Willful Sin

Q. A husband has left his wife and two boys, she wanted to work it out but he refused. He was a deacon in the church and taught SS. He told her that the Lord would forgive him. He left knowing he was going against God’s will and that God would forgive him because he was unhappy. There was another woman, they found out later. I know that God forgives our sins but this seems to be sinning knowing God will forgive. Can you help me in this?

A. There’s no mistaking the fact that this man’s sin is a tragedy. It grieved the Holy Spirit and has brought pain and suffering to his family and friends. And it does appear to be a willful sin.

But remember this. We all commit willful sins, knowing that God will forgive us, because that’s what the Bible tells us. And strictly speaking, God knew every sin of our life before we were born and forgave all of them at the cross 2,000 years ago (Colossians 2:13-14). Because of this, some people don’t even have the courtesy to ask the Lord to forgive them when they sin.

Also, we tend to see different degrees of sin, and think of this man’s sin as being among the worst. But to God, sin is sin and all sins are punishable by death. Therefore, when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) whether they be “big” ones or “little” ones.

The appropriate response is to ask the Lord to forgive this man as the Bible instructs us to do (1 John 5:16-16). We should also remember that we all have areas of weakness that make us vulnerable to an enemy attack, and thank the Lord that it’s only because of His grace that something as bad as this hasn’t happened to us.

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