It’s Sunday today, and I’d like to ask you if you believe in the Bible, in God, in Jesus?
Did you say yes? If so, I’d like you to think about something.
You are a sinner. You have not led a blameless life, any more than I have. Somewhere in the past, you have done something which is a sin. This means that you have done something for which you need to be forgiven. It is likely that you have already accepted this, if you are a Christian.
Open your Bible to Matthew 6, and read the passage known as the Lord’s Prayer. It’s verses 9 through 13. Then read the two verses following.
In my version, it reads: “This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
It seems that Jesus had some pretty harsh things to say to those who would condemn others. In Matthew 7, the first two verses continue this thought.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Do you wish to be forgiven your sins? Then forgive the sins of others. That’s all. Don’t stone the woman caught in adultery (the image of sex offender in that time). As is said in John 8:7-11,
“When they kept on questioning him he straightened up and said to them, ‘If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'”
It is clear that if someone wants to start over, he/she is given permission. That person is not required to relive the past sin daily. In fact, that’s one thing that our justice system was based on, the idea of rehabilitation. Even the worst sinner can be redeemed.
What we have now is supposed Christians refusing to allow second chances. Many offenders have met God in jail, and have become very different people. Allow them to be redeemed. If you do not, you may reach heaven only to discover that God will tell you that the unforgiveness that you extended to others is now to be extended to you.
Go now and sin no more.