Does a murderer, or a thief, or a rapist deserve to go to heaven? Do such people deserve God’s forgiveness?
Have you ever thought you were “better” than somebody else? Did you ever think that you are more “righteous” than another person – or that you are “too good” to be in the company of other people?
The scribes and the Pharisees did. They thought that they were “holy” and “righteous” people who were too good to be in the company of certain people – especially sinners.
However, thankfully Jesus did not have that kind of mindset.
Luke 18:9-14 NKJV
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Bible says that there is none who is righteous (Romans 3:10) or that there is none who is better or holier than the other. The truth is we are ALL sinners and we ALL have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
Therefore we ALL need Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. We ALL need salvation. We ALL need God’s forgiveness.
- In the Bible God forgave a man by the name of Paul who persecuted & killed Christians but he ended up writing half of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit after he got saved.
- In the Bible God forgave a man by the name of David who committed adultery and yet God referred to David as being a man after God’s own heart.
- In the Bible God forgave a man by the name of Moses who murdered an Egyptian but God used him to free the Jews from slavery in Egypt.
- In the Bible God forgave a woman who was caught in the act of adultery even though the Pharisees wanted her to be stoned to death.
- In the Bible God forgave a thief who was crucified right next to Christ. Jesus promised the thief that he would be with Him in paradise that day.
There are so many stories in the Scriptures that demonstrate God’s goodness and love towards people who have done terrible things.
Nobody is perfect but only God is perfect. God’s love for us is unconditional. God forgives us of all our sins and He does not remember them because of the blood of Christ in payment for our sins.
God’s love motivates Him to extend His grace & mercy to all of us in spite of our faults & sins. It’s the goodness of God in our lives that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Luke 5:30-32 NKJV
And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
When Jesus was accused of spending too much time with sinners and wrong-doers, Jesus told the Pharisees that He did not come to save the “righteous” but that He came to save the sinners and to bring sinners to repentance.
Therefore if ALL have sinned that means that the Pharisees themselves have sinned and they too needed Jesus to help them repent. In God’s eyes, sin is sin. The person who steals $1 is just a sinner as the one who steals $100.
The problem with the Pharisees was that they were so full of pride that they did not realize that they too were sinners who needed Jesus as well.
They thought that being religious leaders made them to think that they were an exclusive and righteous group. They also presumed that the Scriptures were also meant for the “righteous” and not for sinners.
Jesus however is not exclusive. The Lord is open to ANYONE who comes to Him and He will not reject any sinner who comes to Him (John 6:37). You may have done terrible things and you may have sinned just a few moments ago, but Jesus will receive you with a smile and with open arms if you repent and come to Him. For He says “I say to you that likewise there will be MORE JOY in heaven over ONE SINNER who REPENTS than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” – Luke 15:7 NKJV
If you are sick with a contagious disease like flu or chicken pox, your doctor cannot diagnose your sickness and help you recover unless he first spends time examining you or your body so that he may advise you regarding your ailment.
Therefore just as disease is a foreign component in the body of a person, then sin too is a foreign component in the life of a person and both need a Physician to remove them from one’s life.
Matthew 4:17 NKJV
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus spoke a message of forgiveness & repentance. Jesus was calling on people to no longer live a life of sin or a life contrary to God’s love. Jesus was teaching people to live a life of love for God, a love for others and a life of righteousness in Christ.
Only Jesus was sinless and perfect and that is why He became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, so that whoever would believe and receive Him would be made righteous in Christ.
Romans 5:19 NKJV – “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous”
Therefore we are NOT righteous by our OWN obedience; we are RIGHTEOUS by CHRIST’s OBEDIENCE. We are NOT saved by our OWN works; we are SAVED by GOD’s GRACE.
Therefore all the glory belongs to God. Salvation is the work of God.
Matthew 4:19-20 NKJV
Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
The Pharisees should have been more like Jesus. Rather than distancing themselves from sinners – they should have focused on bringing sinners or unbelievers to God.
Does God forgive big sins? YES He does.
If you are not a Christian, call on Christ now and BELIEVE that He will answer you. There is nothing more that God wants than for you to be part of His kingdom.
REPENTANCE means “to change one’s mind and purpose”. Therefore set your mind on Jesus everyday of your life and allow God to give you purpose and direction in life
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God.
Why not make your eternal decision NOW?
This prayer is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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