Q: “I want to know if Jesus will forgive someone for having premarital sex, and if that person is a Christian, are they considered a bad Christian?” – Taylor, age 14
You have a great question. The Bible teaches us that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s moral standard, whether it is committing a sexual sin, lying, cheating, gossip, selfishness, anger, jealousy or anything that God deems as sinful (Romans 3:23). None of us can stand before God and earn acceptance by Him based on our own merit and good performance (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Many times Jesus was more upset with religious people who thought they were better than others because they were relying on their good deeds to save them instead of relying on Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “Later, Levi invited Jesus and His disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with such scum?’ When Jesus heard this, he told them, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners,'” (Mark 2:15-17 NLT).’ In other words, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders who thought they were good, but went to eat with people who understood they were retched and in need of a Savior!
Simply put, we need a Savior to save us from our own sinful condition. The Bible goes on to say, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved,” (Romans 10:9-10 NLT).
When a person places his trust in Jesus Christ, this individual is forgiven of every sin in his life regardless if it is past, present or future sin. So, a person who has had premarital sex can be forgiven and still become a Christian who bares great fruit. I am reminded of King David. He was anointed of God to be king over all of Israel before he committed a sexual sin. During his reign as king, he had an affair with a woman and then killed her husband and took the woman to be his wife. Many people remember that aspect of David’s life, but God remembers David as a “Man after His own heart”. “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do,'” (Acts 13:22 NIV).
When we mess up, the key is to admit our faults and confess our wrong actions to God and turn away from the things that displease Him. King David said this: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,” (Psalm 51:1-4). He acknowledged his actions were wrong and he turned away from them and asked God to forgive him. The same is true of you. When you come to God in humility and ask him to forgive you of your mistakes, He will do so! Once you have asked God to pardon you, do not listen to condemning voices of the Devil. God loves you and can work all things together for your good no matter what the sin is.
Now does this mean that a person can go do anything he wants without consequences or continue in a lifestyle that is wrong? No. If a person is a true child of God, he will be convicted of his wrong choices and be remorseful of them and will want to turn from them and toward a direction that pleases God.
Is a person a bad Christian for having premarital sex? The truth is, we are all bad and in need of God’s grace and mercy. The Bible says, “But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one,” (Psalm 53:3 NLT). Our hope rests in the finished work of Jesus Christ and He makes us good and in right standing with God. The answer is not being a good Christian, but learning to be led by the Spirit of God instead of our fleshly impulses that go against God. Remember, the Bible proclaims, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1).
– Cory Nickols