I had sex with eight different girls at different times when I was between 15 and 17. I was blind to God. By that I mean I believed that He existed, but just recently I realized, "Wow, I'm doing bad." I didn't know what were sins. Then I had sex with a girl that I absolutely fell in love with. But I read a part in the Bible and listened. It said it's wrong, so I made her go home, and we won't have sex until marriage. My big problem is I don't want to go to hell, for crying out loud! I want to search for God, find God, and follow all of His commandments. I want to do what He asks because I'm scared of Him, and I do love him. I don't want to go to Hell! Will He forgive me if I start doing what He asks, seek him, and repent? Please, I'm scarred!
You ought to be scared. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Hell is a frightening place. Any reasonable person would be scared of going there.
Fortunately for you and I, God doesn't want us to go to Hell. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). He gives us many opportunities to straighten out our lives. But don't mistake this as laxness on His part. Eventually opportunities come to an end, and God is just. "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Romans 11:22).
God has already done the hard part in regards to saving people from their sins. Thousands of years of history shows that people are unable to save themselves. They are never able to live righteously enough to be able to say that God owes them salvation. So God send His only Son into the world, in the form of a man, to sacrifice his life on our behalf. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).
Here then are the first two steps you need to take to accept the gift of life God is offering you: you have to learn about Jesus and his teachings and you must believe what you learned. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Now this doesn't mean you must learn the entire Bible by heart before you can be saved, but you do need to know enough about it to know what you are getting yourself into. Faith is based on knowledge. If you have no knowledge, you can't really have faith. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
One of the things everyone learns and must face is that we are not perfect. We all have sinned, each in different ways, but we are sinners none the less. "As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one"" (Romans 3:10). There are several ways a person can react to this information:
1) They can deny it and pretend that everything is all right.
2) They feel miserable for themselves and wallow in their misery.
3) They can be like a frightened rabbit, so scared that they can't make a move.
4) Or, they can become determined to do something about it.
"For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:8-11). This is the true idea about repentance. You learned that having sex outside of marriage was wrong. It fired you up enough that you want to do something about it. You have made changes in your life. This is what God wants of people, "that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance" (Acts 26:20).
A part of changing your life is also the changing of how you treat God. "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:31-33). Confessing Christ involves a number of things:
1) God doesn't want secret followers. You must be in this with your whole heart, soul, and mind. You must be willing to stand up and be counted as a Christian, even if it costs you your life.
2) It also means that you give up doing things because everyone else is doing it. You choose to live under God's law and are willing to take whatever abuse may come because you know that God's way is better. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles--when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (II Peter 4:1-5).
"But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:8-10).
Finally, you need to enter into a covenant with God. That is, you need to accept His offer of saving you by willingly submitting to His will. Under the Old Testament (another word for covenant), the Israelites bound themselves to God's law by the circumcision of the men. In one sense, circumcision did nothing particular to save them. Salvation was a gift God offered to them. But in a deeper sense they could not be saved without it because the sign of circumcision showed their willingness to submit to God and His Teachings. In the New Testament, there is a similar rite, but one that is not nearly so drastic. "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13).
A lot of people think they have been baptized, but they were given a false sense of accomplishment. First, baptism means being immersed in water. Having water sprinkled on you or poured on you is not a baptism. You can see this in the Ethiopian Eunuch's baptism: "Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:36-39). The Eunuch went down into the water and came up out of the water. That is the one baptism of the New Testament (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Second, we see from the examples in Acts and elsewhere that baptism is based on prior belief, repentance, and confession of Christ. There are a lot of people who have gone through a rite as a child that is called "baptism" but it is not. This is a covenant between you and God. You have to chose to accept the terms and then be baptized.
Baptism is loaded with symbolic meaning to the believer. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7). You said you didn't want to go to Hell because of your sins. Well, Paul told you and I want must be done to remove our sins. As Paul himself was told by Ananias, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord'" (Acts 22:16).
Of course, this is not the end because doing this makes you a servant of the Most High God. You must live your life in obedience to His will. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). You will have a lifetime of learning and improving your life as you seek to do the will of God. Not that it is hard, it is actually a joy, but it does require effort on your part. You can't think of being a Christian as a free ride. "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it -- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27-33).
I pray that you will follow through and become a true Christian.
Hey. I know a lot of that, but what I was wondering, is God going to forgive me? Seriously.
I'm sorry if I reviewed many things that you already knew, but you must understand that I'm working blind at my end. I only know what I'm told. The rest I have to guess. Since I know almost nothing about your background, I wanted to cover as much as I could in a short response to make sure you knew which direction to head.
All answers are very seriously given and with a striving to be as accurate as I can. You aren't the first person to have committed fornication. Others have and received forgiveness. After listing the sins of the Corinthians, which included fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, Paul told them, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11). Notice the past tense. This is what they had been, but now they had changed.
So long as you are willing to come to God on His terms and not your own, He will forgive. As God told the Israelites long ago, ""But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23). He told Christians the same thing. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).
Of course, it is not what you know that will save you. It is what you do in following God that will make the difference. "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:14-17).
Questions and Answers regarding Salvation
Questions and Answers regarding Forgiveness
Questions and Answers regarding Sexual Relations
Questions and Answers regarding Fornication
Things that Accompany Salvation