I am sure that you know that you have sinned in one way or the other.
You have certainly had bad thoughts. You might have wished that evil should befall someone who did you wrong. You might have had the thought of having a sexual relationship with someone who is not your wife or husband. You might be holding a grudge against someone in your heart. You may be planning to carry out some evil deed. If you want to be honest, you will own up to the fact that your thoughts have not been one hundred per cent pure since you were born until today.
The problem has not only been with your thoughts. Your words have also been sinful. You have probably insulted someone or mocked at another. You have probably spoken evil of someone behind the person's back. You have possibly quarrelled. You have perhaps used your lips to paint a picture of yourself that is not true. You have lied at least once. You have exaggerated things. In telling stories, you have added things to them that were not quite true. If you want to be honest, you will acknowledge the fact that all that you have spoken since you were born until now, has not been what it should be.
However, the problem has not only been with your thoughts and words. There are also your actions. You have possibly carried out one or more of the following actions which God hates because they are sinful: stealing, laziness, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, gluttony, bribery, corruption, going to sorcerers, practising magic, consulting mediums, using charms, etc.
All your sins - be they in thought, word or deed - are primarily against God. They are secondarily against man. God created you to belong to Him 100%; to serve Him with all your heart, and to do His will in every way. Sins are deviations from this purpose of God. Sins are a kind of declaration of independence from God. When a person sins in his thoughts, words or deeds, he is telling God, "I do not want to belong to You 100%. I do not want to serve You with all my heart. I do not want to obey You 100%." This is the real meaning of sin.
Because God created man to obey Him 100%, love Him 100%, serve Him 100% and do His will 100%, anyone who obeys God 99%, loves Him 99% and does His will 99%, has failed God. He is a sinner. A sinner is someone who fails totally or partially to obey, love and serve God as God wants. By this failure, the person is a sinner. He has sinned. All that concerns him is sinful. He has committed sin. He has failed to be all that God wants him to be. All the other sins that are committed are just the result of sin, which is the failing to be all that God wants. You may be asking yourself why God cannot accept someone who loves Him 99%, obeys Him 99% and does His will 99%. The reason is that anything that is not complete cannot satisfy Him. Look at it this way. If you had one bottle of clean, pure water, and one drop of poison was added to it, would you still like that water? I believe you would not like it. In the same way, that 1% of love, obedience and service that is not given to God, is like poison to Him. He will not accept the 99%. Look at it in another way. If someone wanted to enter a bus to travel to town, but was late by one second, and got to the bus stop just as the bus was taking off, would he not have missed the bus completely? He would almost have got into it, but he would not have got in. The persons who were five minutes, five hours, five days, etc, late, would also have missed the bus, and the situation of the person who almost got in would not be any better than theirs.
Sin is a serious thing to God. Because He is holy, He cannot tolerate sin. He must separate Himself from sin. Because God will always hate sin, He will separate Himself eternally from sinners. He will punish them and they will cry out from the lake of fire forever and ever; but there will be no answer. The Bible says, "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for the murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death"(Revelation 21:8). Those who have sinned a little and those who have sinned much are all lost. The judgment of God is upon all of them. If you have sinned in a small or big way, you are lost. You are going to the lake of fire. It is only a matter of time, and you will be there.
It could be that you have already realized the fact that you are a sinner — that you have not succeeded to live without sin. Maybe you realize that the judgment of God is waiting for you. It may be that you have begun to reap some of the fruit of your sin. It may be that your life is without purpose. You have no sense of direction. The guilt of your sin is heavy on you, and you want to receive the forgiveness of your sin now. If that is your case, there is a wonderful solution to your problem.
God saw that all human beings had sinned and were lost. He saw that not one person sought Him, loved or obeyed Him 100%. He saw that all human beings would go to hell, unless something was done. He decided to do something.
God sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, to come into the world and bear the punishment that all sinners ought to have borne. Jesus went to the cross, where each sinner, and you in particular, ought to have gone. He died on the cross where you ought to have died, because of your sin. When Jesus Christ went to the cross, God put all the sin of the whole world, and your own sin in particular, on Him and He carried it for you, and died in your place. God put on Jesus Christ all the sin that you had committed in the past, all the sin that you are committing now, and all the sin that you will ever commit in the future. He put it all on Him and He carried the judgment for it by dying on the cross for you. On the cross, Jesus cried, "It is finished." He was saying, "I have finished the act of carrying your sin. I have finished the act of being punished for your sin. I have finished the act of carrying all the consequences of your sin."
Because Jesus Christ died for you and bore the punishment that you ought to have borne, YOU CAN RECEIVE THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN NOW. God wants to forgive your sin now. You can receive the forgiveness of sin now by following the three steps below. Read them and do as they say, and the forgiveness of sin will be yours immediately.
AGREE with the Word of God that you are a sinner. Agree with God that you have not loved Him with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength, etc, and that your thoughts, words and deeds are not what He wants them to be. Agree with Him that you have sinned in your thoughts, your words and your deeds, and that you deserve His punishment in the lake of fire. Agree with God that you cannot change your sinful heart yourself by trying to belong to one religion or another, or by trying to do one good act or the other.
AGREE with God's Word that Jesus Christ, who is God's Son, is God's Answer to your problem. Agree with God that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you as an individual. Agree with Him that all your sin was put on Christ, and that He bore the judgment which you ought to have borne. Agree with God that there is no other person apart from Jesus, who can forgive your sin, since He alone died for you.
ACT OUT what you agree. Receive forgiveness from God through Jesus now. Receive the forgiveness now by praying in the following way: "Lord God, I have sinned in my thoughts, words and deeds. I deserve Your judgment. However, You love me, and sent Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sin. I believe that because He died for me, You have forgiven my sin. I now receive Your forgiveness by faith in the Lord Jesus. I now take Jesus as my Lord and as my Saviour. Thank You that all my sins are forgiven now. My punishment and my guilt have also been taken away. I am forgiven. I am free from the consequence of sin. I will use my freedom to love You with all my heart, and to obey You always as a sign of my gratitude to You for saving me. Amen."
If you have prayed the above prayer sincerely, then you can be sure that the Lord Jesus has immediately forgiven you, made you God's child, written your name in the book of life, and you will never perish.
Rejoice in your forgiveness of sin. Begin to read the Bible every day, and begin to pray to God through Jesus, who now lives in you.
God bless you, I love you.