We have asked Jesus to forgive our sins because we know that God sacrificed His son Jesus so that our sins could be forgiven. We are told that it is never too late to ask Jesus to forgive our sins - even on our death bed. In light of what has happened recently in the abduction and brutal murder of two innocent little 10 year old girls, how can I bring myself to believe that Jesus can forgive these evil people for what they have done? I want Jesus to forgive them, but how do I explain this to a non-believer?
The key to the answer is found in our own sinful hearts.
When Jesus was here 2,000 years ago, He said that He came to save sinners and not the righteous. That is a strange statement unless we understand that God only came to save those who grieve over their sins, know that they need God’s forgiveness, believe that only Jesus can forgive, and want His forgiveness. The self-righteous think that they are good enough. But it is important to know that God does not want us to just stop sinning. What He really wants is that we pursue holiness. If we pursue holiness we will want to avoid sin. To avoid sin is a negative goal, but to pursue holiness, is a positive goal – to be as holy as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). God is quick to forgive the sincere heart that repents. A wonderful passage in the Old Testament reads as follows,
You answered them, O LORD our God; You were to them God-Who-Forgives, though You took vengeance on their deeds. (NKJV) Ps. 99:8
What is the point? God will forgive any “evil people” who have the sincere, repentant hearts. Before people become Christians, they are “evil people.”
Our holy God will forgive anyone, even “evil people.” We do not forgive because of our own sinfulness which demonstrates itself in anger and hatred at evil people or when we are wronged. But God has no problem forgiving. In fact, God wants to forgive us because He loves every man, woman, and child.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been [declared to be holy] by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (NASB) Rom. 5:6-10
He forgives the sincere soul who has a heart felt sorrow over sin and seeks God and His holiness.
One way you could approach your non-Christian friend is by starting with this question, “In what ways are our attitudes and emotions different from God’s?” Try to understand her/his view of God and then seek the opportunity to share the above truths. The key is our unloving hearts toward evil people and God’s love for everyone. Thank you Jesus for loving us!