This is not a post about politics. It’s about people. And pardon.
The Bible is full of accounts of people—really sinful people by the way—who humbled themselves and experienced immediate and full forgiveness from the LORD. True humility. Instantaneous forgiveness.
Consider the following:
- The thief on the cross was nailed to his cross a guilty murderer, and was later taken down from that cross a Paradise-bound believer (Luke 23:39-43).
- The persecuting Saul became the preaching Paul in a matter of minutes (Acts 9).
- The thieving tax collector entered the temple feeling unworthy to lift his eyes to heaven, and went home justified (Luke 18:13, 14).
- The hated Zaccheus was transformed from a conniving, thieving traitor to a saved, just, and generous man; all over lunch (Luke 19:1ff).
- The whole city of Nineveh was scheduled for destruction one day, and pardoned by grace, the next (Jonah 4:1ff).
- The returning prodigal virtually ate with pigs for breakfast and enjoyed a forgiveness-feast for dinner (Luke 15:11-32).
And then there’s Manasseh. This ancient king forsook God’s Law, set up ugly pagan idols right in the middle of the temple grounds, committed all manner of sexual perversions, and even had his sons burned alive to appease his gods. But when judgment was threatened he humbled himself and received instant and full forgiveness!
“And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God” (2 Chronicles 33:12, 13).
Instant and complete forgiveness.
Amazing grace from an amazing God.
Friends, our personal and national sins are many and great. Surely we can all admit this—even if we might focus on different sins. But if our guilt is great and our shame is deep, there is a place where we can go where grace is greater and mercy is deeper still; a place where it all can be washed away in an instant. God is ready and eager to forgive. Humble yourself. Ask for mercy. Trust that Jesus died for your sins. Believe the promise of a God who simply cannot lie: he will forgive freely, fully, and forever if we confess sincerely.
Then lift your head and heart once again, and live as one who has known the Father’s love and received the Father’s forgiveness. Live as one who never needs to fear the wrath of God again.
And if you happen to live in a country gone nuts with sin, where evil is called good and good evil, where the sin list grows longer by the day, be sure to remind everyone around you of Manasseh’s and Zaccheus’ and Nineveh’s and the Prodigal’s God.
Let them all know that there is One who will show mercy freely, and will forgive with all of his heart, if we will humble ourselves deeply and ask him, with all of ours.