Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Do not misquote, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing..."

In most sermons there is all mention of praying for enemies and forgiving them, but no mention of repentance on the part of the wrongdoer.
This twists what the Bible says. Abusers use this as their favorite quote so that they do not have to repent.


  • In the quote above from Luke 23:34, Jesus was actually "praying for his enemies". On the cross, Jesus prayed for his enemies, but did not say, "I forgive them". He was in fact, asking God to not zap his crucifiers but to allow them to live to repent and be forgiven.

  • Jesus did not harbor bitterness and hatred against his murderers.

  • On the cross, Jesus forgave only the thief who repented, and gave him eternal life. He did not forgive the thief who mocked him and refused to repent.

  • Jesus mentioned we are to forgive when our brother repents (Luke 17:3,4).

  • God forgives us only when we repent (Acts 3:19).

  • He also prescribed a process in Matthew 18.

Why is this such a big deal?

By false teaching, everyone who has sinned against another - every child molester, every wrong doer, simply has to tell his victim, "you have to forgive me, even if I don't repent".

It is easy to repent before God because you cannot see God and whatever you tell him is private - say a quick prayer, and you are forgiven. However repenting to your victim requires humility because there may be humiliation. It requires a willingness to set things right, because you may have to pay (even go to jail) if there is justice involved.

God requires wrongdoers to repent to their victims for forgiveness and reconciliation to happen.

Unfortunately because of this evil and false teaching, many Christians do not repent nor admit wrong to those they have sinned against.

See also:
Radio Bible Class Should I Offer Forgiveness Without Repentance?
Luke 17 ministries "If No Unconditional Forgiveness, Then What About 'Father Forgive Them'?"

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