“the torturers.” Prisoners were often tortured, so what Jesus said would have made sense in his social context. At the time Jesus was teaching, under the Law Administration, salvation was not guaranteed, and thus if lack of forgiveness was profound enough to destroy a person’s trust (“faith”) in God, it could jeopardize his everlasting life. Today in the Grace Administration, everlasting life is guaranteed after a person has trust in Christ, but rewards are not, so profound disobedience in the form of unforgiveness could lead to a loss of rewards in the Kingdom.
“until he paid back all that was owed.” This is one of the many verses that supports that unsaved people will be annihilated in the Lake of Fire and that they will not “burn forever in hell,” as many Christians teach. The Bible teaches that the unsaved will be thrown into the Lake of Fire where they will suffer until their crimes have been paid for and then they will be annihilated—completely burned up. Christians who teach that people burn forever in the Lake of Fire assert that no one can ever pay back what they owe to God so they must burn forever, but the Bible never says that, and furthermore that contradicts what Jesus clearly said; that the unsaved will suffer until they have paid for their sin. Sin can be paid for just as Jesus taught, it is not an unpayable amount.
[For more on people being annihilated in the Lake of Fire, see Appendix 5, “Annihilation in the Lake of Fire.”]