Law of Justice #2: All the repentant are forgiven before God.
If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him.
An ancient teaching of Yeshua, aka Luke 17:3-4
God is the most lenient of judges. If he sees that someone is sincerely apologetic for their rebellion, then he will welcome them back to society. To enter back into society is what the Bible calls “forgiveness”.15 Sin separates one from God’s people and forgiveness welcomes one back.
However, most authorities do not act with God’s mercy. They assume that there must be a certain kind of punishment or rehabilitation for one’s sins. Thus, even after repentance the separation may continue. Which gives the sinner no reason to repent or to change their actions. They “do their time” and so have “paid their debt”, but if they are willing to pay the fee, then they may do the action again.
God determines that any authority who refuses to forgive those whom He has forgiven has committed a sin against the Highest Authority.16 To continue to punish someone whom God has forgiven is to separate from one whom God has welcomed. It is to cause a false schism in society to tear apart that which God determined must remain together.
15. Using the English word “forgiveness” is confusing in this context. I wish there were another word I could use. To “forgive” someone in English is to not have any “hard feelings” or to release bitterness against some wrong done against one. But in ancient societies, “forgiveness” means much more. It means that the exile is over, that the person is welcome back into full participation in the community. Thus the typical “I forgive you but I don’t want to see you” can’t be used in this context. It is also for this reason that repentance is a requirement for forgiveness. If a person is not repentant of their oppressive, destructive acts against others, they cannot be allowed free reign in a society. Thus are murderers put in prison—they are not forgiven, and they are not considered safe for society.
16. The fullest example of this is in Matthew 18:25-33; but also see Matthew 6:12-15; Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4.