I received the following e-mail:
“I found all of your articles very interesting, and I could understand all of them. I was tempted by evil, drinking, and what not and ended up divorced. The Lord helped me through or I would be dead. I have asked many times for help, and He has always been there. I love the Lord. I asked him to forgive me. But I feel like I have to keep asking for my past. I know now I shouldn’t do that, once I have asked for it. Thank you’
The question in this column is how many times do you need to ask God to forgive you for certain sins of the past?
There are no scriptures that I am aware of that tells us to ask God for forgiveness more than once. It seems sufficient to God that we ask Him for forgiveness and trust in the cleansing Blood of Jesus. The key is that we are sincere and truly repentant. The person in the above e-mail seems to meet that condition.
I do understand the problem. Often when we have committed sins and feel them to be ‘bad’ sins, many people have a problem releasing the past to the covering of Jesus. For our sinful ways one simple prayer of true repentance seems too easy. But it is not. Remember our forgiveness cost Jesus His life and suffering and Blood. This is not cheap.
The Bible is full of people who sinned and repented and were forgiven and went forward to have a glorious walk with the Lord.
Perhaps the root of the problem lies in us forgiving ourselves. This is very much the case should your sins have a big impact on others lives. For instance, you get drunk, get in your car, drive and kill someone. There are lingering complications and although you repent you may still have deep guilt. This drives one to constant repenting and asking God for forgiveness over and over.
As I have preached and traveled I have met many people that come forward at the end of almost every message from a new preacher. They are still struggling with constantly asking God to forgive some particular sin of the past.
Remember that any sin is a sin. We set the tone of some being worse than the other and therefore needing greater repentance. Yet in the Bible some of the people that were judged by God committed sins of verbal disobedience to God and not some open act of sinfulness. See, God knows the heart.
Come to Jesus and repent’¦once and for all and be clean. Arise and live in freedom and newness of life.
Oh, dear friend fall into the loving and forgiving arms of Jesus. He loves you! Just as a loving mother or dad picks up their weeping child and wipes away the tears and says “It’s ok, I love you, everything is going to be all right.’ You then tenderly wipe away the tears and comfort the hurting child.
All of us have sinned and yet the loving Father reaches out with love in Jesus through the Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance and cleansing. Nowhere does He ask us to come back again and again. To do so shows doubt’¦you doubt that Jesus has kept His Word and forgiven you. Repeated repentance of the same old past sin shows unbelief in the love and forgiveness of Jesus.
Of course I pray every day for the fresh cleansing of my soul as I ask God to forgive me. Remember in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus asked us to pray,
“Forgive us our sins’. (Luke 11:4)
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.’
(I John 1:7-10)
Fall into the Arms of Jesus and in His Power and Love and Go!
In new life and boldness and in the power of the Holy Spirit Go!
Free from the sins and guilt of the past through the Blood of Jesus Go!
With hearts full of love and compassion for others let the mercy and salvation of Jesus be known’¦
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt