I know from your column that people sometimes write you asking how good a person has to be before they can get into heaven. But what about the opposite case? How bad does someone have to be before there isn't any hope for them? — J.H.
One of the Bible's greatest truths is that God is willing to forgive absolutely anyone who truly repents of their sins and commits their life to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
When I read your question I couldn't help but think of the Apostle Paul. Do you remember the story of his early life? (You can read about it in chapter 9 of the book of Acts.) Paul (or Saul, as he was known then) had no use for Christians and was determined to see them stamped out. To do this, he even got official authority to arrest them and put them in jail, where they could be put on trial for their lives. His hatred for Christ knew no bounds.
But God reached out to Paul, and as he was traveling to Damascus to arrest some of Jesus' followers, Christ met him in a vision and Paul's life was completely changed. God forgave him for all the terrible things he had done. Later, Paul wrote, "I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience" (1 Timothy 1:16).
The only person God can't forgive is the person who refuses His forgiveness. Why turn away from Him? No matter who you are or what you have done, Christ stands ready to forgive you and save you. Open your heart to Him today, because "the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10).