Can God Forgive The Unforgivable?

One of our friends wrote in with a question. He says:

“I’m a Corrections Officer, and alot of the inmates know I’m a Christian. They ask me questions about the Bible, and I try to answer them the best that I can. I don’t have a problem talking to them about Jesus. Majority of the inmates on the yard are in for drugs, however there are inmates that are in for more vile crimes such as child molestation etc. Am I suppose to witness to them also? Can they be forgiven for these kinds of crimes? Thank You for your answer…God Bless You…”

This is an excellent question and one with which many struggle. We wonder how God can forgive such heinous crimes.  Thankfully, that is the very message of the Gospel. Romans 3:23 tells us “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” while Romans 3:10 tells us that “there is no one righteous, not even one.” If we look back over the course of Scripture we see that this all began with the fall. Adam and Eve were sentenced to death, no not immediately, but that was the end result, because they defied God and chose their own path. With every new generation, mankind has made the same choice. We are separated from God not as a result of our individual actions, but as a result of our heart. We are separated from God because we have sin in our heart, which pours out into our lives via our actions. Our actions are evidence of our heart. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” “The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart,” says Matthew 15:18. We have a heart issue and that heart issue is that we’d rather do things our way than God’s. 

Unlike mankind, God doesn’t rank or rate sins. He is a holy and just God who cannot be in the presence of ANY sin. That mean, he can have nothing to do with ANYONE who commits even the littlest of sins, say a white lie. Why? Because, it offends his very nature, it is counter to who he is by definition. Some might find this difficult to wrap their heads around because they draw the analogy that parents associate with their children even when their children defy them. This is true, but that analogy breaks down because in that comparison, the parents too are sinners who have defied someone at some point in their life. They are not righteous and without sin. God is completely righteous and without sin, AT ALL, therefore he cannot be around it and accept it without changing his very nature and characteristics. That’s not something we want either, for if God could change his nature in order that he might be able to be around sinners, than God could change other parts of his nature, say the part that is always faithful, always true, all loving, and where would we be if he started changing those parts? The immutability, or unchangability, of God’s nature is one of the things that makes him safe, reliable and trustworthy.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us in desperation and completely separated from God. It leaves every single one of us completely and utterly lost, not just the rapists, murderers or child molesters, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! Without the cross, that is. Good news! Christ’s payment on the cross satisfied our debt to God! It paid the penalty for our sin. He took our punishment upon himself in order that we might be free from the guilt and punishment of our defiance against God. Romans 6:23 tells us “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It does not stipulate which types of sinners end up with death and which ones receive the gift of life based off of the sins committed. It states the wages of sin, ALL sin, is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. John 3:16 tells us, “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.” Whoever! That means ANY person, REGARDLESS of their past, if they confess Jesus Christ as Lord and surrender their life to his lordship and service, they WILL receive eternal life. How awesome is that!

We might find some people undeserving of Christ, but that is not up to us. We are not judge, we are simply the messengers. Jesus commanded the apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That’s all we are commanded to do. Share the message of Christ with everyone who will listen and leave the convicting and converting to the Holy Spirit. God will handle the details and he will decide who is worthy of eternal life based upon who surrenders their life to Christ Jesus our Lord. If God judged sins like people do, we’d all be in a lot of trouble. So let’s be grateful our God is more merciful than we are, and share that message of mercy with all who will listen!

For another article on how God has used some seriously broken people, check out I’m Jumping!

For more on what Christ has done for us, check out What Does This Mean For Me?


  1. Thank you for your answer on this matter.I think deep down I knew the answer to my own question.I just needed someone to verify it.God Bless you and Thank You for what your doing…

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    When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.

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    Great post! Many still believes that god will punish us when we died after doing unforgivable things. These people believe that the entire control of this world is with the God and he knows what to do and when to do?

  4. Very good post. Something which is very close to our heart. You always have a way of making it so easy to follow your thoughts and what you’re sharing with us

  5. Without understanding, there cannot be true faith, and that understanding is built on the foundation of the community of believers, the scriptures and traditions and on the personal experiences of the believer. Thanks.

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