be turned over to a reprobate mind.

    The Bible says that the saints cannot be gathered unto Christ until there is a falling first,and some think this means the Church,but it does not,for the Church can never fall away,for Jesus said where 2 or 3 are gathered together in His name there He is in the midst of them,and the gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church,so the Church can never fall away,and there might be a lot of hypocrites at the end time but that does not cause the Church to fall away,for Jesus said the hypocrites do not belong to the Church.

    It means the condition of the world in response to the Gospel that one day they will stop the preaching of the Bible,and the Gospel,according to the fundamental viewpoint that there is a personal God,and Jesus is Lord and Savior,and make it international law that religion is about evolution,and people can still evolve by the power of nature,and honor the God of forces,or the power of nature as their higher power,and Christianity will rapidly decline in impacting the world with the truth,which the Bible says the time will come they will not want to endure the truth,but want to hear the Bible according to their own lusts,spiritual evolution through nature to be greater,which is why they will accept the New Age Christ,and they will be turned unto fables,or the imaginations of people not based in reality.

    We are to forgive people no matter how much they offend us,and God does not have a set limit on how much He forgives us,and then gives up on us,but if we hold unto sin then it cannot be forgiven,for the sacrifice of Jesus cannot wash away that sin.

    Look at the prodigal son that got his inheritance,and went and wasted it,and came back,and was accepted,and he was accepted because He did not deny God,and he repented of his behavior,and all was right again.

    We could live in sin for a year,and be forgiven if we truly give it up,which Peter had a sin for 14 years in which Paul told him to stop it and he did not walk uprightly according to the Gospel of truth,but Peter got rid of it.

    Do not deny God,and Jesus,and do not hold unto sin,and if you do hold unto sin for a while realize that you are not right with God,so you will eventually give it up,for some make the mistake of thinking they are alright with God even though they hold unto sin,but then it cannot be washed away.

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by newton3003 View Post
    At what point do we stop forgiving another person for their sin, and start thinking of them as evil?

    On the one hand, there is Matthew 18:21-22 in which Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” and Jesus answers, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” On the other hand, we have Hebrews 10:26-27 which says, “…if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

    Does that mean that we must forgive a person who sins 77 times, but on the 78th time it is up to God as to what to do with them? Do we keep track of the number of times a person sins, by keeping a ledger? Do we put notches on a wall for each time, so we can make sure we do not forgive the person on their 78th sin?

    Everyone, including those who strive for righteousness and have accepted the truth of Jesus, was conceived in a world of sin. After all, the world is the domain of Satan, who goes to and fro to prey on the morally weak among us and tries to get them to commit sins toward becoming evil. Those of us who have accepted God through Jesus stand a better chance of being forgiven of our sins then those who’ve rejected Him.

    But how do we distinguish those who have accepted God through Jesus and, because of the world in which we live, are prone to sin now and then, from those who purposely sin and are thus following Satan or other gods? How do we distinguish between a God-fearing person who sins up to 77 times, and an evil person who is on their way toward sinning 78 times and more?
    What resources does the Bible give us, to make such a discernment?

    Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by TESTING you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We know what is good, from what the Bible tells us. Goodness involves loving God with all one’s heart, soul and mind, and loving eachother.

    At the end of the day, though we do not know what is in the hearts and minds of others; only God knows that. We can guess, and if we have had enough experience in the world the chances are we will guess right. What does God expect from us, as part of loving Him and eachother, but as he directed Adam and Eve in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth? In that regard, any act committed which prevents others from being fruitful and, either directly or through their children, to multiply, and which prevents others who are God-fearing from going forth, is an act of sin.

    So, we have a standard of sorts, but it is not perfect. A person who sins up to 77 times may try to deceive us into believing that they are really God-fearing, and after all, nobody’s perfect, etc., but in reality they could be the embodiment of evil. This could be where our testing comes in. ‘Is the person good in other ways?’ ‘Can we let this person into our house?’ But once the person is in our house, do they become a drag or a threat on our own striving for righteousness?

    We can only hope, with God’s help, that despite our imperfections we do the right thing on the whole.
    Hi Newton,

    70 x 7 is like a Hebraism. It means we forgive an infinitesimal amount of times. I think the context of scriptures that contains this is really important.


    Matthew 18:21-39
    Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”


    Jesus used an example of a man who owed millions (this is an exaggeration) and a man who owed pennies in comparison. A king forgave the man who owed millions, the compassion, kindness, grace and mercy of the king was such that he knew there's no way this man would ever be able to pay his debt. This is us as sinners. There's no way we can pay our debt either. Like the king, Jesus forgave our debt totally.

