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I used to follow God but I have sinned. Will God forgive me? I have atheists in my family. I want them to be forgiven too.
Thank you so much for contacting us with this important question. I am truly delighted that you want to return to God and walk with Him again. I think I can assure you that God is also delighted that you want to return to Him. He calls all His people to return to Him and promises to cleanse us from sin.
“Come now, let us reason together", says the Lord:
"though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
You say that you recognise that you have sinned and been unfaithful to Him and I can see that you regret this. The important thing for you now is to move on from regret to repentance. Take your courage and confess your sins to God and tell Him that you want to be different. He will accept you on the basis of repentance and faith in Jesus, which is the basis on which everyone must come to Him.
When a person begins their walk with God, they enter His family because Christ died for them. None of us has any other hope or plea but that Christ died for us.
Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
God will accept you because He is love and He loves you.
Christ died for us because He had a great desire – to bring many people to God. So we can be sure that, if we repent and trust in His saving work, God will not frustrate His Son’s desire by refusing to forgive us.
I don’t know whether you have a Bible verse in mind which makes you fear that you cannot be forgiven. If so, I assure you that you have misunderstood. You can be quite sure that if you are able to repent and confess your sins to God then He is able and willing to accept and forgive you. Indeed, His desire is to bless you and receive you, because that will glorify His Son. However, you will have to decide that nothing will stop you, including opposition from family members.
In the New Testament we see many people who gave up everything to follow Jesus. We must put Him at the centre of our lives and first above all things to truly worship Him. This is very hard to do, and we will fail often, but there is always grace to start again. When we face opposition for our faith it can often feel like God has left us or that our faith isn't worth it. Yet the Bible shows us constantly that opposition for our faith is something we should expect, suffering even as Christ suffered.
It is very important to love and serve your family, but it is infinitely more important to love and serve God. He is the One who can set all your relationships in order and bless your family, especially since you are the head of your household.
"Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon". (Isaiah 55:6-7)
I do pray that you will find the peace that you are seeking and I hope my answer will help you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to talk to you about your question, as well as to pray and support you as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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