Question from a Site Viewer
If I confess Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior can He ever forgive me? The sin I’ve committed is so terrible that I cannot be specific. Will God forgive such a terrible sin?
Please–what can I do?
I appreciate your concern. I suppose at some point all of us believe that our particular sin is so terrible that it cannot be forgiven. And, if we served a God who is like us, we would be right. But God is not like us. Psalm 130:4 tells us that there is forgiveness with God. Psalm 103:3 tells us that God forgives all of our iniquities. When Israel had gone away from God, sacrificed to idols, committed every sexual sin they could, and even slaughtered their babies in an effort to appease foreign idols, God sent Micah the prophet to them. (You can read some of the background evil in 2 Chronicles 28). God describes the people as those who lie in wait for blood and have a desire to successfully do evil with both hands (Micah 7:2-3). This same Micah closes his little book with these words:
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins in to the depths of the sea.
It is the desire of God to subdue our iniquities, to take evil people and make them good. He is glorified when sinners repent. Jesus says in Luke 15:7 that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous ones who need no repentance. God does not think like we do. He is a rescuer, a redeemer, a savior. He sent Jesus to die for us when we were sinners and enemies of Him (Romans 5:8-11). He looks down upon the most evil of us and delights to turn us into His saints. We become examples of the exceeding riches of His grace (Ephesians 2:4-7). The apostle Paul states it this way:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 1:15
What is the worst sin? Is it a sexual sin? Is it pride? Is it betrayal of one who has been kind to you? Is it murder? The great King David did all of these in seizing Bathsheba, the wife of his good friend, and having Bathsheba’s husband killed. Yet, when David repented, God granted forgiveness (2 Samuel 12:13). Is the worst sin to deliberately turn your back on God? Is it to cause others to do very evil things? Manasseh did more evil than the nations whom the God had destroyed before Israel (2 Chronicles 33:2-9). Yet, when he humbled himself and sought God, God forgave him (2 Chronicles 33:12-13, 18-19). The promise of God is that if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
I encourage you to repent; that is, to turn to God and seek to serve Him with all of your heart (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Seek Him every day. Read the Bible. Memorize it. Hide it in your heart (Psalm 119:9-11). Learn what God is like. The greater your sin, the greater your love will be for Him when you understand His forgiveness (Luke 7:39-50). And do not focus on your past sin, but focus on Jesus. A great error is to live life by looking back. Paul says to forget those things that are behind and reach for the things that are before (Philippians 3:13-14). There are things that we have done that may follow us into our future lives. But do not focus on them. Focus always on Christ and what things are good and lovely (Philippians 4:8). Live a life of love towards Christ and love others.
For a more lengthy article on confessing sins, you might read our article, A Biblical Approach to Confessing Sin. In all cases, those who turn to God (like the tax collector in Luke 18:13-14), confess that they are a sinner, and plead for His mercy—they will find forgiveness. This is not only God’s promise, but it is His character.
May you find Christ, and in finding Him may the brokenness of your heart be healed in His love and forgiveness.
One who also has been forgiven much,