Pastor's Blog

 
Pastor's blog > God can forgive all sins

God can forgive all sins


03/12/2012

The conversion of Paul on the Damascus Road should be something to note for us all, but especially for people who have committed terrible crimes or particularly wicked sins. Paul wrote to Timothy as an old man looking back on how it all began. I suspect with tears in his eyes, he recalled his former behaviour when as a religious extremist he went after Christians with a hatred and anger that would make many modern day extremists look rather bland by comparison. He went from house to house searching for anyone who was a follower of ‘the way’, he saw them having a pernicious influence upon Judaism and he was determined to keep his religion pure and undefiled by rooting out the so called ‘Jesus is Messiah’ strand. 

When he discovered a family had sympathies with the Christian faith he would literally drag them from their homes, Fathers, mothers, children, even young babies and throw them into prison. Many he forced to blaspheme the name of Jesus and others he had no compunction in putting to death. He was the overseer of the trial and death of the martyr Stephen and the image the New Testament gives of Paul is of a ferocious wolf pursuing its prey. So mad was Paul and blinded by religious hatred that he even left his own native land to pursue these Christians to other places, with the intention of shamefully dragging them in chains from Damascus back to Jerusalem, publicly humiliating them before their fellow citizens.

While travelling towards Damascus to fulfil his ambition of imprisoning Christians in this city, full of anger and hatred, Paul is suddenly stopped in his tracks by a blinding light from heaven and he hears the voice of Jesus calling out to him, ‘Paul, Paul! Why are you persecuting me?’ Who are you Lord? Paul asked. And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.’

It is at the end of his life that Paul can reflect back on this experience and acknowledge that the only reason he could find why God had mercy on him was because he did all this in ignorance and unbelief. But, it was with a deep sense of gratitude to God that he was willing to forgive Paul for his action that Paul wrote with a sense of amazement and wonder ‘Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.’

And here’s the point of all this. It doesn\'t matter how bad we are, or even how we have treated God in the past, God is willing to overlook and forgive our past if we will only acknowledge God in the way that Paul did. Paul goes on to say, ‘This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.’ Paul realised in a moment on the road to Damascus that Christ was real, furthermore, he realised how desperately in the wrong he was, but he was comforted immediately by the thought that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He didn\'t come to save the good, he came to save sinners. People just like you and I.

It’s amazing to think that Paul will meet with many people in heaven that got there by his ministry and by that I don’t mean his preaching ministry, I mean his ‘putting to death Christians’ ministry. What an interesting reunion that will be! I imagine it will go something like this, (Stephen) hello Paul, the last time I saw you, you had a brick in your hand and it was flying towards me! (Paul) Yeah, sorry about that! 

Have you hurt someone deeply, cruelly, with evil intention, God by his grace can forgive all sins, even yours!

 
clicking on ".menu-button" toggles class "show-menu" on ".menu" clicking on ".close-menu" toggles class "show-menu" on ".menu" clicking on ".location-button" toggles class "show-location-menu" on ".location-menu" clicking on ".close" toggles class "show-location-menu" on ".location-menu" clicking on ".menu-one" toggles class "show" on ".submenu-one" clicking on ".menu-one" removes class "show" on ".submenu-two, .submenu-three, .submenu-four, .submenu-five" clicking on ".menu-one" toggles class "selected" on ".menu-one" clicking on ".menu-one" removes class "selected" on ".menu-two, .menu-three, .menu-four, .menu-five" clicking on ".menu-two" toggles class "show" on ".submenu-two" clicking on ".menu-two" removes class "show" on ".submenu-one, .submenu-three, .submenu-four, .submenu-five" clicking on ".menu-two" toggles class "selected" on ".menu-two" clicking on ".menu-two" removes class "selected" on ".menu-one, .menu-three, .menu-four, .menu-five" clicking on ".menu-three" toggles class "show" on ".submenu-three" clicking on ".menu-three" removes class "show" on ".submenu-one, .submenu-two, .submenu-four, .submenu-five" clicking on ".menu-three" toggles class "selected" on ".menu-three" clicking on ".menu-three" removes class "selected" on ".menu-one, .menu-two, .menu-four, .menu-five" clicking on ".menu-four" toggles class "show" on ".submenu-four" clicking on ".menu-four" removes class "show" on ".submenu-one, .submenu-two, .submenu-three, .submenu-five" clicking on ".menu-four" toggles class "selected" on ".menu-four" clicking on ".menu-four" removes class "selected" on ".menu-one, .menu-two, .menu-three, .menu-five" clicking on ".menu-five" toggles class "show" on ".submenu-five" clicking on ".menu-five" removes class "show" on ".submenu-one, .submenu-two, .submenu-three, .submenu-four" clicking on ".menu-five" toggles class "selected" on ".menu-five" clicking on ".menu-five" removes class "selected" on ".menu-one, .menu-two, .menu-three, .menu-four" clicking on ".but-one" toggles class "hidden-xs" on ".box-one" clicking on ".but-one" toggles class "open" on ".but-one" clicking on ".but-two" toggles class "hidden-xs" on ".box-two" clicking on ".but-two" toggles class "open" on ".but-two" clicking on ".but-six" toggles class "hidden-xs" on ".box-six" clicking on ".but-six" toggles class "open" on ".but-six" clicking on ".but-three" toggles class "hidden-xs" on ".box-three" clicking on ".but-three" toggles class "open" on ".but-three" clicking on ".but-four" toggles class "hidden-xs" on ".box-four" clicking on ".but-four" toggles class "open" on ".but-four" clicking on ".but-five" toggles class "hidden-xs" on ".box-five" clicking on ".but-five" toggles class "open" on ".but-five"