There are some in the world who have heard the Gospel, believed in it, and would confess that Christ is their Lord, yet have a desire to shrink back because they feel that they have sinned so horribly and/or so much that they cannot be saved. Sometimes, some Christians also sin in such a way that they feel like they have committed the “unforgivable” sin. What do the Scriptures say about this belief?
Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
What is Paul’s message? Even though some had committed great sin, either through sexual immoralities, lust for money, etc., they were still saved! The blood of the Lamb could cleanse them of their sins.
Paul himself is a great example from the Scriptures of one forgiven of great sin. In Acts 8-9 we read of his persecution of the church, how he gave his approval of the stoning of Stephen and how he caused great havoc in the church, throwing every Christian he found into jail. He was converted, however, and became the messenger of God to the Gentiles. He tells Timothy of himself in 1 Timothy 1:12-16:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
Paul sheds some light on the reason why God would use such a violent enemy of the church as one of its messengers, that you and I would be able to see an example of one who had sinned greatly and yet found salvation in Christ Jesus. Paul considered himself the foremost of sinners; certainly you cannot consider yourself worse than Paul. Please, dear reader, hearken to the words of the blessed Apostle and obey Christ today.