God will forgive any sin, as long as we truly repent. To "repent" literally
means "to turn." We must turn from our sinful ways and attitudes. This coming
week, many of us will be attending Ash Wednesday services, which will help
us to reflect on repentance. We borrow this idea of imposition of ashes in
mourning or repentance, from the Jewish faith (See 2 Samuel 13:19, where
Tamar put ashes on her forehead.). Today we will look at some passages related
Job 42:1-6 (NASB) Then Job answered the LORD and said,
"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared
that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did
not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear. But now my eye sees You. Therefore
I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes."
Luke 3:2b-3 (NASB) The word of God came to John, the son
of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the district around
the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 3:1-2 (NASB) Now in those days John the Baptist
came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "repent, for the kingdom
of Heaven is at hand.''
Matthew 11:19-21 (NASB) The Son of Man came eating and
drinking, and they say, "Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend
of tax collectors and sinners!'" Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.'Then
He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done,
because they did not repent. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you,
they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."
Luke 13:2-3 (NASB)And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose
that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because
they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will
all likewise perish."
Acts 26:19-20 (NASB) So, King Agrippa, I did not prove
disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus
first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea,
and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing
deeds appropriate to repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (NASB) I now rejoice, not that you
were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance;
for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might
not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according
to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation,
but the sorrow of the world produces death.