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Can a Person Be Forgiven When He Has Been Guilty of Really Terrible Sins?


First, all people who have sinned need to have sincere regret for the past. It is right that we should regret our sins, since godly sorrow is necessary in order for one to be forgiven (2 Cor. 7:10).

However, Jesus died to forgive sin. The Corinthians had been guilty of all kinds of sins, yet Jesus cleansed them (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Paul said he had been the chief of sinners. He had opposed Christ to the point of having Christians put to death. But God showed mercy on him as an example to show that He can save the worst of us (1 Tim. 1:12-17). Other people whom God forgave included Peter who denied Jesus three times and David who committed adultery and then had the woman's husband killed (Matthew 26:69-75; 2 Samuel 11 & 12).

All sin is terrible; but as regards eternal consequences, your sins are no worse than mine. All sin requires the blood of Jesus to forgive it. But Jesus is able to save to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25). Sins He forgives are never again held against us (Heb. 10:1-18). Yes, a person who has been forgiven can still be lost, but only if they return to sin and do not repent (see our article about Can a Child of God Be Lost at our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/).

So the nature or number of your past sins does not change the ability of Jesus to forgive. What matters is your willingness to turn from them and submit to Jesus' terms of forgiveness.

If you would like to learn more about how to be forgiven, I encourage you to visit our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/. It contains online courses about forgiveness of sins plus articles on why we need forgiveness, the purpose of baptism, etc.


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 6/2007

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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