I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. (1 John 2:12)
Hmmm, "little children"??? Yes, "little children"!!! I've read several different commentaries on this particular verse. They are divided in their meaning of this translation. Some say it refers to "all" of the new Christians, some say it refers to the children of the Apostles and some say it is literally referring to children. In any case, and I choose to go with Matthew Henry's commentary in which he states "The youngest sincere disciple is pardoned: the communion of saints is attended with the forgiveness of sins. Those of the longest standing in Christ's school need further advice and instruction. Even fathers must be written unto, and preached unto; none are too old to learn."
We come into this world as sinners. We leave this world as sinners. It is through no fault of our own, but each of us having a free will to either answer the call of Christ or ignore it, is what sets us apart from one another. I was raised to believe that if babies were not baptized they went to "limbo" (which has since been disbanded). Quite frankly, I have no idea where they go now (according to the church of my upbringing) but in the words of George Carlin "I hope they promoted them all". I personally find it very hard (I always did) to imagine that God would send an innocent creation of his to hell (or anywhere else, for that matter) simply because no one sprinkled water on them before they died. If that is the case, explain to me where all the children of "spontaneous" (miscarriages) and "induced" abortions go. Baptism doesn't forgive sin - it represents repentance. It does not absolve you of anything. The only one who can forgive you of your sins is God! Yes, Jesus had the authority (and still does) to forgive sins - why??? Simple - he IS God. Forgiveness is a pardon we received from God.
When we confess to our Creator our shortcomings and our failures, we admit that we've violated his law and thus are asking that he graciously remove the sin - if we are sincere in our request, it is forgiven. The ritualistic acts designed by churches to offer forgiveness in an attempt to control its populous are, in itself, blasphemy. No one, and I do mean NO ONE can forgive but the Father! No one can act as an intercessor for forgiveness but Jesus. When we ask others to forgive us for "wrongs" committed against them, can we be sure they have truly forgiven us? I know for myself, there were times when I was apologized to and I verbally accepted the apology offered, but in my head told myself "I will never forgive them for that". I'd hate to think that the resentment I continued to carry kept that soul from heaven. The only guaranteed forgiveness we can seek is that of God.
Don't let the false teachings of others keep you from enjoying an eternity with God. Walk in his light, follow his path, ask for and offer true forgiveness (even if you aren't asked for such). Stop building a wall between you and God. Stop using the teachings that aren't from his word as a means to step over his truths. There is only one way to heaven and that's through Jesus. You cannot buy forgiveness and you cannot sell it. It's a gift, as I often said, already paid for, in blood...Jesus' blood. Let it wash over you and cleanse you! Belong to the true inventor of forgiveness - belong to Jesus!