How long does it take for God to forgive someone? For example, when a person is sinning, but decides to stop this sin before he finished what he was doing because he feels ashamed during it, is this repentance? And will God forgive any sin this person was doing?

Can a person still go to church after he slipped up with an old sin?


Assuming that we are discussing someone who is a Christian, John tells us, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). There is nothing that says the forgiveness comes after a delay.

Since, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (I John 1:10); we conclude that everyone at church is coming have he slipped up with sin -- some new and some old.

God "is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "All" doesn't leave out anything. The problem has never been whether God will forgive. God always remains faithful to His promises. The problem has always been on man's side. "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). The death of a sinner is sad because it is completely unnecessary. No one needs to die in his sins when God is holding the door to salvation open to everyone. But many people just won't let go of their sins.

Too often we think God's view of sin is the same as ours. We get annoyed if someone does the same thing repeatedly. We lose patience. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts"" (Isaiah 55:7-9).

So stop doubting. God keeps His promises. "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). It is the unbeliever who will not give up his sins and come to God for forgiveness.

I spent a long time without committing this sin. But after two months (almost 3) I did it again. After it I feel like all my past efforts were in vain. And I'm scared that God's too disappointed with me. And, yes, I consider myself a Christian. I try to live by His statutes, I believe Jesus Christ, I'm baptized and I love God (though I love Him too little compared to how I should), so I consider myself a Christian. Stayed long without failing in this specific subject. Did it again last night. Unfortunately.

So because you sinned again, you know the mind of God? After all, you claimed that God is too disappointed in you, and this despite what God said about wanting every sinner back. The truth of the matter is that you are attributing your own thoughts and feelings about yourself to God.

I don't know what temptation you've been giving into recently, but why are you saying that it was useless to have stayed away from this particular sin for over two months? Are you saying you would be better off if you remained in sin instead of resisting it? "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9).

Being a Christian isn't about not sinning. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). It is about not accepting sin and fighting against it. "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1).

Stop having a pity party for yourself. You slipped and fell into sin. So pick yourself up, dust the sin off, and get going again.

You're right. Thank you.