I was talking to someone the other day. He was distraught and depressed about his faith. Though he had experienced a dramatic conversion a few years back, the last year has been full of trials and temptations which lead him back into a lifestyle which he thought was in his rear-view mirror. Along with his return to some former habits, he has entered into a nightmare of doubt. His primary doubt comes from his ability to return to the Lord, having, according to him, “rejected the gift of God” and “returning to his own vomit.”

While the issues are complex and I do not wish to enter into a dialogue about this person’s spiritual state, I do want to mention a verse that has put him in a spiritually catatonic state. He believes that like it was with Esau, it is too late for him. He believes that the repentance that he seeks has been removed from the table. In other words, he believes that there is a time when repentance is no longer possible.

Here is the verse he referred to in support of this pain:

Heb. 12:17
“For you know that even afterward, when he [Esau] desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.” (NAS)

The impression is that Esau rejected the blessing of God through his birthright (which is true). When he later realized how fool-hearted this was and turned to God for repentance of his sin, he was rejected. It was just too late. I don’t believe this is the case. Let me explain.

The question is What did Esau seek with tears? What is the “it” of Heb. 12:17 (“he sought for it with tears”)? Many people assume that it is repentance. While the translation I used (NAS) leaves the question open for interpretation, the word order in English leaves the other possibilities obscure. But, at face value in the reading of most translations, it does seem like it is repentance that Esau is seeking. Notice the readings in these other translations:

KJV: For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

ESV: For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

NKJ: For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

NLT: You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.

RSV: For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

All of these translations at least give the impression that what Esau sought for was basic repentance. If this were the case, this is a cause for great concern since it would teach that we may be able to turn to God with tears, truly seeking repentance, but be unable to find it. It would teach that there may be people who truly want to turn from their sin, but cannot find the ability to repent. It may teach that there exists the possibility for you to approach the throne of God requesting the gift of repentance and be turned down. It may teach that there is a time in this life when it is just too late, no matter how much you desire to change. That is scary.

However, there is another, and I believe, more faithful way to understand this passage. You see the pronoun “it” has not one but two possible anticedents. When structured like the translations above, the common way to read this in English is to look for the closest possibility as the referent to what Esau sought. That is just the way the English language works. And the closest referent to “it” is indeed “repentance.” However, the Greek language goes by a different set of rules. Word order is secondary to inflection. The word “it” is a feminine pronoun. This means that the noun which it modifies will be feminine too. In this verse there are two feminine nouns: “repentance” and “blessing.” Therefore, there are two viable options here for what Esau sought with tears. It was either repentance or the blessing. Neither is necessarily preferred based on grammar and syntax, therefore we must look to the context of the story the author of Hebrews is alluding to. So let’s look at the context of the story of Esau.

When we turn back to the narrative in Genesis 27, we see Esau being tricked out of his blessing by both Jacob and his mother. After Esau found out he had been tricked and that Isaac had blessed Jacob rather than himself, he broke down. Notice how the story goes:

Gen 27:35-38
And he [Isaac] said [to Esau], “Your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessing.” 36 Then he said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 But Isaac replied to Esau, “Behold, I have made him your master, and all his relatives I have given to him as servants; and with grain and new wine I have sustained him. Now as for you then, what can I do, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” So Esau lifted his voice and wept. (NAU, emphasis mine).

You see that Esau did indeed weep. He did indeed repent. But what was it he repented and wept over? It was the loss of his blessing. The context in Genesis is clear. I think we must see the passage in Hebrews through the context of the original storyline.  The author of Hebrews is saying that Esau sought his blessing with tears, not repentance.

I think some of these translations do a good job of bringing out this nuance:

TNIV: Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

NJB: As you know, when he wanted to obtain the blessing afterward, he was rejected and, though he pleaded for it with tears, he could find no way of reversing the decision.

NRS: You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

NAB: For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit his father’s blessing, he was rejected because he found no opportunity to change his mind, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

NET: For you know that later when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance, although he sought the blessing with tears.

It is unfortunate when Bible translations seek to leave the options open in situations such as this. This is one of those places where I believe translation philosophy militates against the clearer meaning of the text. I understand the reasoning in many cases, but here, the casualties are plenty as the implications are severe. Normally we would seek to leave ambiguity where it truly exists. I get that. But can we really say that this passage presents us with such a dilemma? Its it really ambiguous enough to leave the English word order in such a misleading way? I think that this is only a difficult passage because of the (albiet) intentional ambiguity left in the text by many modern translations.

