For example, should we forgive those who commit heinous crimes, such as murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, etc?
Romans 12:14 - 15
NIV - 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
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I'd say that, as difficult (or even impossible) as it might sometimes seem from a human perspective, we should forgive others in such circumstances, just as Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of those who put Him to death. In addition to fulfilling Christ's commands to love our enemies, and to forgive others as God has forgiven us, such forgiveness releases us from the bondage and bitterness of ongoing resentment or hatred, and frees us to be open to ways in which God might use us to bring the other party to Him, and to be of maximum service to Him ourselves, as well. That is not to say, however (in my opinion) that we are asking that the other person escape any temporal consequences of their actions, just as it would be right that we ourselves should be held accountable for our actions in this life (although God may, in pure grace and mercy, spare us from it).
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