    So this man who owes millions and has been forgiven seeks a man who owes him pennies, chokes him and demanded repayment. This man pleaded for more time to pay his debt, just like this man who owed millions. He refused to forgive and threw him in prison.

    So we also are to forgive others their sin, no matter how huge or how little a sin. (7x70) Our forgiven debt paid by Jesus is way more than what anyone will do to us. How can we not forgive when we've been forgiven so much. The heart of the man who can not forgive as in the example in Matthew shows a man who lacks a new regenerate heart.
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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    We as Christians can't keep a record of offenses against us, so I think 70 x 7 means an unlimited number of times.

    Some two decades ago I had a co-worker who was reputed to be a nice guy because he had only three character flaws: He was a liar, a bootlicker and a snitch. Apart from that he was really a nice guy.

    The first time he slandered me I went to him for reconciliation. After talking with him I really believed I had lost an enemy and gained a friend, but a few hours later he started slandering me again.

    So I learned that besides being a liar, a bootlicker and a snitch he was also treacherous, but in most people's opinion he was still a nice guy.

    Attempts of reconciliation with treacherous people is futile, so I just told him I knew he had back stabbed me and started to ignore him. If one day down the road he comes to me for reconciliation and shows evidence of repentance, I will surely forgive him, but in the meantime I will not go to him.
    Last edited by Marcelo; 1 Week Ago at 03:09 PM.
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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by newton3003 View Post
    So, we should forgive a person up to 490 times. That could make things worse, since the person committing up to that many sins may just be evil, and subject to Hebrews 10:26-27. I'd hate to think of the carnage such a person may cause if we wait until the 491st time to think, 'Hmmm, maybe that person is evil after all!'


    I usually stop associating with people at 77 times. But that is MY failing.

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    I know what you mean Marcelo, some people need to be loved from a distance. Everyone was right about the 7 X 70 approach, it was addressed at believers to keep forgiving no matter what. Jesus wants this for our sake; even if offended continually we are not to harbor grudges. It will even hamper our prayer request:

    Mark 11:24-26: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

    If we have blackness (hate) in our hearts, we just might call fire down from heaven like Elijah did.



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    to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deade View Post
    I know what you mean Marcelo, some people need to be loved from a distance.


    And that guy specifically needed to be loved from a very long distance.

    the rule of thumb is:

    Love your neighbor as yourself, but don't take down the fence.

    Carl Sandburg

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    No one is sinless and good in and of ourselves.

    We are only saved though the blood of Jesus and the imputed righteousness we
    have in Christ.

    What right have we got not to forgive others.



    Mark 10:18 AMPC
    [18] And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me essentially and perfectly morally good?
    There is no one essentially and perfectly morally good--except God alone.
    He is God and we are not.


    Quote Originally Posted by notmyown View Post
    Miri, for being Mary Poppins. (inside joke, but no, really! she's kind and no nonsense!)

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcelo View Post
    We as Christians can't keep a record of offenses against us, so I think 70 x 7 means an unlimited number of times.

    Some two decades ago I had a co-worker who was reputed to be a nice guy because he had only three character flaws: He was a liar, a bootlicker and a snitch. Apart from that he was really a nice guy.

    The first time he slandered me I went to him for reconciliation. After talking with him I really believed I had lost an enemy and gained a friend, but a few hours later he started slandering me again.

    So I learned that besides being a liar, a bootlicker and a snitch he was also treacherous, but in most people's opinion he was still a nice guy.

    Attempts of reconciliation with treacherous people is futile, so I just told him I knew he had back stabbed me and started to ignore him. If one day down the road he comes to me for reconciliation and shows evidence of repentance, I will surely forgive him, but in the meantime I will not go to him.
    Would you not forgive him though before he asks you? If we do not forgive before they ask for it are we not holding a grudge?
    If we are holding a grudge, unforgivness does that not affect our walk with God?

    To me this is one of the reasons Jesus tells us to forgive.

    I think we can forgive, but also I believe that we do not have to put ourselves in situations that they can continually sin against us. Yet at times God will ask us to do so to demonstrate that we have forgiven them.

    That's been my life's experiences.

    I held on to unforgivness with my sexual abuser (foster dad) for about 30 years.
    I was waiting for him to die, because then I thought I would be free.
    For 15 years I stopped going to church.

    I only kept in because I loved my foster mum, she led me to Jesus. Turns out he had been sent to prison for sexual abuse towards children.

    How on earth I was allowed to be fostered I have no idea, will I do but will post in at the end.

    When I came back to church this issue was one that God started to impress on me.
    One night he said to me, after I put the phone down telling my foster mum we would not be able to visit (which was a lie) because I could not cope with it.

    God says "Bill let us go down and deal with it"

    I said "NO"

    God says the same thing 3 times more.
    3 times I said NO I will not go down there, when he dies I will be free.

    Then God said to me

    "Bill what part of US are you not hearing? I'm coming with you, I'm gonna help you.
    So I called back my foster mum and said we will be coming down (we being wife and my kids)

    So whilst down there I sat in the same room with him. He was quite poorly, had a minor stroke.
    As we sat and spoke he was very antagonist towards me. He always was.


    But then God started to show me something about him, I could see the demonic oppression over him, yet at the same time God was bringing up all the stuff I held against him.

    As he did that I found myself praying in my forgiveness but at the same time praying for his release.

    It was a long week.
    We went back home and God was still working in this in me.

    Anyway a month later I got a call from a hospital.
    He was on his deathbed and could I come down.
    I was sat at my desk at work.

    I made an excuse that I could not.
    Then God said "Let us go down"

    Which I did, just me and God.

    I sat with him on his deathbed. I said in my mind "I truly forgive you"
    I prayed over him, he was tormented. I prayed "Trust in Jesus and you will be with him"

    He died soon afterwards.
    When he did I took care of his estate. It truly one year.

    As I reflected in this not long after his death I really felt God say to me

    "Bill you thought you would be set free when he died, the truth is you would not have been set free, because you would still be carrying all that hurt, pain and unforgivness, you needed to forgive him and walk in it to be free, now you are free"

    So with regards to the OP.

    How many times should we forgive?

    I was fostered for 4 years.

    That is 1460 days.
    On average sexual abuse was 2 times a day.
    Now that's 2920 days.

    So God was faithful to me.
    He helped me forgive my abuser 2920 times and demonstrate it.

    Then I stumbled across this quote by Smedes as I posted above.

    To forgive is to set the prisoner free only to realise that prisoner was you.

    That prisoner was me and the only way I could be free was to forgive before he died.

    Let us forgive, let us not become a prisoner.

    Finally to finish, I said above why was this allowed to happen to me?

    Sin does happen, hurt and pain as a result does happen.

    What does God say

    Romans 8:28-29


    28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.


    As we are conformed to his image, what do we do.

    Walk like him, even to those who sin against us.
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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    If a person forgave his neighbor 490 times and then when his neighbor sinned that 491st time,that person thought,I don’t have to forgive this time,I would think the person that said he forgave them never did forgive them even after the first offence.
    IF you do not realize that the rebirth took place in your spirit then it can be confusing to your mind worshiping GOD standing in front of a physical mirror.

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    >I would think the person that said he forgave them never did forgive them even after the first offence.

    *** If you enumerate the times the person is forgiven, well, you gave him a number of chances, and Jesus put the limit of 490. If, as DessertsRose above said that the point Jesus was making is that a person should be forgiven always, regardless of the number of times that person sinned, and you stop forgiving him, you may be right. But how do you know you're not dealing with an evil person, whom, as
    Hebrews 10:26-27 should not be forgiven of his sins if he keeps on sinning after he has come to knowledge of the truth?

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by newton3003 View Post
    >I would think the person that said he forgave them never did forgive them even after the first offence.

    *** If you enumerate the times the person is forgiven, well, you gave him a number of chances, and Jesus put the limit of 490. If, as DessertsRose above said that the point Jesus was making is that a person should be forgiven always, regardless of the number of times that person sinned, and you stop forgiving him, you may be right. But how do you know you're not dealing with an evil person, whom, as
    Hebrews 10:26-27 should not be forgiven of his sins if he keeps on sinning after he has come to knowledge of the truth?
    The point Is forgive them and It’s not about a physical formula but a sititual true and If you are dealing with an evil spirit,GOD IN you will recognize that,and by faith you would need to be obedient to what GOD tells you but back to the forgiveness Issue,If you forgave the person the first time GOD knows and will tell you what and when to move.
    IF you do not realize that the rebirth took place in your spirit then it can be confusing to your mind worshiping GOD standing in front of a physical mirror.

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillG View Post
    Would you not forgive him though before he asks you? If we do not forgive before they ask for it are we not holding a grudge?
    In most cases I forgive offenders even when don't offer an apology. The problem with that guy is that he was not interested in my forgiveness -- all he wanted was to ruin my life. My heart is ready to accept him as a friend at any moment provided he really changes his heart.

    What that guy did to me was very serious -- I was about to be fired because of his false accusations. Thank God I could prove my innocence, but asked my boss not to punish him. Is this forgiveness or not?

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcelo View Post
    We as Christians can't keep a record of offenses against us, so I think 70 x 7 means an unlimited number of times.