I believe that the Bible teaches that there is never a day when repentance is beyond our grasp. Even the thief on the cross was able to find humble repentance in his words “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This is the wonder of our God and the Gospel message. God’s love makes repentance always acceptable no matter where you find yourself in life. If you seek repentance, you will find it. God’s grace is that radical.

Mat 7:7-8
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    223 replies to "Could Esau Repent? The Difficulty of Heb. 12:17"

    • William

      I wish I could say things have gotten better, but they haven’t. In fact, they have gotten worse. I’m constantly tormented by the extensive ways I abused and exploited Christ’s bride, including my own bride. I haven’t been able to provide for my family, having lost each job. I’m no longer really applying. That, of course, is adding to my sin and God’s wrath daily. I look at life through the perspective of what is going to add to the wrath, and the truth is every moment and thought does, because whatever is not of faith is sin. Every attempt I try to climb out of this results into more sin and more storing up of wrath. My health is failing, I don’t know how much longer the Lord will keep me alive. I fear this will be my final post as I’m close to homelessness. My family (wife and sons) and others are entirely disgusted with me now. When I go to christian chat sites to try to find help, I inevitably end up getting banned. I have become a stumbling block to everyone I meet, a detriment to the truth and the Gospel. My mind reels as it seems like the devil unveils more and more of my lifetime of sinful thinking and actions. I believe I am what psychology calls a sociopath (a reprobate). The numbers of people I have affected negatively is mind-boggling, knowing I will be accountable for each one. My adult sons, as well as everyone else, are totally disgusted with me and the way I’ve damaged biblical truth. I will inherit the wind. My wife will have no contact with me. Everyone’s tired of my draining them with death-talk and negativity. I wish I could repent. When I say that to others they tell me I’m blaspheming God, so I have that to answer for as well. I fear I will be in the deepest pit in hell. Even my passport ends with 666. I’m in utter despair.

      • Luiz

        Hey William, I too struggled with these thoughts, and believe me, i know the truth and i strayed from the Lord, completely, I prayed and did not give up, I had faith and believed what Jesus says in the bible, “whoever comes to me, in no wise I will cast out” He does not say if you havent strayed or if you did not know before, He makes it very clear that it is unconditional, His love for you is bigger than you could imagine if you spent a whole lifetime x 50 trying to imagine every single second, I have been praying for you, and know that God will restore your faith and your life to better circumstances, i too have doubts it is very hard for me, but maybe you are going through this for a reason, have faith that God will deliver you, do no try and do it on your own, that is when i experience the most anxiety and fear thinking that i have to be perfect now, all you have to do is turn from your sins, and ask Jesus Christ our Savior, to keep you from them, ask Him to inhabit your heart and clean all unrighteousness, get baptized, go to church ans ask Him to pour out His Spirit onto you, It does not matter what your passport says, quit doubting and have faith, enjoy life as a servant of Christ and truly give yourself to Him, and ask Him to restore your faith and your life, continuing in prayer, Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 18:22 when asked how many times should we forgive our brothers “not up to seven times but seven times seventy times” Imagine how much more is God willing to forgive us, “if we confess our sins and repent from them,” He is faithful and righteous to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. God bless you. Amen

    • Mitch

      Remember that the Hebrews writer is making his point based upon the story of Esau. Even a divine inspired interpretation or application is never wrested from the context to present a foreign thought or point. So when we read in genesis the Esau lifted up his voice and wept….this is the time of which the Hebrews writer is pointing out the “many tears” and obviously the timing of his seeking repentance….or as the brother of this blog points out “the blessing”. Esau sought repentance as to gain a different consequence (to regain the inheritant blessing) but to no avail. Esau never lost his sonship nor the actual position of being the firstborn…he lost the rewards of an inheritance.

    • Emanuel

      I am doomed or am I? I can’t seem to understand this= sometimes I think it’s my self my selfish self that is preventing me from fully understanding this. Okay, everytime I ask Jesus to Help me I feel His Comfort and Love. Could it be that God is really Forgiving me? Could God Be so Good that He could Forgive me? The Bible Says He Is, and The Bible Is Truth. If He Can Forgive me and Susan and others, He can Forgive you Willaim and Maggie and others. Pray and we Talk to God, Read Scripture and God Talks to us. Ask Lord Jesus to Help you. He Will.

    • Peter

      Hi William, I wrote this message below in reply to one of your comments. However my message is stuck above and no one can see it. I am reposting it. Mods, please approve this post.

