Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“No Shortcuts”

About the prodigal son in Lk. 15, you said that it is important to God that we all come back, so He can forgive us.  But then why can’t all people just be, like, crazy, and in the end of their lives, go to God and ask for forgiveness and all will be fine?  What is the argument that keeps someone from doing that?

Last Minute Convert

Dear Last Minute Convert,

The easiest way to answer this question is by referring to Gal 6:7 which says that God can’t be “mocked”.  This means that we can’t trick God or fool Him into believing we have changed when we really haven’t.  Rom 8:27 says that God searches our hearts, and 1 Jhn 3:20 says that God knows all things.  When we come to God for forgiveness, God expects us to not only want forgiveness, but to change our mind about sin.  The word ‘repent’ means ‘to change your mind’, and repentance is a requirement for salvation (Acts 2:38).  If we attempt to live a sinful life and just “fool” God by asking for forgiveness at the end, it won’t work.  God knows whether or not we have truly repented of our sins and are truly sorry for the sins we have committed.  It isn’t enough to want forgiveness; you have to hate sin and really believe that you were in the wrong.  Our faith in God must be a sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5).  If it isn’t sincere, God will know, and He won’t be tricked.