Can God Really Forget Your Sins?

In response to a question from a reader:

“This question is off topic…but what do you think this verse means?”

Hebrews 8:12
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

“Do you think it’s bad to go as far to say that when God sees us, He doesn’t see any of our sin and only views us as perfect and righteous?”

This is a great question and one that many people mistranslate much of the time.

The reason I say this is that there are also other scriptures that back this up but also clarify it more, to the point that it changes what it looks like it says in this scripture.

(Hebrews 10:16-17; Psalms 25:7; Psalms 65:3; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 33:8; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:19; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 11:27; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 1:7-9; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 1:5)

The actual thought behind this statement is this: God the Son – Jesus – came to earth, shed His blood as the perfect sacrifice to forgive our sins, once and for all, and we as Christians have chosen to accept that sacrifice as payment for our sins. That being the case, the fact becomes that Jesus’ blood has enveloped and covered our sins so that it appears that they never happened, in God’s sight.  Once we have been saved, we are saved for eternity – we can NEVER lose His salvation.

Think about this:
If we sin, God sees it. He sees us on the very inside of our souls and sees every sin that we have ever done or ever will do. Since God is omniscient, He knows everything.

Can God forget something to the point that He can’t see it ever again? Since He created man and we are fallible; even though we have asked Jesus to come into our heart and His blood has forgiven and cleansed us of all of our past sins.  At that point, in God’s redemptive eyes, we have never sinned and are therefore perfect in His sight making us, because of Jesus’ blood, worthy of entering Heaven (since there can be no sin in heaven).

Did those sins disappear? NO! We can still remember them. We remember what we did, what it was like when we did it, how we felt and we may even have a propensity of committing that sin again (or one like it).

Can God, now, not see any of that? Yes. Because He knows us better than a brother knows us or our best friend. Being fallible, we have the ability to root up that memory of that action (sin); He doesn’t wipe our memory clean. Even if God had forgotten all of our sins prior to our salvation, if we remember that sin after that, God would know of that sin again.

It is just impossible for God to forget our sins to the point that it appears to Him as though we never sinned. He knows that we are “blood-bought”, “born again”, fallible Christians.

He knows that we have sinned but He also sees Christ in our lives and says, “Since you know My Son, you can come into Heaven.” Jesus has become our door pass into the Party of the Universe!

Remember that I said that Jesus’ blood forgives all of our sins up to that point – the point of salvation?

What happens to the sins that we will inevitably commit after that?

Won’t that then make us dirty in God’s sight and unable to enter Heaven? Yes, and No. We will be dirty but since we still have Jesus in our lives, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us; we will still be allowed entrance to Heaven.

Does that then give us a free pass to commit any sin we want after we are “saved”? NO! The whole chapter of Romans 6 talks about that.

What happens to the sins that we commit after we are saved?

Wow, that is a whopper of a question. The sins that we committed prior to salvation had, and still have, their consequences.  Even so, sin also has its consequences after we are saved and, if it results (or resulted) in some other consequence, regardless if it is physical, emotional or even judgmental (earthly).

Some of our sins are not seen by other people, maybe they were just a thought, but God sees them and so you are sinning against Him.

Much like the earthly courts, we will also stand before Jesus and face accountability for our unrepentant sins and our actions, whether right or wrong (1 Corinthians 3:1-11). Because of the verses before indicating that God remembers them no more, I believe that the judgment that the believers will face will be two-fold: 1) Judgment for the sins left unconfessed before God prior to the judgment (in Heaven), and 2) Judgement for the acts of service that we did and DID NOT do for God while we had the opportunity here on earth. Yes, we will be charged for the things that we knew we were supposed to do to please God and yet still didn’t do them (James 4:17).

Just for the record, the judgment that we will face as Christians is NOT the same judgment that the unsaved will face. The believer’s judgment is called the “Judgement Seat of Christ” or the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Jeremiah 17:7-10; 1 Peter 1:17; Romans 14:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Matthew 25:23; Proverbs 24:12). The unbeliever’s judgment is called the “Great White Throne Judgment” that will ultimately penalize the unsaved to an eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire with the Devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15)

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

Luis Palau, Experiencing God’s Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985.

