Have you ever offended someone and wished that they would forgive you – but no matter how much you tried to make it right, they would not let it go? That is tough! It is really hard not to be forgiven…
Now it is one thing to offend people – but our ultimate offenses are really against God. After David’s great sin with Bathsheba, David said to God, “Against Thee only have I sinned and done this great evil in your sight” (Psalm 51). But the good news is that God is willing to forgive when we repent, for He says, “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). It is wonderful to be forgiven; but it is supremely wonderful to be forgiven by God!
The word “forgive” in this verse is a Hebrew word that not only means “to forgive;” it also carries the idea of “to pardon.” God not only forgives our sin – He also pardons us (He lets us off the hook and sets us free). How wonderful!
Now, in reading this verse, did you notice that it says nothing about meriting God’s forgiveness? No penance, no indulgences, no lighting of candles, no purgatory. The only condition is that we humble yourselves and pray; and then God says, “I will hear from heaven and forgive your sin.”
I once knew a lady who lived in constant guilt for what she had done. She couldn’t believe that God would forgive her because she couldn’t forgive herself. But God tells us that He will forgive, and therefore if we say “He can’t forgive this” or “He won’t forgive that,” then we’re calling Him a liar! We are saying that He won’t do what He has said He will do.
Remember King David? He was guilty of adultery and murder (and those are pretty “big” sins…). Yet God forgave him when he humbled himself and prayed.
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Say – The only sin God won’t forgive is the sin of unbelief. So, believe Him – and He will forgive.