“What does “God forgives us” mean?”

A4P Guest: I want to ask you about something that is bothering and confusing me these days. I am a 25-year old Christian girl. I grew up in a Christian family and I learned early on that sex before marriage is a grievous sin before God. I’ve been holding on to that truth since childhood. Nowadays, though, my faith is being shaken because many Christians are having sex before marriage and they seem okay with it. They are still coming to church and their relationship with God seems unshaken and unaffected by their sinful lifestyle; they seem to be happy and enjoying life to the fullest while I struggle and wage war against my flesh to keep my body, soul, and spirit pure; they seem to get married quickly, throwing their wedding parties in churches, and having kids too. Comparing my life with theirs, I began to doubt the importance or relevance of my stand against sexual immorality. If I get into that kind of life, God will forgive me and I should be able to move on with life just like them. It is hard for me now to see sexual sin as different from any other sin such as lying. And I feel like God won’t do anything special for me because I keep myself from sexual sin. Please tell me if I’m wrong in my thinking. I don’t know if the devil is deceiving me in this. What does “God forgives us” mean? Does it mean that when God forgives, He takes away the consequences of our sins and our life will be bliss?

A4P: What a precious topic for me to deal with on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon! Praise God!

Thank you for asking these questions and thank you for giving us permission to address your questions on this page.

Well, let me start from the middle and please follow me through, referring to your Bible.

Reading through your questions, the following statement grabbed my heart: the wicked “seem to be happy and enjoying life to the fullest while I struggle and wage war against my flesh.”

I felt like I read it somewhere and I remembered where. Here it is:

“Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”
This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.” (Psalm 73:1-20)

I can even stop right here as if I answered all of your questions because the above passage gives you a complete answer. Please meditate on each one of the above verses and try to find the heart of God to those who faithfully seek His ways.

My dear sister, ““There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”” (Isaiah 48:22)

Wicked people, people who walk as enemies of the Cross (Philippians 3:18), can put a smile on their face, but they can’t put peace into their hearts because peace comes from walking in the Spirit (Romans 14:7). They can buy expensive beds (like airbeds or waterbeds) but sleep is nowhere to be found in their tents because good sleep is a reward for remaining in the love of God (Psalm 127:2). They may drive expensive cars and wear brand clothing but joy is something elusive for them because joy is not sold in a supermarket but found as one abides in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). They may sleep around and have sex before marriage but they know nothing about sexual pleasure that only comes from the presence and blessing of God. They only know how to be orgasmic, which is something anybody can get from masturbation, incest, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, etc. They may give birth to children but without the blessing of God in their lives, curses will rule their lives and the rest of their generations’ lives.

So, in short, it is always well with your soul and my soul to stay in the LORD and seek His ways for the rest of our lives! The Word of God says,

“Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Hang in there! Whatever you’ve been holding on to since childhood is something that you need to continue to hold on to. Sexual sin is not the same as lying (1 Corinthians 6:18). It is different from other sins mainly by the way it destroys one’s life. So, stay away from it. It is a wild fire that doesn’t quench its thirst unless it steals, kills, and destroys every precious gift you have, including your life. So, flee from it!

Yes, God forgives, but nowhere in the Bible has God promised us to take away the consequences of our sins. King David slept with the wife of one of his faithful soldiers but God forgave him. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) but a compassionate and forgiving God kept King David from perishing because of his sin, saying through Nathan, “You are not going to die. BUT…” (2 Samuel 12) (notice the but!). BUT King David reaped what he sowed. His son died, his older son had sex with King David’s wives in public which David wore  a garment of disgrace for the rest of his life, and God said, “Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised Me – – – ” (2 Samuel 12:10).

The anointed mighty man of God, Samson, sinned against God by sleeping around and having sex with different women (Judges 13-16), but God later forgave him and enabled him to  get revenge from his enemies for his eyes. Now his name is now listed in the Hall of Faith Chapter (Hebrews 11),  but Samson still reaped what he sowed. He died at young age; he never had a child, and he lost both his eyes while he was alive, being despised and disgraced before all his enemies, who used to fear him like one of their gods.

My dear sister, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)

Always remember, no one can mock God and get away with it!

And also remember this: You can choose today whether to have sex before marriage or not, but you can’t pick and choose the consequences/results of your sin. Always choose that which will bring you life. Every sin has consequences; this means that no one can get away with sin.

One last point: Everybody you see in church is not a born-again Christian. Born-again Christians are identified by their deeds (by the way they live their lives – Matthew 7:16). The Word of God said, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1 John 3:9) That means, born-again Christians sin against God here and there but they never make sin their lifestyle. They don’t continue living in sin and act as if everything is normal and okay (don’t use this to judge, just to discern!).

Phew! I didn’t even write 1% of what I set out to write, but it’s okay. I can only write so much on social media. I hope and pray God speaks to your heart and makes you even more courageous than before to continue to live in sexual purity. Bless you! ///