That little story may be a bit humorous but I assure you that the difference between what God sees and what God doesn’t hold us accountable for, is not going to be too funny when we finally stand before God at the Judgment, whether it be the judgment for the believers or the judgment for the unbelievers.

Friend, if you fall under the heading of the unbeliever, I urge you to settle that between you and God.  Accept Christ’s sacrifice of His life on the cross as He shed His blood to be able to forgive your sins and mine, so that we may no longer have to stand accountable before Jesus and be thrown into everlasting fire (Hell) for never accepting that FREE gift of forgiveness and with it, eternal life in Heaven.

If you need any help in asking God for that forgiveness and don’t really know what to do, please contact me and I will be more than happy to guide you along.  You will never be sorry that you did.

If you have any further questions after studying through this article, please note them at the bottom of this page or you can go to our Contact Us Page to leave a more private comment that will come straight to me.  I will not try to embarrass you, but rather, I just want to make sure your questions are all cleared up.

God Bless You,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

What Has Happened?

ChurchPeople
Written by: Robert L. Davis
December 19, 2013

“If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14

This verse is clear and precise. It would be easy to think of how many people this passage of scripture would apply to… if they would only pay attention. In reality, this is exactly what is needed by everyone that names the name of Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

We can coast along in life thinking that all is well and what we have to do now is to go through some religious procedures and all will be wonderful. We might even try to deny that we have any responsibility to God or to the lost world around us.

One day (possibly very soon), the trumpet will sound, the voice of the archangel will echo throughout the world and the dead in Christ will be resurrected. Then, the living (in Christ) will be caught away to be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18). We can think of what it will be like then and rejoice, and rightfully so.

But, what about the opportunities that we have and do not use wisely for the glory of God?

What went wrong?

Why is there so much corruption and sin in the world and even in many churches?

Is this just a normal thing or can something be done about it? Oh yes, we can sit back and observe and even criticize what is going on nationally, politically, socially and religiously. But, what are we willing to do about it?

In the Word of God, we are told that there will be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earth quakes, and pestilence in the time before the Lord Jesus Christ returns for the “blood-bought”, redeemed ones. And yet, even though we do not like to hear of these things or experience them, they are happening, and with increasing frequency.

Are we going to stick our head in the sand and pretend that these things are only figurative or even a myth or a mirage?

I am sure we will not be able to cause a tsunami to be calm or a tornado to not tear its way through cities or the countryside. Just possibly these things are being used by God to try to get our attention so we will cling close to Him and serve Him in these last days. We can be used of God to reach souls with the gospel message before it is eternally too late.

Not too many years ago, you could go into most churches and hear a good Bible message delivered by a godly pastor who loved his people and was interested in seeing that they were fed from the Word of God. You could expect to see souls won to the Lord and new Christians baptized on a regular basis. There was an alter call and people responding by either getting saved or, possibly, there was some pressing spiritual need in their lives.

But, the picture has changed considerably. In many of the churches that were once enthusiastic for the Gospel and serving God there is now a coldness and complacency. The preacher seems to be more interested in his retirement, golf score or going to some ecumenical function which would demand compromise of the doctrines of the Word of God.

The gospel message has been so watered down in most churches that you cannot find anything that faintly resembles salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

You might listen, without success, to find these facts:

  1. Man is a sinner, totally depraved and on his way to a Christ-less eternity in the Lake of Fire;
  2. Jesus (the perfect, sinless, virgin-born Son of God) was the only one qualified to take on Himself the sins of all mankind;
  3. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, then, after several days, ascended into heaven to be once again with the Father;
  4. We can have forgiveness of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross at Calvary;
  5. Being born-again, we can now live victorious lives by God’s power.

What has happened to cause such a massive devastation of the foundational truths of the Word of God?

It has been a sly, steady denial of the Word. In many areas, it started with a new beat of music (or rather noise). Some thought that they needed to compromise the music standards to, hopefully, attract people to attend their services. They brought in the music of the ungodly world and incorporated it into the services. They had their combos and many of the 7–11 type songs (that is 7 words sung over and over again for about 11 times). They called them “praise songs”. They even had their special praise teams.

