• Mike

"God Would Never Forgive Someone Like Me"

It seems as though most people believe themselves to be a "good person", and that makes this objection somewhat rare. Many people don't believe they need to be forgiven, or at least they only need to be forgiven of their "small sins". The claim usually goes like this, “I’m not perfect, but I’m not that bad either.” Occasionally someone comes along who says, "I'm too big of a sinner to be forgiven. I’m too far gone. I've done things so horrible that God would never forgive me."

What needs to be remembered in this case is that it's not the size of the sin that is the determining factor for forgiveness, but rather it’s the size of the atoning sacrifice of Christ that must be considered. If the shed blood of the sinless Lamb of God is sufficient to cover the multitude of sins committed by those who place their trust in Him, then it's big enough for any sins that you or I could ever commit in our lifetime.

King David, a man in the Bible who God said was a man after His own heart, was a murderer and an adulterer. He sought to conceal his sins and hide them from others, but God certainly knew the truth and exposed his sins through the prophet Nathan. Undoubtedly a painful period in David’s life, but the initial pain gave way to amazing grace! David repented and threw himself on the mercy of the Lord, and God forgave him and loved him.

When the Lord called a certain prophet named Isaiah, Isaiah said, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." Isaiah was neither the first nor the last to feel as if his past failures made him unworthy of God's attention. The Apostle Peter even went so far as to ask Jesus to leave him. Peter said to Jesus, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" Luke 5:8

Kyle Pope wrote very aptly, "It is easy to feel that the sins of our past are just too much for God to forgive. We have hurt others and ourselves. We have lied. We have cheated. We have broken vows to God and man. We have stolen what belonged to someone else. We have said things we should not have said. We have used our bodies in ways that we should not have used them. We have put into our bodies things we should not. We have thought and done things we wish we could take back."

The Apostle Paul prior to and even after his conversion certainly must have had such feelings. This man could look back to a time when he had violently opposed faith in Jesus. He was with those who stoned the first Christian martyr Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1). He dragged Christians out of their homes and into prison (Acts 8:3). Scripture tells us he breathed "threats and murder" against believers in Jesus (Acts 9:1). And yet, this hard cruel man was brought to his knees when the Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:2-9). Years later he reflected on the wonderful mercy God had shown to him when he wrote, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15). The Lord Jesus enters into this world through a family line that is completely messed up. He is not only a friend of sinners but his family tree is filled with some really wretched people. As we look at some of Jesus’ ancestors, Jacob’s son Judah jumps to mind immediately (see Genesis 37 and 38). We’re reminded of how God identifies and associates with sinful creatures all the while remaining the spotless Lamb of God who never sinned. If there’s room in God’s family for wicked men like Judah and the baggage he brought with all his treachery and scandalous sexual deviancy, then there’s room for us and all the baggage we bring to the all-sufficient Savior!

If we should ever say to ourselves, “I am just too far gone, Jesus can't forgive me!” Look to Judah, look to King David, look to Peter and Paul and countless other men and women who’ve experienced the transforming power of the gospel. Look at their lives! They are examples of just how gracious, merciful and long-suffering God truly is!

If God was willing to forgive the worst of the worst, then certainly our sins aren’t beyond His saving grace. We have Jesus’ promise that if you come to Him truly humbled and sorrowful over your sin, He says that He will by no means turn you away. Turn to Jesus, come to Him, give Him your sin in all its ugliness and He will give you beauty in return. He will give you the most beautiful thing ever – Himself. He will give you a new life, with new desires and He will set your feet on a solid path to walk in righteousness even after a life of complete and utter unrighteousness. This is the glorious gospel and the grace that God extends to broken people who feel unforgivable. There’s hope in the gospel! Don’t trust your feelings, instead trust God and His Word!