Did Jesus Forgive those Who Crucified Him? Or did He merely pray for them?

Did Jesus Forgive the soldiers who nailed him to the cross?

Did Jesus Forgive the soldiers who nailed him to the cross?

We have all heard that Jesus set the perfect example of forgiveness on the day that He was crucified. He prayed: “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do“. Luke 23:34. But the question remains, did Jesus really forgive those who hung him on the cross to die, or did He merely pray to the Father that He should forgive them?

There are many cases in the New Testament where Jesus healed the sick; and in many cases, He would also forgive their sins. Nowhere do we read that Jesus prayed to God the Father to forgive those whom He healed. But instead, Jesus took the matter into His own hands and simply said “Thy sins are forgiven thee”. Matthew 9:2. And thus, the individuals were healed and forgiven at that very moment. There was no need for Jesus to pray to God so that their sins could be forgiven; for Jesus had the power to do so.

In the same way, while He was hanging on the cross, He still had the power to forgive the repentant thief who hung with him. But when it came to the soldiers, He did not forgive them, instead, He prayed that God would do so.

After forgiving all the others, why did He have to pray to the Father to forgive the soldiers? This is the only case where Jesus prayed to God that He should forgive someone on His behalf.

Why?

The answer is simple: Because there was no evidence that the soldiers repented. The soldiers continued to mock Jesus, and therefore, Jesus could not forgive them. Had they repented, then Jesus would have forgiven them in the same way that He forgave the thief who repented.

The New Testament makes it very clear that no unrepentant sin will enter into heaven. Therefore, if one does not repent then God cannot forgive. Once we repent, then God has promised that He will forgive us. That is how we are to forgive others as well. When we see that they have repented and want to do different, then we are to forgive them, and not a moment sooner. If we do, then we become an abomination onto God. See Proverbs 17:15.

So the example that Jesus gave us on the cross, was not on how we should forgive others, but rather how we should pray for others. He could not forgive them, but He was able to overcome the anger and pray that God might forgive them if they ever came to an realized what they had done. That is exactly what we are to do.

At the same time, there are some that we don’t have to pray for. Jesus prayed for Peter but not for Judas. Nor did he pray for the pharisees – at least not what I have found.

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Moving On To Perfection We are commanded to move on to perfection and to overcome sin if we want to enter in.

Moving on to Perfection

Moving on to Perfection

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, ” Heb. 6:1.

“Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” Heb. 6:2.

“And this we will do, if God permit.” Heb 6:3.

What is Paul talking about here, and who is he talking to?

Hebrews 6 is a continuation of the last part of chapter 5 where he talks about milk being for babes and strong meat for those who have matured. Chapter 6 simply gives a further explanation.

The milk of the gospel is basically what he is describing in chapter 6:

  • the foundation of repentance,
  • faith toward God,
  • the doctrine of baptism,
  • the laying on of hands,
  • the resurrection of the dead, and
  • eternal judgment.

Paul is talking to the church, telling them to leave these principles behind and move on to perfection. He says to do them if God permits – meaning after they have moved on to perfection; but otherwise to leave them behind.

When we first hear the gospel we need the milk in order for us to understand. Then if we are faithful in moving on to perfection and overcoming our sins as God reveals them to us, then eventually He will begin to feed us meat. Until then, we have no right to go and baptize people, to preach to them, or even talk about repentance or Jesus. We are to move on to perfection, and once we have done so; others will come to us and ask us about our God. It is under those circumstances that we are allowed to continue in God’s ministry. The only exception is a preacher of course, out in a public field and not door to door or on another’s territory without prior permission.

The perfection talked about here is the perfection of the Holy Spirit who will help us to walk as Jesus walked. The strong meat is the word of righteousness, which can only come from God or the Holy Spirit. And this spirit is available to everyone today.

When we are guided by the Holy Spirit, we are in tune with God and will walk as Jesus walked. Jesus was free from the law; He had overcome sin and was in close fellowship with God. This is our goal; to be free from the law, overcome sin, and be led by the Holy Spirit. However, this does not mean that we don’t have to keep the law. We still have to keep the commandments, but we’ll be lifted up to a point where we don’t have to fight the temptation of murder, theft, lying, and etc. Thus, we’re not under the law even though we keep it.

