Answers

Topics: Forgiveness

Q:

My friend says all I have to do to get God to forgive me is just ask Him to do it.


A:

God loves us and wants to forgive us -- but He can't forgive us unless we sincerely repent of our sins and turn from them. Jesus' first sermon ended with these words: "Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15).

Even on a human level, if we've hurt someone we can't expect them to forgive us if they know we're going to keep on hurting them. They'll only forgive us if they know we're truly sorry for what we've done -- and we can only show we're sorry if we change our behavior. True forgiveness must be linked with true repentance -- that is, with a determination to turn from the wrong we're doing, and do what's right in the future.

Don't misunderstand me, however. God loves us, and more than anything He wants to forgive us and cleanse us of our sins so we can go to be with Him in heaven forever. This is why the most important step you can take is to repent of your sins and turn to Christ for the forgiveness you need. The Bible says, "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

Don't be deceived, but face your need to be free from sin's hold over you. Then turn to Jesus Christ, who gave His life for you -- and by faith give your life to Him. You'll never regret it.