There are many places in the red letters where Jesus appears to conditionally forgive sins. If you break certain rules your sins are not forgiven. The most obvious of these are sins against the Holy Spirit. I must admit that I don’t really understand that condition as much as I would like. But that is not the only place where Jesus appears to withhold forgiveness. There are many others. Several of them have to do with corrupting children. He in no uncertain terms says that if you cause a child to sin, faith or no faith, you will not see the kingdom of God.
Withholding forgiveness is something that goes very contrary to many evangelical churches who latch totally onto Paul’s words in Ephesians to almost the exclusion of even the words of Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.
Did Paul understand this differently than Jesus? If that is not the case then why did Jesus say your sins are not forgiven in certain circumstances therefore requiring works? If there is only faith required without any corresponding actions then not forgiving sin seems meaningless.
Maybe we need to consult a third voice in the matter and that is James, the brother of Jesus. James obviously was around Jesus most of his life and unlike Paul was there during Jesus’ entire three year ministry. In his Epistle James basically said the faith without works is a dead faith and therefore worthless. Enough said…. I am one to take Jesus at his word.