How can I set apart forgiveness offered in Christ for my family? Can non-Christians forgive the same way as Christians in practice, just by believing that God is the source of forgiveness without understanding the Cross?

Greetings Sanj!

I just finished listening to your beautiful testimony online and am amazed at the ripple effect of the work of God in your family in bringing about restoration of relationships and salvation to so many family members. Unlike your situation, my family decided to get even more deeper into the Hindu religion after I turned to Christ. They feel convinced that the forgiveness in Christianity is not any better than the forgiveness they practice as Hindus. In practice, I do see them offer forgiveness, acknowledge that forgiveness has a divine source and they also try to forgive the unrepentant as they are aware of the negative emotional impact of unforgiveness. Forgiveness for Christians is based on the justice fulfilled on the Cross and the forgiveness we have received in Christ. For them, it is based on the belief that Krishna cancels karma for the repentant and gives forgiveness. They say the whole purpose of God’s wrath or justice must be to bring people to repentance and that a loving God will accept a repentant heart even if he or she didn’t know about Jesus. How can I set apart forgiveness offered in Christ for my family? Can non-Christians forgive the same way as Christians in practice, just by believing that God is the source of forgiveness without understanding the Cross? Appreciate your thoughts on this. Much thanks!

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Hi Lakshmi,

Thank you for writing and sharing with me some of your situation with your family. I know family is very difficult to reach and many times it goes in the direction of them moving away from what you believe. I know you know that our own LORD was rejected by many.

To answer your some your questions I think that you are spot on that you have to point to the Cross first.

My understanding is that Krishna is only verbally saying that you have to repent and then you receive forgiveness? Plus, that you must continue to do good deeds in order to receive favor in God. Also I have heard that regular chanting helps with forgiveness? It can be very confusing and unclear.

I think the keyword in Christianity is sacrifice. There is no sacrifice in any other worldview. Jesus provides this sacrifice once and for all for everybody. For me it is a legal system. All of mankind is guilty and that somebody innocent and without sin has to take place and pay the penalty in order to make the guilty innocent. Anyone can die for someone else but the key is can the person raise himself from the dead to prove that they are God. The resurrection is central message! Again, somebody must die the death that you deserve. Substitutionary atonement.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We cannot save ourselves.

I believe the only way you can forgive is when you have been forgiven by God. Which gives you the ability to forgive others. Human beings cannot forget when it comes to forgiving but when they see a repented person it helps them forget but forgiveness can only come when you experience forgiveness from God yourself. And we see that forgiveness on the cross with Jesus’s death and resurrection. Remember this is the only thing that God excepts is our belief and faith in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

I would recommend to see if some of your family members would open to reading The Gospel of John? And then ask questions about forgiveness. Whenever I have somebody read John I ask them after so who is this Jesus?

Then I would ask the question the C. S. Lewis asks:

“That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice”

In summary try and explain the Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. HIS motivation is in Romans 5. LOVE.

I hope this makes senses? I’ll praying for you and your family Lakshmi.

Saved by Grace,

Sanj

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