Q. When Christ was on the cross and he looked at the Roman soldiers who were killing him and said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Does this mean that God forgave them and they will be in heaven or did he just forgive them for those sins and not the ones afterward?
A. The soldiers were following orders and hadn’t been involved in the theological / political drama surrounding the crucifixion. Jesus was interceding for them regarding the act of carrying out the execution. Mark reveals that the Centurion, who was probably in charge of the execution team and saw how Jesus died, agreed that He was in fact the Son of God (Mark 15:39). If he also believed the reports of Jesus being raised from the dead three days later he would have met the requirements of Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” In that case all his sins would have been forgiven.