Q: I professed a belief in Christ as my Savior when I was ten years old.
Shortly after that, I attended a meeting at my church, and during the invitation I “felt” that I should go forward, but not knowing why I should, I didn’t because I thought I had already accepted Christ. Immediately after that, I felt a cold rush over my heart. Ever since that day I have been plagued with doubts concerning my salvation, even though I’ve attended Bible school and seminary.
Later, I was involved in an adulterous affair and have brought trouble into the lives of my grown children. My heart tells me there is still hope for forgiveness. Other people tell me I have willfully sinned, and against such there is no forgiveness. Do I keep hope or might I be one of the “tares,” namely one of those of whom God will say, “depart from me, I never knew you.” I guess what I’m asking is, “Is there any hope?”
Asked by: Jon, Michigan
A: Well, Jon, thank you so much for your question. And yes, there is hope. But let me explain.
There is always hope for forgiveness. No matter how dark the past, no matter how many regrets, even if your marriage has fallen apart, and from what you’ve said, it appears as if it might have, the fact is: God is able to cleanse and to forgive you. For that there is hope. Though you don’t mention the unpardonable sin, I believe it can only be committed by hardened unbelievers who do not seek forgiveness; the fact that you desire forgiveness and seek it is proof that you have not committed the unpardonable sin.
If you are not sure of your salvation and whether you were saved at the age of 10, receive Christ as Savior right now; in other words there is no use trying to analyze what happened in the past. As of this moment, embrace Christ as your Lord and Savior and if you were not saved in the past, He will receive you now. As the song says:
The vilest offender
Who truly believes
That moment from Jesus
A pardon receives.
Now, is there hope that your family is going to be restored? Possibly. Is there hope that all of the effects of your sin are going to be wiped out? No.
God, in His mercy, may continue to work in the lives of you and your family, but at the end of the day, some of the mistakes that we make, and the consequences of them, just keep going on and on.
Think of King David. He committed adultery. There was no way that he could restore the purity of Bathsheba. There was no way that he could bring the dead man, Uriah, back to life, whom he had murdered. But still, in Psalm 51, he is rejoicing in his salvation. Consequences may continue but living in the valley of despair need not continue.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s important for you to ask your family to forgive you. Having received God’s forgiveness, you must, as far as possible, seek forgiveness from others. If they can’t at this point extend forgiveness, pray that the day will come when they will.
So, my friend, yes, there is hope. I pray that you will flee to God and that you will receive His forgiveness. Your life will be changed, and even in the midst of your brokenness and sin, God will still be honored.
- Psalms 51