Question: Does the Bible really say that Jesus won’t forgive me of my sins if I refuse to forgive other people?
Answer: The Bible does, indeed, teach that command from Jesus. Here are some of His teachings that you’re referring to:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, then your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
When you come to pray, if you hold anything against someone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you of your own sins. Mark 11:25
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just like through Christ, God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Peter asked Jesus, “How many times do I have to forgive someone who sins against me? Up to seven times?” And Jesus said, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22
Forgiveness must be extremely important to God; He included it in His Word numerous times. Interestingly, He would rather receive your gifts of forgiving others than your money and service to Him! God always considers your submitting to His will much more important than receiving your gifts (I Samuel 15:22). Think about this – if you had a child, wouldn’t you prefer for him to follow the guidelines you put in place rather than allowing him to do destructive things but give you nice gifts?
One more thought from the very wise word of God – Not only should you forgive, but God wants the forgiven person to really feel forgiven. He doesn’t want us to hold it over a person’s head and remind him often of the past. God directed the apostle Paul to write: I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you stood up against him, and this was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, he may be overcome by discouragement and excessive sorrow. 2 Corinthians 2:5-8
The perfect example for us is how Jesus forgave those who betrayed, arrested, tortured, and murdered Him. Jesus said: Father forgive them. They don’t understand the enormity of what they are doing. Luke 23:33-34
If He could forgive all that, how can we refuse to forgive others?
Who do you need to forgive?