I was listening to the radio towards the end of the week and a woman called in to the morning show and told the hosts about her most recent conversion from Satan Worship to Christianity.
She had begun listening to K-Love Radio a few months ago at the suggestion of a friend, and she states that she realized that God had already forgiven her for her sins and all she needed to do was to forgive herself in order to experience the joy and love of God and become a Christian.
While I believe that it may be important to some to forgive themselves in order to move on with their lives, this, in and of itself, is not a biblical concept, nor a Christian one in any sense of the word.
Over the next few posts, I want to explore what the Bible says about forgiveness and how we are to live a life of forgiveness as part of our walk with Jesus. However, right now, I want to simply state something about the forgiveness of God.
God does truly offer forgiveness to the world, through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is a marginally free gift (marginally free in that it costs us absolutely nothing while it cost God a great deal of pain and suffering), held out in the hands of God for all who choose to accept it.
However, God’s forgiveness is, in a sense, universal. It is available to everyone, but it is not a blanket forgiveness. Everyone is forgiven as a result of the Cross of Christ, but it is forgiveness that must be accepted or else it doesn’t apply.
To say that God’s forgiveness is automatically applied to all of His creatures and creation, including the human race made in His own image, would be to completely ignore God’s justice and holiness. It would be to completely forget that to be a Christian means to follow Jesus and become His disciple, and, by taking that step, becoming a child of God.
It would, in a sense, be something other than Christianity. It would be…well..something else.
Like I said, we will look at forgiveness over the next few posts and show how it fits into the life a disciple of Christ. But for now, remember: forgiveness is not automatic if you don’t accept the gift and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him.
Be blessed, my friends.