I was once leading praise and worship for a few christian youth. Everyone was participating in the songs to praise God. Now in that service I just felt like singing a song thanking Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Suddenly most of the youth were feeling uneasy singing that song. So I decided to repeat this song again. Same lack of joy. I then realized in spirit that most of the youth doubted the forgiveness that comes from Christ.
So I stopped everyone and asked “do you feel forgiven?” And I noticed doubtful faces to that question. Most were avoiding that question. I told them no matter how many times you have sinned Jesus will forgive you of them all. They seemed a bit better on hearing this. I spoke about genuine repentance and forgiveness. After that I asked let’s all pray together asking Jesus for the forgiveness for our sins and then we will go on to thank Jesus for that. All were fine with that. So I led them in prayer asking for forgiveness from God for all their sins. Then when we sang back the song about thanking Christ for the forgiveness of sins everyone was fully into praising the Lord with genuine joy.
By this experience I realized that lack of faith in being forgiven is a stronghold that must not be ignored. Forgiveness of your own sins by Jesus is the most important part of your salvation. To doubt forgiveness is to doubt your salvation. Therefore cease and desist from doubting your forgiveness in Jesus when you repent in faith.
If we confess our sins, Christ is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
There may be many reasons why some doubt their forgiveness. Four of them are major reasons. Some misuse forgiveness, some themselves don’t forgive, some keep on going back to the same sin or a worse one. And some sin against the Holy Spirit. Let’s try to learn more about them.
1) Misuse of the principle of forgiveness
Now Jesus faithfully forgives even unto a persons final breath. However some misuse this and keep sinning thinking let’s sin now and later repent. Such people are risking eternal damnation for themselves. For nobody knows when one may die. In the past centuries many people made a mockery of the forgiving nature of Christ not in words but in deeds. They continued to sin hoping to get forgiven when they can’t sin. For such people the gates of hell gladly are opened by the Evil One as he knows their have tampered with their salvation and are liable for greater torments. Forgiveness is not a license to sin later.
2) Not forgiving others who may have offended you
Forgiving others may seem a burden unless you realize that you are not giving up on justice but rather doing the will of Jesus the Judge of all. Some people don’t want to forgive others who hurt or offended them. A person who doesn’t forgive others won’t be able to experience forgiveness from God. That’s why not for your offenders sake but for your sake forgive them.
3) Going back to a sin or a worse sin
Some people confess their sin’s but later do that sin again. Sometimes they sin even more gravely. They do feel bad about it and later try to repent plus ask forgiveness from Christ. Now due to continual sinning and asking for mercy and back to sinning they feel like giving up. They want to give up on the mercy of God. These people doubt themselves, they doubt their own sincerity as they are witness to their own backsliding ways. All they must do in this case is not look on their faithfulness but look on the eternal faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ. So even if you are a habitual sinner keep coming back to Christ even till your last breath. However I still maintain that you must desire to permanently leave your sins. Especially sins of drugs, murder, witchcraft, adultery and idolatry.
4) Sinning against the Holy Spirit
All the above three reasons I say there is still hope for a person. But for the fourth I admit there is NO true hope. That is why a person must avoid any sinning against the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven. If you notice the below verses all sins can be forgiven except those against the Holy Spirit. Let’s read:
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)
Value your salvation. Value your forgiveness from Christ. It’s as real as the air you breathe and your heartbeat. Thank God for your forgiveness which you have received in the name of Jesus. Amen.