Someone who is led by the Spirit and moving on to perfection is being taught by the Spirit or God Himself. A person who is led by the spirit does not need to read the Bible everyday to know what is right or wrong, (although its good to read the Bible); nor does he or she need to attend church every Sunday in order to remain in the faith or hear the Word. This individual can now go directly to God and be taught, strengthened, and can worship God at any time of day. This is the New Covenant. The middle man, aka the priest or preacher, was removed when the curtain was torn on the day of the crucifixion.

These individuals will purify themselves starting with the mind and with the thoughts they think. They will have control of the tongue, and will only speak what glorifies God. You can’t tame the tongue, but you can tame the heart and mind, thus the tongue will be tame as well.

In other words they will practice righteousness and walk as Jesus walked. Not only will their outward appearance be pure, but their hearts and minds will be pure as well. They will be given grace in order to overcome sin.

Paul is not just talking about an individual here. He is talking to the whole church, telling them to move on to perfection. If they fail they will fall, and if the church falls, it is impossible to renew the church again.

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,” Heb. 6:4.

“And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,” Heb. 6:5.

“If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Heb. 6:6.

We cannot physically crucify Jesus again, but every time we sin, whether we are a believer or an unbeliever it is the same as if we were to crucify Jesus all over again. When we don’t move on to perfection we are in danger of living in sin and crucifying Jesus again and again.

We will become so comfortable sinning while claiming the name of Jesus that we will never have a need for true repentance. Sure we will repent when we commit the sin, but in our hearts we don’t really believe that we can be free from that sin. The convictions of the Holy Spirit will get ignored until He/It eventually leaves us.

This is exactly what has happened. People no longer believe that it is possible to walk the walk that Jesus walked. No one seems to believe that we can overcome sin, yet the Bible repeatedly instructs us to do so. This does not mean that we will ever be perfect; there will be sin in our life till the day we die, but these will be sins that we are unaware of as being sinful.

God only reveals our sins to us when we are ready to deal with them. And if we fail to deal with them when He reminds us then He will simply draw back and let us be. God is not a dictator who makes us live lives that we don’t want to live.

If the church is strong and moving on to perfection, the people of that church will catch us and bring us back to God, even after God has begun to draw back. That is what the church is supposed to be there for. But when the church as a whole, begins to fall away, pushing God away, there is no one left to help bring anyone back to repentance.

As God begins to move out, satan moves in full force bringing a doctrine and teaching contrary to the Bible; telling people it’s ok to live in sin, and as long as they believe, they are okay.

I believe this is the state of most churches today. Satan has taken over and it is impossible for them to repent. There is no one there to remind them of their sins. God is simply letting them be because they have rejected Him.

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Salt Losing Its Savour Those words were spoken to a group of believers and not to an individual - meaning that if a saved individual falls, he or she can still return to God.

Ye Are the Salt of the Earth

Ye Are the Salt of the Earth

Jesus Said: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matt. 5:13.

He goes on to say: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Matt. 5:14.

There was a large crowd gathered around Jesus when He spoke these words, and basically what He was saying was this: If you have become salty and go stale, you can never be salty again and are good for nothing.

So does that mean that if we have been saved, then lose our salvation, that we can never be saved again? The answer is yes and no. In order to fully understand we must examine the context in which Jesus spoke and to whom He was speaking.

In this case Jesus spoke to His disciples and a large crowd that had followed him. He wasn’t talking to one person in particular, but to the group as a whole. If He had spoken to one person in particular then that would mean that if we as an individual are saved, then fall away, we can never come back and serve God again or be a child of His.

The parable of the prodigal son clearly indicates that if we fall we can come back again and once again serve God. So Jesus could not have referred to one person in particular.

We know that Jesus spoke to the group as a whole consisting of true believers and curiosity seekers. Perhaps they believed at the time but then later fell, like Judas, who later betrayed Jesus. However, I believe that most of these people loved Jesus, the work He did, and they truly wanted to know Him and follow Him. The people Jesus spoke to were the people of the New Testament church. In other words, This is a statement spoken to the church as a whole, commanding the church to be the light of the world.

Essentially what Jesus was saying is if the church has become salty, then loses its saltiness, it can never become salty again. Or, if the church has been saved, or ordained to be a witness, but fails to be the witness that it was supposed to be and falls into sin, it can never be a witness for God again. Instead it will be trampled under the foot of man, meaning it will become a mockery to the people of the world. The unbelievers of the world will see the hypocrisy of the church and will have nothing to do with it.