Then, some of those cold, dormant churches even sent some of their promising young people off to Bible college or seminary. Some of those schools have long since departed from the teaching of the Word of God. Instead, they teach evolution, nice sounding theories, and other non-Biblical doctrines and subjects.

Then, there are the Bible colleges and universities that teach many right things… but, the vast majority are failing miserably to train their young, potential preachers how to preach the Word, and how to win souls to Christ. They are turning out future missionaries and pastors who are not in tune with what the gospel is. They might preach well on things pertaining to the Christian life and give encouragement, but they are not preaching the gospel!!!

Earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 3) is unheard of… I personally had the occasion where I asked 6 people who were seasoned church members: “What is the gospel”? One by one they gave their idea as to what they thought the gospel is. Some said it was the Bible, another said it was the teachings of Jesus… whatever that meant, I am not really sure. Others gave a philosophy or idea. I never heard from them what the gospel is, as explained so plainly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

I believe the leadership of our schools, Bible colleges and universities needs to train these students in what the gospel is and how to effectively present it in their teaching and preaching. Doesn’t the Bible proclaim that if the gospel is hid, it is hidden from the lost in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4?

Are there other things that have led us down the road of ineffectiveness? YES, there is more. We have only touched the “tip of the iceberg”.

Consider the vast confusion that has set into many churches about “which Bible should I use?” Some so-called scholars have thought it necessary to revise, re-translate, mutilate, and desecrate the Word of God. I believe Satan knows that his time is getting short and the catching away of the born-again ones is getting very close. He is bringing out his ”big guns”. He wants to create as much doubt and confusion as he can possibly muster up.

Do a search on the internet regarding how many English translations there are. I was amazed to learn that there are 250 (plus or minus a few). Some of these translations are done by people who have a certain pet “viewpoint”. Some translators are unbelievers and some dearly love the Lord and His Word. Some have an agenda they are trying to sell to the public.

Why can’t we stick with a good, standard translation that we can memorize, read, preach from, and win souls from??? I highly recommend the King James Version. It has what is needed today. It is very accurate and needs no apology.

There is also the ecumenical movement. This is an effort of some “religious” groups to bring all churches into line with a common goal, doctrine, and message. Their message is plainly a deviation from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. They have departed from the solid teachings of the Word of God.

They would rather give up the teachings of the scripture for the sake of “getting together”. This is compromise. Many of these people are blind leaders of the blind. They are teaching the Devil’s gospel. Sometimes this process starts small with a cooperation outreach of some kind, or ministerial alliance, or a council of churches. They all involve compromise and a forsaking of the teachings of the Word of God.

God has told us that He wants us to “Preach the Word”. Second Timothy 4:2 tells us: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” God doesn’t want His people to compromise the things of God with the tricks and devices of Satan. We must stay faithful to the Word.

Remember… The church is no stronger than its leaders. Weak leaders will result in weak undernourished people. God exhorts us in Ephesians 6:10“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

We need revival.

We need to get back to the “BOOK”.

We need to make sure our schools are strong and stay strong.

We need to encourage godly pastors and missionaries to stay true to the Word of God.

We need to do our part as individuals who have trusted Christ as our Saviour, in staying in the Word, witnessing and winning souls to the Lord Jesus.

May the Lord Jesus find us faithful to His great cause until we are caught up to be with the Lord, to be with Him forever.

R.L.D.

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Other articles written by Robert L. Davis:

Merry Christmas!

Every day should be Christmas!
Every day that we get to live,
As we live it, we call it the present.
We give and receive presents on Christmas.
Every day should be Christmas!

Sick or well, as we live, it is a present to us.
Enjoy your presents to their fullest.
We never know if we will ever get another present!
Thank God for your presents
By living for Him every day.

Merry “every day”!
But NEVER leave out “Christ”!

–Mark Davis

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Psalm 30:10-12 - “Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”

©2013 Mark Davis

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