If A Brother/Sister Sins Against You, But Does Not Repent, Are You Automatically Obligated To Forgive Him/Her?

This question stems from this context in Luke 17:1-4: "Then He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,' you shall forgive him."

It is very important to focus on the word "if". That is a conditional word. What if the brother/sister does not repent of the sin against you? Then you are not obligated to forgive that brother or sister. This does not mean, however, that you should not long for that brother or sister's repentance. You should have the kind of heart that is willing to forgive.

Does God forgive those who do not repent of their sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9)? No. Does God long for people to come to repentance? Yes (2 Peter 3:9). Forgiveness is conditional. If a brother or sister sins against you, you should do everything in love to bring that person to repentance so that he/she may be forgiven of his/her sin.



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