      REPLY
      Peter November 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm
      Dear John Bartell, John Gardner, William, Maggie, Stephanie, and others here who are hurt and struggling in their salvation,

      I had been running away from the LORD because there were certain sins in my life that I found too difficult to repent of, and knew that God was pushing me to change. I had been a strong Christian walking faithfully for almost 7 years and was free from pornography and many things in the world. There was something however that I think God was trying to push me to which was too hard and to which I refused. I eventually tried to push God away, finding His task too hard, just like Jonah. However in doing so, losing the true vine, I eventually fell into pornography and sinful ways of before, and felt completely unable to repent. I was completely free for almost 7 years. And in falling into pornography, I threw away my entire Christian testimony.

      My sin was getting deeper and more dangerous every day to the point where I felt it’s all over and hopeless. I must’ve blasphemed in a horrific way such that there is no more repentance. I could not find myself to trust Jesus with all my heart. In my desperation I googled a topic on blasphemy of the Spirit and came to this forum and all your posts. Your experiences lifted me up temporarily because I knew I was not alone. My pain however continued to deepen more and more, I really don’t have a whole of time here to post the crazy ride the Lord put me through, although if you’re interested I am freely willing to share with you through email.

      What I realized however, in the midst of my unwillingness to repent and my “hardened heart” is something fascinating about the gospel, which came to me through a sermon by Dr. Piper and as well just now a sermon called “Free will of the wind”.

      The reason it feels impossible to repent is that it really is impossible. I think you are experiencing the ultimate reality of every human being. It is impossible to believe and repent, or come to salvation through trying really hard in self determination. Rather, the Holy Spirit freely enters into a person and grants them faith and repentance. Our repentance is first and foremost the Holy Spirit moving in us to do as He wants, so that we freely do exactly what we want because He changes our desires.

      I realized that if my salvation is anything short of unconditional election and irresistable grace, then I am lost and hopeless.

      I read all of your posts originally in my despair. Now I read it again having a little better understanding of the gospel. See, I thought I was a Calvinist for my first 6 years of Christian life, but I just understood now a little bit more of what grace really means. I think none of you are truly “hardened beyond repentance”, but God has allowed you to become so hopeless, so that you can really understand why the Gospel is the good news. It is completely free, and the election is unconditional.

      All of your posts are very much slanted in one direction: what can I “do” in order to change myself. I can give some examples:

      “I feel like I am reading my Bible in vain, trying to reproduce the conviction that I once felt.”

      “I would give everything to read the bible one more time. to repent just one more time. to pray with all my heart one more time. To listen to one more sermon. PLEASE, if you are reading this and can still do those things, do so as if tonight was you last night one earth. With all the joy in the world. You will never understand how horrible this is, but it fully reminds me (constantly) how great the salvation that I took for granted was”

      “Are you desiring God’s grace, true holiness in life, etc., but feeling no link with God.”

      The worry in these posts is all of the flavor “do you feel this” or “can you do them”. Other posts and examples show the same thing: “how can I do these things” or “how can I myself with my willpower put my head knowledge into my heart”

      My brothers and sisters, this is not what the Gospel is about, and it is certainly not good news. It is not good news for me at least, to know that my salvation hinges on what I do or feel. Rather, it is that, just as the wind is free and blows where it pleases and you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going, so also is everyone born of the Spirit. God completely saves and my repentance is the result of His Spirit freely choosing to work and move in me. It is all of grace.

      I’m not the greatest at explaining the Gospel, but I could not help but to try one more time reaching out to you all, though this post comes several months late. Right now, my soul is not perfect in peace, but I understand the Gospel a little bit better and it is helping me a lot. I felt compelled to try and reach to you, those in my subject, and anyone else on this forum struggling, because I know exactly your pain. And indeed as John Bartell said, this is the worst state in existence to be in. It feels like you are predestined to hell. But God has opened your eyes to see spiritual reality, and you did not come to this forum for no reason. You came with a broken spirit, and that is exactly the sacrifice of God. I pray you may understand the Gospel of God’s grace more clearly, and He will sovereignly open your eyes to see why this gospel is truly good news – God freely gives, it is not your working or feeling.

      Here are the two sermons that helped me. I really pray you would listen to the second one.

