I don’t know if God can forgive me. It’s my second abortion, and what’s more, for over a year I have been cheating on my husband with a married man. I know that my behavior is not pleasing to God. That’s why I’m asking if God can forgive me, since I knew it was wrong and did it anyway. I want to leave this kind of life behind because I can’t stand my situation. I want to get close to God, but I am ashamed. I feel like I don’t deserve anything from Him, not even the right to talk to him.
You are right. You have done some really bad things. You are right to feel ashamed, and you have genuine reason for regret. You destroyed two lives, broke your vows, and have lied and covered it up all the way. So will God forgive you?
To find the answer, we must look at what the Bible says. Many people believe that the Bible portrays God as a harsh judge who takes pleasure in punishing us for our sin. Those people usually form their opinions by listening to what some church people say. But what they say and what some media preachers say is not always what the Bible really says.
The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”1 So God loves you and me so much that He sacrificed His only Son so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born just so that He could later die in payment of your sins and mine.
But you believe that what you have done is just too much for God to forgive. That’s why the very next verse of Scripture says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”2 In spite of all the people who might condemn you, God sent Jesus to make a way for you to be saved from eternal condemnation.
Sin has been compared to falling off a steep cliff. You can’t fall a little bit. Once you fall, it’s all the way. When you sin, there is no little sin, or medium sin, or large sin. Once you’ve sinned at all, you need God’s forgiveness.
However, it is not automatic. The Apostle John gave us directions: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”3 When you pray in your own words to God, your confession must be accompanied by regret and by the decision to stop cheating on your husband. If you are sincerely sorry, then you will be sincerely grateful to know that God has forgiven you and given you the opportunity to begin again. And that gratitude and freedom from guilt will help you begin a life in which you want to please God every day.
We wish you well,
1 Jn 3:16
2 Jn 3:17
3 1Jn 1:9