For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. ~Matt. 18:20
I would think it would be a matter of repentance similar to in the confessional, the penitent isn't just to mention the sins, but also to demonstrate remorse and repentance through words and manner. The remorse and repentance can be motivated either by love for God, the purer intention, or fear of punishment, but remorse and repentance must be present to receive absolution.
Unrepentant heart? Insincere motives? Doing it for show only? I agree with Colleen, remorse and repentance must be genuinely present to receive absolution.
Thanx Colleen and Noreen,Are these the only reasons? Unrepentance, insincerity, showing off? I would have thought the Disciples would know about that anyway.I can't help feeling Christ had something else in mind; but I can't figure out what. It seems such an odd thing to say. What you don't forgive is not forgiven. What if they make a mistake? Is that person not forgiven in Heaven?God bless.
Victor, do you think it is along the lines of giving authority for excommunication?
Interesting question, Victor.I always assumed the reasons Colleen gave - that if someone was just going through the motions and wasn't truly sorry, it was possible they would not be forgiven. But since you forced me to really think about it, I suppose another option could be that it was just a figure of speech to show the total authority they have regarding forgiveness. (Again, I dont know how likely that is, but you made me think differently. One thing I have learned, though, is that sometimes it is hard to get the full context of how something was said by just reading text.)God Bless!
Thanx Colleen and Michael,Maybe you're right Colleen. I would have thought that the Disciples knew about unrepentance and insincerity. So Maybe Jesus was talking about excommunication.I agree Michael. We sometimes don't get what was said in its true context. Some meaning must also be lost in translation from the original Bible scripts.God bless.