Will God Forgive Purposeful Sin?

Question from a Site Viewer
I have sinned purposefully against God by watching porn. Will the almighty God forgive me because I have come across some Christian brothers who say that sin committed deliberately is an act of rebellion against God and as such God will not forgive. God will punish such a soul. Do I still have hope?

Tim’s Answer
Thank you for asking the question. I do not know what Scripture your Christian brothers are using to state that God does not forgive purposeful sin. But I can assure you that if God does not forgive purposeful sin, then there is no hope for any of us. We all have sinned intentionally. Was not David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba a purposeful sin? God forgave David (2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 32:5). Were not the sins of ancient Israel deliberate? Yet, God calls them to return to Him and He will forgive their sins (Hosea 14:1-4). Peter, in lying to the women around the fire, sinned deliberately (Mark 14:66-72). Christ forgave his sin (John 21:15-21) and Peter became a great person in the early church.

Perhaps your Christian brothers are extrapolating from the Old Testament concept of the sin through ignorance (Numbers 15:24-29) and the sin with a high hand, sometimes translated as intentional sin (Numbers 15:30). There was no sacrifice in the Old Testament for sins of the high hand. Some have seen a link between the sin with the high hand and the passage in Hebrews 10:26-31, where we are told that those who sin willfully have no more offering for sin, but a certain fearful apprehension of judgment. Notice, however, neither the Hebrews passage nor the Numbers passage state directly that there is no forgiveness for deliberate sins. (For more information on the Hebrews passage, please see Does God Want Me Back?) A conclusion that deliberate sins cannot be forgiven is simply bad theology and is contrary to Scripture.

Jesus taught that all sins that people commit can be forgiven, except for the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31). (For more information on the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, see The Unpardonable Sin). That fact that you are conscious of your sin is a good indication that the Spirit is still at work in your life. Thus, I think it is safe to conclude that you have not committed the one, unforgivable sin. All other sins can be forgiven according to Jesus. The heinous sins of wicked king Manasseh, who caused the people to do more evil than the evil nations that were in the land before Israel, and who though warned by God persisted in his sin (2 Chronicles 33:1-10); even he was forgiven (2 Chronicles 33:12-13). John tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9). There is no exception made for deliberate sin. The prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 certainly sinned willfully. Yet, Jesus drives home the point in the parable that when the son returned to his father, he was readily forgiven. We have all been prodigal sons, in need of the forgiveness of the Father. And those who think that they have not sinned deliberately and have no need to return to the Father simply are in error. They are like the older son in the parable of the prodigal son, who though having never gone away, still had a heart that was far from the father’s heart. James says that we all offend in many ways (James 3:2). John says that we all sin (1 John 1:10). There is forgiveness whenever we return to the embrace of the Father.

Some who have thought about the fact that we all sin deliberately have suggested that the focus in the Numbers and Hebrews passage is not simply on the deliberateness of the sin, but on turning one’s back deliberately against God. But again, it is hard to reach that conclusion if one follows the teaching of Scripture. If anyone turned their back on God, it was Manasseh, who had a very godly dad, who was warned by God’s prophets against his sin, and yet deliberately sinned more and more, doing horrific things. If anyone sinned with a high hand, it was wicked king Manasseh. Yet, when he turned to God, God forgave him. I do not know of a person who has not at one time or another knew that God wanted them to do one thing, and they chose not to do it. Is not this deliberately turning one’s back on God? Yet, we all have experienced His incredible mercy and forgiveness.

Your sin will find forgiveness if you turn to God from your sin and seek to serve the living and true God.

However, I think you understand that your sin is a problem. The sin of pornography is not necessarily worse than other sins, but it can be deadly to one’s spiritual health, and it grieves our dear Savior. See our article Addicted to Pornography to understand the problem of this sin and for some Biblical approaches to overcoming this sin.

May the Lord Jesus become the focus of your thoughts, the longing of your heart, and the desire of your eyes. May He forgive, restore, and use you in His great kingdom.

A fellow pilgrim,


Related Content:
Intentional Sin
Can God Ever Forgive Me?
Does God Want Me Back?
Addicted to Pornography

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