That does not mean that everyone in that church cannot be saved again; but the church as a whole has lost its ministry and cannot be an effective witness again. An individual can still be a beacon and a witness, but not under the church doctrine because the church cannot regain its light back, whereas the individual can.

These are very harsh words that Jesus spoke. And it almost seems irrational that a church group cannot repent and start worshiping God again, but there is an explanation and it makes perfect sense.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” 2 Cor. 11:13.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Cor. 11:14.

“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Cor. 11:15.

If satan is transformed into an angel of light, where would she take her seat? There is only one place where she can do that, and that is in a fallen church. Once Satan takes her seat, the elders and leaders of the church begin to preach a false doctrine. A doctrine that people want to hear. A doctrine that makes them feel good, even about their sins. As a result, the need for repentance never arises because in their minds and hearts, all is well.

People who leave this type of church can once again become effective witnesses. But as long as they are under the false teaching, the false light of that church will reflect on the individual making it impossible for them to be a light for God.

Satan has taken her seat and will continue in that church, to rule it as if she were God. She wants to be just like God, and will not give up or willingly let go of those people. Even if the ministers leave, satan will get someone else to take over and continue with the false teachings.

The saddest part about this is that the teachings will be the kind of teachings about peace and love, exactly what everyone wants to hear, and satan is welcomed with open arms. A teaching of godliness, but without the power. Or as Jesus put it: salt losing its savour.

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What Does Biblical Forgiveness Mean? After you forgive as Christ forgives - Do you forgive and continue in a relationship? Or, do you forgive and then go your own separate ways?

Biblical Forgiveness - Do you forgive and continue in a relationship? Or do you forgive and then go your separate ways?

Biblical Forgiveness – Do you forgive and continue in a relationship? Or do you forgive and then go your separate ways?

When you ask Christians what forgiveness means, the majority of them will tell you that it means to let go of the situation, and to overcome the anger associated with it. To back this up, they use Ephesians 4:26:

“Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Ephesians 4:26.

However, this verse makes no mention of forgiveness. And most people do not understand that anger and unforgiveness are two entirely different things. You should always let go of your anger, but you do not have to forgive if you are not asked to forgive – not only in words, but in actions as well.

Because of the misunderstanding of this verse, people believe that we can forgive, but that we do not have to continue in a close relationship with those who do not acknowledge their wrong. Ask any Christian, and they will tell you that you do not have to continue in a close relationship with anyone who has wronged you, but that you have to forgive that person if you want to be saved. The reason that we do not have to continue in a close relationship with that person is because they know, and we all know for that matter, that it is impossible to have a relationship with someone who will not admit their wrong doing towards us.

According to Christianity, if we want to be forgiven by God, then we must forgive everyone around us even if they do not ask us for forgiveness. The Bible, however, does not teach that we have to forgive others before they repent of their wrongdoing towards us. As a matter of fact it condemns that kind of behaviour. (see Proverbs 17:15 and Matthew 18:17)

The reason for this misunderstanding is that most people do not know what Biblical forgiveness means.

What Does Biblical Forgiveness Mean, and How Does God Forgive?

The Bible makes it very clear that we need to repent before God can forgive us. If we do not repent, then we are against God, and God cannot have fellowship with us if we are against Him. We are instructed to forgive as God forgives us, which basically means that we cannot forgive others until they have repented towards us as well. Saying that we have forgiven an unrepentant sinner is saying that we are more powerful than God himself because God cannot forgive the unrepentant.

In addition, when God forgives us of our sins our relationship with Him is restored. Once we have repented and He has forgiven us, then we are justified, which means that we have been declared free from the blame of guilt. The line of communication is restored, and we can once again come to God with confidence, knowing that we are saved.

So then, when we truly forgive as God forgives us, then our relationship with the person who wronged us will be restored as well. It will be restored in the same way that our relationship is restored with God when He forgives us. We will once again get together with that person at social events and continue with all other activities that we engaged in previously.

But if we say that we have forgiven, yet refuse to continue in a relationship, then we have not forgiven at all. But rather, we may have merely overcome the anger. This is what Ephesians 4:26 is talking about, to not let the sun go down on your anger.

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If Ye Who Are Evil – Will You Be Tormented in Hell Forever and Ever? How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

If ye then, being evil, know to do good...