      Christian, Know Whose You Are – http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/christian-know-whose-you-are

      The Free Will of the Wind – http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/the-free-will-of-the-wind

      I really pray you all may understand the free gospel of God’s grace, and that in your sufferings God may lead you to experience that in a deep personal way. I wanted to reach out to some of you here, and since I don’t know your information, I am leaving my email and phone numbers here in case you ever read this message and wanted to talk:

      [email protected]
      1-647-938-3772 (I live in Toronto, Canada)

      Peter

    • emanuel

      My friends, The person who wrote we cannot do this on our own is right. We must turn to Jesus. We must ask Jesus to help us. Just Pray, “Help me Lord Jesus.” Then leave it to Jesus. When you start to feel depressed or hopeless pray again “Help me Lord Jesus. ” Then leave it for Jesus. No one else can help us. Jesus can soften our hearts. Then read the Bible and feel its wisdom and Love. Or listen to a sermon and feel its wisdom and enlightment. But let Jesus do this for us. We cannot do this or anything else on our own. So let us now Thank Jesus. “Thank You Lord Jesus”.

    • maggie

      William and Aaron: please let me know if you are still around !
      and for others facing fear/terror that God does not want you …
      I pray this may be helpful.

      God has not given me the spirit of fear.
      I will resist the devil and he will flee from me.
      Jesus Christ said:
      Whoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out.

      When we are wanting to find God, the spirit of fear is from Satan. This is why the battle is so strong.
      Christ spoke scripture every time he was tempted. We should do the same.
      I started out with the above three verses … wrote them out in big letters and taped them beside my
      bed so they were the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. Then said them out loud, in essence telling
      Satan he is useless and to leave me alone.

      When Bible reading causes such dreadful fear: which comes from Satan
      and can also be the result of hearing calvinistic teachings.
      When every where we read: condemnation, warnings, anger, election, no hope, even the word “chosen”,
      the following was my strategy … and it is working.

      People will argue doctrine and theology till kingdom come, and still nothing changes over the centuries.
      So – come let us reason together, as the scriptures say.

      We are made in God’s image.
      Body, soul and spirit.
      Conscience. Morals. Sense of right and wrong. Emotions. Even though these are now, for us, fallen attributes.
      Let’s look at human conscience and morals, love and emotions.
      Keep in mind 1st Corinthians 13 and it’s description of what love is.
      Who is the most upright ? Who has the highest standards? God or human beings?

      Example:
      A husband and wife sit down to plan their future.
      “Let’s have 10 children”
      “Great. But first let’s decide which ones we will keep”
      “Okay, I say that numbers 1, 2, and 5 should be aborted”
      “And I think we should take numbers 3, 4, and 8 out to the middle of the ocean and drown them till they hit the bottom.”
      “Good idea. Let’s let numbers 7 and 9 live for a while, then toss them into the bon fire.”
      “Right. That leaves number 6 to be our chosen, loved and favorite child.”

      Do you wonder how number 6 will respond when he figures out what has happened?
      Will he run to his father and say “Daddy, Daddy, thank you soooo very much. Now I know you truly love me
      and that I am really really special” ?
      Or will he cry his little heart out, stamp his feet, run to his bedroom and yell out “I hate you. You are the cruelest
      parent I’ve ever known. You never even gave them a chance”

      Do YOU believe these parents have a conscience or morals or love? No, you cannot.
      Do you believe that YOU have a conscience,morals and love? Yes, as much as is possible for a fallen creature.
      Do you believe that God himself has a conscience, morals and love that surpass our human capabilities to the uttermost?

      Is it even vaguely possible for God and Satan to want the same thing?
      Are they both satisfied for people to end up in hell?
      Does not God weep over those who will not listen to His words?
      Why does Satan roam to and fro over the earth looking for whom he may devour? Why would he need to?
      Is God going to offer up 90% of the human race to Satan on a silver platter?

      If God is so far above us, yet we were made in His image, and are given a description of love,
      let us not make the Bible tell us that God is a moral degenerate.
      That is horrendous blasphemy to the very character of God, which makes me shudder in fear that I
      once contemplated this theology.

      Look to the true attributes of God. The perfect and the holy.
      Write them out. Keep them ever on your mind, speaking them aloud.
      Rebuke Satan 1000 times a day … as often as is necessary … the minute fear or disbelief enters your mind.

      During this battle for our minds and hearts, it is necessary to forgo all the other things we “ought” to do.
      Start at the very basic principles. For God so loved the world …
      Preach short bits of scripture to yourself each and every time. Don’t bother to contemplate how you still feel.
      JUST DO IT . Even if that is all you can do all day long, and nothing else.
      I started with the 3 verses at the top of this page. Eventually your mind and heart will learn to agree with your mouth.
      Satan cannot stand before God’s Holy Word. He is beaten every time. He just doesn’t give up easily.

