Q: Can a believer who has turned his back on Christ be forgiven and taken back into the family of Christ? The person I am writing about left the church and went back to drinking, hate, racism, sex and extreme right-wing thinking. Last week, this person confessed and repented of his sins. Can a person go back and forth to Christ after turning his back on God? (Internet question from kingshighway.org)
A: 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). If your friend has claimed the above promise, then Our Precious Lord will not only forgive and cleanse him but will take his sins "as far as the east is from the west" to be remembered no more by Him.
Once we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, regardless of how many mistakes, failures, or errors we make, God's love for us is unconditional and never-ending. There are no strings attached. He will never leave us. This concept is especially hard to accept for people who struggle with addictions and hurts. The body of Christ needs to love and mentor them the way Christ would: by praying with and encouraging them, one on one, with the Word. "Let usspur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24).
The greatest ministry need in the Body of Christ today is for encouragers, those who will take the time to love others as unto the Lord. ...Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me (Matthew 25:40). One of the reasons we don't fully realize the extent of God's Love and forgiveness is that we don't really see and understand that God uses our failures, our mistakes, and our errors as a means of drawing us closer to Him. God's view of failure is that He expects it; He forgives it; and then, He uses it. He works all things together for good to those who love and totally give themselves over to HIM.
Your friend needs to understand and be so secure in God's Love that he will let God use the failures of his past to bind him closer to the Lord. The end result will be seeing God use his mistakes "for good" and realize Christ's Love to an even deeper degree. God's unconditional forgiveness in his life will prove to him that He loves him all the more.
If one of my teenage boys were to come to me and say, "Mom, I've never once felt as if I have pleased you. I've never felt worthy of your love. I feel like I've let you down my whole life. You must be really disappointed in me. I've failed you so many times!"
Those words would hurt me deeply. How wrong they are! I've continually shown this child my love. I've spoken it and demonstrated it time after time. My other children feel secure in my love. How could this child carry such a misconception for so long and bear such unnecessary misery and guilt? As a mom, I would probably cry and tell my precious child, "You have always been special to me. You have been the apple of my eye! Sure, you've done foolish, wrong things at times, just like your other brothers. But you were forgiven! You were truly sorry, and I never once thought less of you. You are nothing but a joy to me. I will always love you and unconditionally forgive anything you have done that has hurt me in the past. You have been a delight to me!"
So it is with many Christians in their relationship with the heavenly Father! The devil has convinced them they've only disappointed God and will never be able to please Him. So they don't accept His Love. Instead, they live as if His wrath is always breathing down on them. What a horrible way to go through life! How pained God must be when He sees His children living that way.
Perhaps you were raised in an unloving, uncaring family. You never felt special or precious to anybody in particular. Nobody ever put their arms around you and said, "I love you! You're special to me. I'm so proud of you!" Oh, thank God for Jesus! To Him, you have always been precious. It doesn't matter what kind of home life you had or what your earthly parents were like. None of that can ever compare to the Love of your heavenly Father. Since the day you were born, you have been special to Him. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. Father God, thank you that in Your Love and mercy we are complete in youin the name of Jesus, the soon-coming King.
King's High Way Manager