Ron and Brian at KTIE

Ron Graff and Brian Hoerning

Would God Forgive A Great Sinner?

Aug. 30, 2009

Show Notes:

Are you afraid you have sinned too much for God to accept you?

Paul, Chief of sinners

In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul called himself the chief of sinners – consenting to the death of Christians, sending them to prison and martyrdom.

1 Tim 1:15

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

David – Man after God’s own heart.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then was responsible for killing her husband by sending him to the front of the battle. How serious is that?

Still – In Acts 13:22 God called David “a man after my own heart.”

Acts 13:22

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'
(from New International Version)

An interesting fact about this is that two of the Psalms David wrote dealt with this sin issue.

Ps 51:1-12

Have mercy on me, O God,according to your unfailing love;according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth,sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness;let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Thief on the cross

Are some sins worse than others?

It seems like some sins are worse than others.

Murder and sexual sins are at the top of most people’s list of worst sins. They rob others of their most prized possessions – their very lives and their trust in others. They do have a greater impact on society.

However, every sin is an outrage to God’s holiness.

Rom 3:22-24

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Tim 1:8-10

9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

Rev 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

No sin is so great that God will not forgive it.

No one has committed so many sins that God will not forgive him or her.

That’s what Christianity is all about… God loving us so much that He provided the ultimate payment for our sin. That payment was the death of His own beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is God the Son. But He became an man and lived among us to share the Gospel. He was the only human being who ever lived a perfect life. And then, wonder of wonders, he allowed Himself to be put to death!

He told His disciples that no one was able to take His life from Him, but that He was laying it down of his own accord because of His great love for us!

John 10:17-18

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

Romans: where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

BUT there is a danger here

A person MUST repent of his sins and turn to God for forgiveness.

He or she must be willing to accept God’s gift of forgiveness by receiving Christ as his own personal Savior.

John 1:12

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

What if you sort of believe that this stuff about Jesus dying in your place is true, but you have never really accepted Him as your Savior and Lord?

What are you going to say to God at the judgment?

“Well, Sir, I was thinking about it, but I never really asked Jesus to be my Savior.” ???

“I was planning on asking Christ into my life, but I didn’t realize that I would die suddenly.” ???

“I would have become a Christian if I had ever heard the truth.” ??? You are hearing it now!

Actually, Jesus did teach that there was an “unforgivable sin.”

Mark 3:22-30

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."

23 So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."

30 He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."

The unforgivable sin is deciding not to believe in Christ. In this case the teachers of the law saw the miraculous things Jesus did, but they said that it was the Devil working through Him instead of God.

Rejecting Christ is the one unforgivable sin because one can only be forgiven if the believe in Him. It’s not that complicated.

Rom 1:28

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

The Apostle Paul was in danger of committing the unforgivable sin because he thought Jesus was a false teacher. As we mentioned before, he persecuted Christians. But then, Jesus appeared to him on the Road to Damascus. He saw a blinding light and heard Jesus talking to him. If he had still continued to reject Christ, his heart would have been hardened, but since he believed, he not only received forgiveness, but was given the privilege of spreading the Gospel!

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."