Some Christians are wrestling with self-condemnation because of the gross sins committed in the past. When I have gone out to evangelize I have heard people say that God will never forgive them for what they have done. I have heard such statements from people in many places. In some cases, it could very well be the enemy whispering to them that God can’t forgive the person. And in some extreme cases, it is blatant that it is the enemy involved with the self-condemning thoughts. I have come across demonized people where the demons explicitly and constantly tell the person that they are going to hell and that God can’t forgive the person – it is too late. The enemy loves to make a person feel condemned.
The truth is God can forgive the worst of sinners. The Apostle Paul said of himself that he was the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), yet the Lord Jesus Christ had mercy on Him. Indeed, Jesus incarnated to not call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Jesus requires His followers to forgive others 70 x 7 times (Matt. 18:22); basically an unlimited amount times. How much more can God forgive? Jesus made it explicitly clear all sins can be forgiven (except one) (Mark 3:28-30). As long as a person is breathing all of his sins can be cleansed by Jesus’ powerful shed blood (Matthew 26:28; Revelation 1:5; 5:9). The Bible also is clear that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit“ (Romans 8:1). Refuse to accept the enemy’s lies that God can’t forgive you!
The Bible is absolutely clear that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), and “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
If you turn to God in true repentance and faith in Jesus, God can wipe out all your sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12). Though your sins can be as scarlet they can be as white snow (Isaiah 1:18).
Repentance is an important element to receive forgiveness from sins (Acts 3:19; Luke 24:47). True repentance can consist of forgiving others. If one refuses to forgive another then God won’t forgive (Matthew 6:15). It can also consist of giving up watching pornography, fornicating, stealing, and idolatry. By humbling ourselves and giving up our pride one can receive God’s grace (James 4:6-7).
Even some great men in the Bible sinned greatly but received God’s mercy. King David was responsible for the death of someone and took his wife; Moses killed someone; Paul consented to murder. Yet they were all God’s children.
Now, just because one is forgiven by God doesn’t necessarily mean all of the problems a person has will immediately disappear. A lot of times the consequences of our past sinful life can carry over into our Christian life. For instance, if a person was promiscuous and contracted an STD but turned to Jesus for salvation it doesn’t mean God will heal the person.
Scriptures on God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness:
Psalms 86:5 “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
Psalms 89:14 “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”
Psalms 145:8-9 “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
2 Corinthians 2:13 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;”
James 5:11 “ Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
James 2:13 “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
Luke 1:50 “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.”
Luke 6:36 “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
Ephesians 2:40 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”
Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
1 John 2:1-3 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
Micah 7:18 “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
Exodus 34:6 “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”
Numbers 14:18 “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
Matthew 12:7 “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.”
2 Samuel 2:14 “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”
Acts 15:11 “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
Hebrews 2:17-18 “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 “14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Daniel 9:9 “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;”
Luke 6:36 “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
Isaiah 44:22 “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
Micah 7:18-19 “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Psalms 25:18 “Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.”
Psalms 32:5 “I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord [Yahweh]; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”
Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I repent of my sins and turn to you. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”