If ye then, being evil, know to do good…

Jesus once said to his disciples: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:11-12

Animals are often put down when they get old and sick in order to end their suffering. The owners simply can’t stand to watch their beloved pets suffer when a single needle can end the pain for that pet. No one thinks of that as a cruel act because it simply ends the suffering when there is nothing the vets can do for that particular pet.

We would do the same for a disobedient dog that ran out onto the road and got run over by a vehicle. The owner of that dog, as disappointed as he or she might be, will do everything he or she can to either save the dog’s life or put it down if there is no hope for a good recovery. Even though the dog was disobedient, the owner sees no reason to further punish the dog except to put it down so it doesn’t have to suffer needlessly.

This is human nature. Human nature for the most part is wicked, but in this case it is good. There is no pleasure or need to cause an animal to suffer needlessly.

The Bible says that we were created in the image of God. And Jesus said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:11-12

So if we, who rule over the animals, know that there is no need to make any animal suffer, why on earth would God send anyone into an eternal and tormenting hell-fire? No parent would cause a disobedient child to be punished for all eternity; because we know better.

Therefore, if we are created in the image of God, and if God will do even better by us than we could ever do by our children or animals, then it’s impossible for Him to torment anyone in an eternal fire.

One other thing, Jesus quoted the golden rule – do unto others. Do you think God would want to be tormented in an eternal and tormenting hell-fire? If you don’t know the answer ask yourself, would you want to be tormented in an eternal and tormenting hell-fire?

If not, then why would God? After all, you were created in the image of God.

And “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

How amazingly cool is that?

And what more proof do you need that an eternal place of torment does not exist? Technically you shouldn’t need anymore, but I’ll give it to you anyway and will back it up with actual Bible verses.

Back to Genesis

The verses that are used to illustrate an eternal tormenting hell-fire are Revelation 14:10-11. Revelation is the last book of the Bible and many are intrigued by it. Preachers are quick to preach about it because it draws crowds. And crowds bring in the money. But the sad news is that unless you understand the first three chapters of Genesis, you cannot even begin to understand the rest of the Bible, let alone Revelation.

God said to Adam and Eve: “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17.

God didn’t mean that they would die physically that day; or that they would be headed for the physical death on that day. The physical death was already established even before Adam and Eve sinned. When studying the whole context it is clear to see that God spoke of their second death, which would occur at the second Resurrection.

Jesus used the same language: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.” John 8:51-52.

There is no indication here that Jesus is speaking of the physical death, but rather the spiritual. Had he referred to the physical, then all the wicked would have dropped dead and the righteous would have never seen the physical death.

Also, notice the reaction of the Pharisees. They couldn’t understand that Jesus spoke of the spiritual death.

It is the same way with Christianity today. They are unable to understand that when the Bible speaks about life and death that it refers to the second death and the afterlife.

When it speaks about the physical death, it generally uses the term “asleep”.

So God basically made it clear that their souls would die if they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

But then along comes Ms. Lucy, aka satan, and says: “ye shall not surely die.” Genesis 3:4. Meaning your soul will not die! That’s where the idea of an immortal soul stems from. It is simply a lie of the devil and so many people have fallen for it.

And get this, the Catholic church (the great harlot), out of which Christianity (the daughters of the harlot) came about, admits that they made the whole “burning in hell for all eternity” thing up so that people would come to church and hand over their  hard-earned money.

Anyway…

After Adam and Eve had sinned and God had His talk with them He said: “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” Genesis 3:22.

Come again…

and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

I don’t know how anyone could interpret that verse any other way but that God does not want that any sinful person should live forever, let alone for all eternity. Yes, there is a difference between forever and ever and eternity. Forever and ever is a reference to time, which will end; and eternity has no beginning or end.

So if God doesn’t even want a sinful person to live until the end of this world, how much more do you think He’s against someone being stuck in a sinful body for all eternity?

The Bible says that God does want that any man should suffer. That includes all the righteous AND the WICKED! God is not a respecter of persons and takes no pleasure in suffering; whether that be of the righteous or the wicked. God is a merciful and loving God. To say that He will torment anyone in an eternal fire creates a monster out of him.

Anyhow, Gen 3:22 makes it very clear that the soul will die unless it eats from the tree of life. That tree of life will be made available to the believers after all is said and done. It is at that moment when their souls will become immortal.

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