“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.” (Matthew 18:23-28)
Jesus is so compassionate to forgive us our sins. So why is it that many people cannot show the same compassion towards others? Why do people hold so many grudges, anger, and resentment? Isn’t it true that we ask God for forgiveness often when we fall short? But why can’t people forgive others like the Lord does for us? God knows it when we hold this type of bitterness towards certain people wrongfully, while putting up walls. But we claim to be saved, this is a problem. It is puzzling how it is so difficult for people to show compassion and forgiveness like Jesus demonstrates towards us. One possible reason could be that, as flawed human beings, we often hold onto our hurt and anger. This is a way to protect ourselves. People often fear being vulnerable or getting hurt once again, so they don’t forgive too easily. By doing so, we inadvertently trap ourselves in a cycle of negativity and resentment. On the other hand, Jesus teaches us to love one another unconditionally. So we forgive others as He forgives us. Those who do this are not punished after this life. Those that do not forgive people are punished.
“And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” (Matthew 18:29-35)
Jesus said that if we do not forgive every person in this lifetime, our Father in heaven will make us pay the price for our sins. In God’s wrath, He will “deliver us to the tormentors, till we should pay all that was due unto us.” So what does this mean? It means that even saved people are not all fit for the kingdom of God when they die. There are so many people who have received Jesus, and He knows them, but still, their unforgiveness makes them unclean to enter heaven. Therefore, these people will suffer for a time before entering paradise. If this place is in hell, we don’t have that answer in the Bible. Catholics refer to this place as purgatory. But is Jesus teaching the same doctrine? It sure is similar. All I know is that Jesus never lies. He said that people who have not forgiven others will be punished in a place of torment. This is in the afterlife. Their punishment is not forever, as Jesus said they simply need to pay off what is due to them and then the punishment is over. These same people don’t have to suffer any more in the lake of fire. What a just God we have. Only He helps us know how to forgive others. Amen.