I feel guilty over some things I've done, and I've prayed and prayed for God to forgive me, but I guess He's not going to, is He? — M.G.
How do you know God hasn't forgiven you? I suspect you'd say that you still feel guilty over what you've done -- and if God had truly forgiven you, then you wouldn't feel this way. But is this true?
The key is to understand, first of all, what sin is, and what it does to us. Sin is serious, the Bible says, because it cuts us off from God and brings us under His judgment. More than that, sin is destructive and always has evil consequences. And yet no one is free from sin's corruption, because we all have sinned -- even if we don't like to admit it. The Bible says, "There is no one who does good, not even one" (Romans 3:12).
But the Bible tells us another important truth: God loves us, in spite of our sin -- and He has provided the way for us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins. That way is Jesus Christ, who came down from heaven and became the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. We deserve to die for our sins -- but on the cross He died for us. The Bible says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
What must we do in response? Let me summarize it in three words: believe, receive, trust. We must believe that Jesus died for us; we must receive Him into our lives as our Savior and Lord; and we must trust His promise to forgive us. I urge you to take those steps today. Then be assured that God has completely forgiven you.