Can I be forgiven of my sins that I committed after saying the sinner's prayer?

Question:

I got saved by saying a sinner's prayers at 19. I spent most of my twenties high-handedly sinning and being agnostic or universalist - I believed all religions were partially true. I read the Bible and Quran occasionally for inspiration. Three years ago I started going to a Baptist church and had true faith and repentance. Can I be forgiven for my years of heretical beliefs and wanton sins? I believe in Christ and have repented of my sins.


Answer:

The problem I have is that you believe you are saved without any foundation. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). You can read the entire text of the Bible and not find mention of a sinner's prayer or that saying such a prayer will save you. Since your faith was not in the Scriptures, there was no fear of God to keep you out of sin. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).

Therefore, to answer your question, you need to first go back to what God actually said about salvation. Several years ago, I complied a list of everything I could find that is connected with the topic of salvation. See: What Saves a Person? It is loaded with verse references and rather than take my word for it, I would like you to look up the references, read them for yourself and look at the context and make sure the verses are being handled true to writer's intention. Only after you get through the whole of it and compare it to what you have done can you answer the question of whether you are yet saved from your sins.

Can a person be saved? Of course. That is why Christ came into this world. In fact, faith has two fundamental components: a belief that God exists and that God rewards those who seek Him. "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). For years you did not believe in God. Oh, you had a concept of God that you believed in, but that concept was not founded in truth. You did not understand who God was, so you did not believe the God who revealed Himself in the Bible existed. That faith has awakened, but now you are struggling the second foundation of faith -- believing that God would actually save those who seek Him. Again, the core of the problem is that you have your own ideas of how a person ought to be saved, but you need trust in what God has actually said is necessary for you to be saved.

I wish you well in your journey of both learning about God and learning to trust what He says.