Q: If I do something wrong, but then I die before I have a chance to confess it and make it right with God, am I doomed? I worry about this, because I know that sometimes I probably forget to ask God for forgiveness. I don’t want God to condemn me. — J.O.
A: If you were arrested for doing something wrong and the judge fined you, what would happen if you did it again? You know the answer: the judge would fine you again. And he’d keep fining you every time you did it.
But listen: God isn’t like this! When Jesus Christ went to the cross, he became the perfect and final sacrifice for all our sins — without exception. In other words, every sin you ever committed, or ever would commit, was transferred to him, and he took upon himself the judgment that you deserved. The Bible says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
And when we come to him and trust him as our savior, God cleanses us of all our sins — without exception. Every fine has been paid — by Christ! The Bible says, “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge ... which stood against us” (Colossians 2:13-14).
Don’t misunderstand me; when we do something wrong, we need to face it and confess it to God. Just as an angry word or a hurtful deed breaks our fellowship with someone, so sin breaks our fellowship with God. But we are still his children, and we need to have our fellowship restored as soon as possible. And it can be, because God’s promise is true: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.