Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #9 – Forgiveness?

Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer“. An ambitious title for an article, and an ambitious project to answer. Especially one question at a time. Yet this is what this article series attempts to do: an article a day over nearly two months time.

Where did this series of questions originate? From a frustrated man named Pucket, who – though once a Christian – found Christian’s attempts to redeem his soul annoying, and their excuses for their beliefs in the face of challenging questions to be insufferable. In order to quell this troubling trouble, Pucket identified a laundry list of questions sure to shut the average Christian up as they struggle for an answer that just isn’t there.

This list includes questions that attack a very narrow understanding of Christian beliefs specific to certain sects of Christianity, but by no means can be generalized to all Christians. In fact, some questions flat out misrepresent Christian beliefs as a whole. Additionally, the tone in which these questions are phrased can be somewhat aggressive and sarcastic. These answers will attempt to address the core question, rather than the tone in which it is asked. However, the questions will be quoted exactly as they were given.

Forgiveness of Sins

Source

9.) Why can’t the all-powerful God forgive someone of their sins after they die?

Pucket provides the following example to clarify this question:

“A Christian man that is seemingly on God’s good list makes a stupid decision and decides to drink a little too much at the fish fry. On his way home he crashes into a mini-van killing a mother, her two children and his self. This man led a very faithful life and made one stupid, yet grave mistake. If this man did not ask for forgiveness of his sins before the electrical activity in his brain ceased, then God will judge him and send him to hell to burn for eternity.”

This is not an idea that the majority of Protestant Christianity embraces. The Bible indicates that when a person repents and embraces Christ, all of their sins, past, present, and future are forgiven them. It is not necessary (nor possible) to repent of every individual sin in order to receive God’s grace and forgiveness. All one must do is to believe that Christ took the penalty for all sins upon himself and imputed his righteousness to all who believe in him.

This is supported by passages like these:

John 6:37 ESV

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

John 5:24 ESV

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

Romans 11:29 ESV

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

Romans 8:34 ESV

“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

Ephesians 1:13 ESV

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,”

Hebrews 10:14 ESV

“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

Psalm 34:22 ESV

“The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”

In light of passages such as these, this question would require significant argumentation that people must repent of every misdeed in order to be saved, and it would have to also be shown that an occurrence such as described has every actually happened. One can certainly not know what a person’s dying thoughts might be, and it is at least possible based on his omnipotence, that God might allow for these thoughts to occur.

 

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