Question:

I am a 17 year old girl who believes in Jesus and God, but I have sinned a lot. I have used God's name in vain. I have even questioned if He was good or evil. I know God is good and only God is good. I have even said I didn't believe in Him. I even told a joke with God in it. I know these are very bad sins. I have done many sinful things that I regret. Will I be forgiven for this? I want to start over.

My family is not very religious. They do believe in God but don't really follow the commandments. I want to be forgiven and start living by God's rules. I want to live the proper role of a woman. My Mom thinks I am going to extremes, but I want to listen to the Bible. I want to dress modestly, stop watching bad movies, and playing video games. I was baptized as a baby in a Lutheran church, but I want to be rebaptized the proper way. I don't know what to do when I become an adult, but I want it to be something God would approve a woman of doing. What should I do?

I want my family also to do the right thing.


Answer:

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:11-12).

It sounds like you made a good beginning. What remains is putting that desire to use by going in the right direction.

So many ask if they can be forgiven. It is the wrong question because, "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). The question is whether a person changes, not what they have done in the past. See "Can anyone be forgiven?"

The most efficient means for learning where to go from where you are is to find a preacher to teach you. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"" (Romans 10:14-15). If you want, let me know what town you are near and I'll find a nearby preacher whom you can contact.

Obviously, not all preachers are alike. Not everyone teaches the truth. But I know a large number whom I trust and if you check everything you're taught against the Bible, then you won't be as easily mislead. "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).