The Council Speaks
Last updated 10/13/2020 at 4:36pm
Q: I served my time as a serious offender but am having many doubts that God can forgive me for what I've done. How do I know for sure I am forgiven?
A: Nehemiah 9:17 says, "But Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of a great kindness and forsookest them not."
When we come to Him in repentance, sorry for our sins, and ask Him to forgive us and to come into our hearts, He will surely do so.
Psalm 103:10–13 says, "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is above the earth so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west so far hath He removed our transgressions from us."
God assures us, when He forgives us, that His Word says in Hebrews 19:17, "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
Jesus loves you very much; so much that He died on the cross for you, rose from the dead and is seated on the right hand of God to provide salvation to anyone who calls on the name of Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:13 promises, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
And of course an all-time favorite scripture, John 3:16, tells us, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I am praying that you will be encouraged to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and enjoy a personal relationship with Him. Come to Him just as you are and He will accept you.
A: My question to all who doubt they are forgiven is this: Have you asked Jesus to come into your heart as your personal Savior? Have you asked for His forgiveness?
If the answer is yes, then you have become a born again believer. Jesus said, "He that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). Who Jesus forgives, is truly forgiven.
However, doubts will come to our minds. Doubts will make you question whether you are forgiven. People or friends will remind us of our past. These reminders of past deeds will trigger doubts. When doubts come, we need to reject them and remember that Christ forgave us.
We can know for sure that we are saved. First John 5:13 reads, "That ye may know that ye have eternal life." Doubts do not change our forgiveness. God is true to us all.
When doubts come to haunt us, we must pray to God to help us. We must read the Bible to know God's truth. And we need to find a good church that teaches God's Word.
I want to encourage you to keep believing that you are saved and forgiven. Ask God to help you every day. I hope this will help you.
-Jim Keesic, elder for the Thunder Bay New Hope Fellowship, Ojibway Bible Translator with the Canadian Bible Society, and document translator for the Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.