God forgives people when their life shows they really want to live how God wants them to live. So God’s forgiveness is conditional.
Since we know God forgives who he wants, we know he does not forgive who he does not want to forgive. Again, God’s forgiveness depends on his will. And as stated before, forgiveness is not a given. Yet even when someone asks for God to forgive her or him, forgiveness is not a given. This means a person can ask God to forgive her or him and not get forgiveness from God. Asking God to forgive us is not the only condition for forgiveness. We can see this when the leader of the Israelites, Joshua, advises the Israelites how they should live. Joshua tells the Israelites “God will not forgive their sins” (Joshua 24:19). But this claim is not a broad statement about forgiveness. It relates to something specific. For Joshua later states the condition of forgiveness. He says, “If you abandon the LORD and serve other gods, he will turn against you and destroy you, even though he has been so good to you” (Joshua 24:20). In other words, God’s forgiveness depends on a sincere walk with God. That means it is futile to ask for God to forgive us while living an evil life. In that case, God does not listen to a request for forgiveness. So God does not forgive sin by request only. A person’s life must be in line with such a request of forgiveness.