Your Questions Answered
Q. I have sinned so severely that I have a hard time feeling that God would forgive me. Is forgiveness possible for someone like me?
A. To give the best possible answer, let us go to the best possible source, which is the Bible. Consider first Jesus own statement, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). The hardest people to win to Christ are those who are trusting in their own righteousness, thinking it is good enough. But the Bible says also that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Beyond that, it is just a matter of degree. Some have sinned little; others have sinned much; but all have sinned and have offended our holy and righteous God. Therefore, all people need the salvation that only Jesus Christ can give. And the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sins (1 John 1:7). That includes the big ones as well as the little ones, because His blood is sufficient for ALL sins.
Let us look also at a few Biblical examples of Gods forgiveness. As you know, Jesus Christ was crucified between two thieves. Crucifixion was a punishment meted by the Romans to those who had committed what they considered very serious crimes. So these two thieves must have stolen much to merit this punishment. One of them saw the need to obtain the forgiveness of our Lord, which He granted to him as expressed by His promise: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
Also consider Saul of Tarsus, whose main occupation prior to conversion seemed to be the persecution of Christians, even to the point of death (Acts 22:4). Yet after his remarkable conversion experience on the road to Damascus, he became the Apostle Paul, the most vocal spokesman for Christ in the early Church, and wrote approximately one half of the books which are in our New Testament. So, we have both by Gods own promises and by example, provision in His Word for forgiveness for any sinner who comes to Jesus Christ by faith. May every sinner be encouraged to obtain this forgiveness and eternal life by placing his faith in the Savior today.
Q. Does God hear the prayers of an unsaved person?
A. Being omnipresent and omniscient, God hears every word that is uttered on the Earth, including, of course, those that are addressed to Him. With regard to the unsaved, God always answers the sinners prayer, whereby an individual comes to Christ.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).
Occasionally, God will answer other prayers of the unsaved if it is in His will to do sofor example, to make Himself manifest to that person in order to draw him to Christ; or in order that some other ultimate good will occur as a result. But God has put Himself under no obligation to answer these prayers of the unsaved. The many promises of answered prayer in the Bible are addressed primarily to Christians (for example, Mark 11:24, James 5:16, 1 John 5:15). One must first be in the family of God in order to confidently approach Him in prayer: Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
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