    Some two decades ago I had a co-worker who was reputed to be a nice guy because he had only three character flaws: He was a liar, a bootlicker and a snitch. Apart from that he was really a nice guy.

    The first time he slandered me I went to him for reconciliation. After talking with him I really believed I had lost an enemy and gained a friend, but a few hours later he started slandering me again.

    So I learned that besides being a liar, a bootlicker and a snitch he was also treacherous, but in most people's opinion he was still a nice guy.

    Attempts of reconciliation with treacherous people is futile, so I just told him I knew he had back stabbed me and started to ignore him. If one day down the road he comes to me for reconciliation and shows evidence of repentance, I will surely forgive him, but in the meantime I will not go to him.
    You have probably already forgiven him but you are smart to stay away from him.
    IF you do not realize that the rebirth took place in your spirit then it can be confusing to your mind worshiping GOD standing in front of a physical mirror.

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    Default Re: How Much Can a Person be Forgiven of Sins?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillG View Post
    Would you not forgive him though before he asks you? If we do not forgive before they ask for it are we not holding a grudge?
    If we are holding a grudge, unforgivness does that not affect our walk with God?

    To me this is one of the reasons Jesus tells us to forgive.

    I think we can forgive, but also I believe that we do not have to put ourselves in situations that they can continually sin against us. Yet at times God will ask us to do so to demonstrate that we have forgiven them.

    That's been my life's experiences.

    I held on to unforgivness with my sexual abuser (foster dad) for about 30 years.
    I was waiting for him to die, because then I thought I would be free.
    For 15 years I stopped going to church.

    I only kept in because I loved my foster mum, she led me to Jesus. Turns out he had been sent to prison for sexual abuse towards children.

    How on earth I was allowed to be fostered I have no idea, will I do but will post in at the end.

    When I came back to church this issue was one that God started to impress on me.
    One night he said to me, after I put the phone down telling my foster mum we would not be able to visit (which was a lie) because I could not cope with it.

    God says "Bill let us go down and deal with it"

    I said "NO"

    God says the same thing 3 times more.
    3 times I said NO I will not go down there, when he dies I will be free.

    Then God said to me

    "Bill what part of US are you not hearing? I'm coming with you, I'm gonna help you.
    So I called back my foster mum and said we will be coming down (we being wife and my kids)

    So whilst down there I sat in the same room with him. He was quite poorly, had a minor stroke.
    As we sat and spoke he was very antagonist towards me. He always was.


    But then God started to show me something about him, I could see the demonic oppression over him, yet at the same time God was bringing up all the stuff I held against him.

    As he did that I found myself praying in my forgiveness but at the same time praying for his release.

    It was a long week.
    We went back home and God was still working in this in me.

    Anyway a month later I got a call from a hospital.
    He was on his deathbed and could I come down.
    I was sat at my desk at work.

    I made an excuse that I could not.
    Then God said "Let us go down"

    Which I did, just me and God.

    I sat with him on his deathbed. I said in my mind "I truly forgive you"
    I prayed over him, he was tormented. I prayed "Trust in Jesus and you will be with him"

    He died soon afterwards.
    When he did I took care of his estate. It truly one year.

    As I reflected in this not long after his death I really felt God say to me

    "Bill you thought you would be set free when he died, the truth is you would not have been set free, because you would still be carrying all that hurt, pain and unforgivness, you needed to forgive him and walk in it to be free, now you are free"

    So with regards to the OP.

    How many times should we forgive?

    I was fostered for 4 years.

    That is 1460 days.
    On average sexual abuse was 2 times a day.
    Now that's 2920 days.

    So God was faithful to me.
    He helped me forgive my abuser 2920 times and demonstrate it.

    Then I stumbled across this quote by Smedes as I posted above.

    To forgive is to set the prisoner free only to realise that prisoner was you.

    That prisoner was me and the only way I could be free was to forgive before he died.

    Let us forgive, let us not become a prisoner.

    Finally to finish, I said above why was this allowed to happen to me?

    Sin does happen, hurt and pain as a result does happen.

    What does God say

    Romans 8:28-29


    28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.


    As we are conformed to his image, what do we do.

    Walk like him, even to those who sin against us.


    Oh how I wish what you said were not true. But I thank God He was with you as you dealt with such horror.
    The best way to help others understand and experience God's love better is to understand and experience it better yourself.

    Understanding and experiencing God's love better everyday is the most important task for anyone who considers him/herself to be a Christian.


    Love without truth is deception. Truth without love is arrogance. God's love and God's truth balanced is God's wisdom.

    The more one promotes himself and/or his ideas, the less he cares about eternal life for others.

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