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Author: Ron Graham


Forgiveness and Condemnation
—Are you pardoned or condemned?

Let's think about forgiveness and condemnation, two opposites in the Bible. And let's answer this question: Are You Pardoned or Condemned?.

1 Does God Condemn Some and Forgive Others?

Before we talk about you in particular, let's find out in general who it is that God condemns and punishes. This questiion is answered over and over again in the Bible. One example is this statement:

2Thessalonians 1:5-10 NKJV

 “5[There] is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you also suffer, 6since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed” (2Thessalonians 1:5-10 NKJV).

This scripture plainly tells you that some will be condemned to everlasting punishment whilst others will be counted worthy of citizenship in the everlasting kingdom. Paul calls them "saints" meaning sanctified or set-apart people.

Because many people fail to believe and obey the gospel, they receive God’s wrath and vengeance. Others truly believe and obey, so they receive God’s grace and glory.

To be more specific, they obey the gospel's, commands to repent of sin (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into him (Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-4).

All who obey these commands in faith receive forgiveness of sins freely through the sacrifice which Jesus made on the cross (1 Peter 2:24, Romans 6:17).

From then on, they must live the Christian life...

"11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to everyone. 12 It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:11-14 ESV).

2 Does God Condemn You?

Now let us focus on you in particular. Is God holding you to account for your sins? Does he condemn you to everlasting punishment? Will he take vengeance on you? To answer, look again at the scripture passage at the top of this lesson (2Thessalonians 1:5-10).

The passage says that you are condemned if you " do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2Thessalonians 1:5-8).

3 Does God Pardon You?

Since those who do not obey the gospel are condemned, it follows that those who do obey the gospel are pardoned.

If you have obeyed the gospel, and continue to be faithful, you are counted worthy of a place in heaven with Jesus, even though you do not count yourself worthy.

It may be hard to believe that you are forgiven, but it is true because Jesus died for you. Keep asking his forgiveness and grace as you endeavour to follow him.

You may have strayed from Jesus and backsliden. John says, "If we confess our sins God is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9)

John goes on to say, "I write to you so that you may not sin, and if anyone sins we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous" (1John 2:1)

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need"
(Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).


Webservant Ron Graham

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