Forgiveness, or pardon, is not heaven any more than a medicine is health. Pardon is proclaimed freely and universally; it is perfectly gratuitous, unconditional and unlimited. But heaven is limited to those who are sanctified by the belief of the pardon.
Thomas Erskine, The Unconditional Freeness of the Gospel
While deep down I believe this statement, it still makes me a little nervous. It doesn’t make me nervous because of the potentiality that it’s a lie, but because of the potentiality that it’s the truth!
That is a strong word. I know what it means but never knew the actual definition. Check this out.
- A: given unearned or without recompense
- B: not involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration
- C: costing nothing
Now, when you apply that definition to God’s forgiveness, it’s a complete game-changer. I’m still not sure that this comes close to scratching the surface of God’s goodness.
God doesn’t offer salvation in exchange for anything other than belief that He has appropriated it for us.
7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10, Message
God places no terms and conditions on His forgiveness. All He asks is that you believe it. To be honest, that believing can be hard. But it’s vital. Always fight to believe!
No one is “too far gone” that Christ can’t forgive them. There’s no person outside His reach. God loved the whole world, everyone. The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the cosmos. That’s way past the limits that my brain puts on Him.
Those that accept His pardon will be with Him forever. Forever. The reach of God’s forgiveness is without limits. His love and forgiveness are indiscriminately scandalous.