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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Does God still forgive us?


Does God still forgive us if we deliberately disobey Him?óMargie, online

Shayna Answers:

Dear Margie,

Yes, God does forgive us even when we deliberately disobey Him. However, we should never view God’s forgiveness as a free pass to do whatever we want. Let’s look at how our relationship with God is a balance of both obedience and forgiveness.

The first sin took place in the Garden of Eden. Although Adam and Eve disappointed God by deliberately disobeying Him, God didn’t respond the way most of us would expect. Instead of destroying Adam and Eve, God had already provided a way to forgive and redeem them, so they could have eternal life again. This forgiveness and redemption came to Adam and Eve—and to us—in the form of Jesus’ sinless life, atoning death, and grave-conquering resurrection—what Mark 10:45 calls a “ransom for many.”

God has given us free will. He doesn’t have unrealistic expectations that we will make only perfect decisions. However, in response to His gift of salvation, we show our love to God not by deliberately sinning, but by obeying Him (John 14:15). After all, when we love someone, it’s natural to do everything possible to make that person happy.

As sinners, we’re all susceptible to temptations and flawed choices. When we deliberately sin, usually we feel guilty and disappointed in ourselves. As 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, this “godly sorrow” leads to repentance and then to salvation. First John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God faithfully forgives us. Psalm 103:13 explains that as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.

While this is good news, it’s important to be sorry for what we’ve done and to ask God to help us change our behavior. Because if we’re purposely sinning all the time, we’re not sincerely sorry for what we’re doing.

Maybe you’re wondering if there ever comes a time when God stops forgiving deliberate sins. The answer is yes. Everyone who hears the gospel has the opportunity to repent and to accept God’s gift of salvation, but not everyone chooses to accept it (Matthew 13:18-23). Anyone who believes in God can abandon their faith in Him at any time, and anyone can permanently choose to ignore God. Eventually time on this earth will end, and Jesus will come to earth for the second time.

First Thessalonians 4:13-18 explains that when Jesus comes, all who’ve accepted God’s gift of salvation through Christ’s sacrifice will rise and meet the Lord in the air. Psalm 136:1 says that God’s “mercy endures forever.” So those who are lost will be lost because they refused to accept salvation, not because God wasn’t willing to forgive them.

When we become Christians, God takes over our lives, and His Spirit changes us (2 Corinthians 3:18). We begin to see things differently, and we want to please God. Some people make the mistake of believing that they can keep sinning and then ask God for forgiveness right before Jesus comes. However, doing this isn’t really a demonstration of true love. Ezekiel 18:1-18 says that when we know the truth but purposely refuse it, we reject God and His gift of salvation.

When it comes to making choices, we will mess up every now and then. It’s eternally important that we understand the purpose of salvation and not exploit it.  We must genuinely repent when we do  wrong and allow God’s Spirit to change our character to be more like His.

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