      Others I have written over time as my fear started to subside, include:
      (I still have to keep all these verses written on a piece of paper, near at hand every day and repeat
      them no matter what feelings or fear or other thoughts bombard my mind at the same time.)

      Now the God of peace, that great shepherd of the sheep …
      Be anxious for nothing …
      He will never leave me or forsake me …
      There is no fear in love … but perfect love casts out fear. (God is perfect, therefore has perfect love)
      He who knew no sin became sin for me … that I might be made the righteous of God
      Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed. For the Lord God is with me.
      When I confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in me and I in God.
      If I confess my sins He is faithful and just ………… to forgive me and cleanse me.

      As you keep saying these things, remember:
      He will keep you in perfect peace WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON HIM.
      Keep your mouth, and therefore your mind, on Him.

      Psalm 143 is my constant prayer for help. When I cannot think clearly, it says what I would say to God if I could.

      Every day when I wanted to give up … knowing it would end this fear … I knew I had to go on for one more day,
      because the fear meant I still wanted God. I said to myself … “I cannot and won’t deny that Jesus is the Son of God
      who died for the sins of the world” no matter what He does with me.

    • Gunther

      Jesus told St. Peter to forgive 70 times 7. Surely God’s mercy and forgiveness is greater than man’s. To all of you who are despairing, stop! His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. His compassions fail not! Trust in Jesus. The blood and water that gushed for from His heart is a river of mercy!

    • doubtful

      Hey William, I too struggled with these thoughts, and believe me, i know the truth and i strayed from the Lord, completely, I prayed and did not give up, I had faith and believed what Jesus says in the bible, “whoever comes to me, in no wise I will cast out” He does not say if you havent strayed or if you did not know before, He makes it very clear that it is unconditional, His love for you is bigger than you could imagine if you spent a whole lifetime x 50 trying to imagine every single second, I have been praying for you, and know that God will restore your faith and your life to better circumstances, i too have doubts it is very hard for me, but maybe you are going through this for a reason, have faith that God will deliver you, do no try and do it on your own, that is when i experience the most anxiety and fear thinking that i have to be perfect now, all you have to do is turn from your sins, and ask Jesus Christ our Savior, to keep you from them, ask Him to inhabit your heart and clean all unrighteousness, get baptized, go to church ans ask Him to pour out His Spirit onto you, It does not matter what your passport says, quit doubting and have faith, enjoy life as a servant of Christ and truly give yourself to Him, and ask Him to restore your faith and your life, continuing in prayer, Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 18:22 when asked how many times should we forgive our brothers “not up to seven times but seven times seventy times” Imagine how much more is God willing to forgive us, “if we confess our sins and repent from them,” He is faithful and righteous to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. God bless you. Amen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3wwWFsSlNQ this song will definetley help!

    • JOSEPH

      Thanks I’ve been battling this for some time. I to was a backslider. Recently I was told I have cancer and only a short time to live. At first I feared for my soul that I would be a castaway for eternity.

    • Tiribulus

      Do you have assurance that you are safe in Christ Joseph? I ask because I want to know. Not to make you doubt. This prodigal knows all about backsliding and a faithful father. .

    • Mother of 3

      Actually, when you reject the Holy Spirit, you can not repent. The thief on the cross did not know Jesus at first, but when he believed in his heart that He was the Christ, he found repentance and eternal life.

      Hebrews 6:4-6King James Version (KJV)
      4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
      5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
      6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    • Kelli

      I have been struggling in the way many have commented previously. I had learned about Christ as a child, and made a decision for Christ as an adolescent. In my teens I turned from God and willingly let myself fall into sin. I felt convicted later on and tried to repent of my sins and build a relationship with God but I ended up being so legalistic in what I was doing that the stress of it all caused me to give up for many years. I always felt it tugging on my mind, though, but every time I would attempt to come back I felt all the anxiety and stress again. Any time I try to read the Bible I find stories like that of Esau and I feel condemned. I can find messages of condemnation anywhere I open the Bible. Apparently I suffer from scrupulosity a religious branch of OCD. I fear that I am hopelessly Hell-bound and that I am jut lucky enough that God gives me each day on Earth before my final fate. It is so difficult for me to repent and I struggle with the same sins every single day. I will catch myself impulsively acting out a sin and continue in it anyway. I feel so wicked and when I look online all I find is dire warnings not to grieve the Spirit or frustrate the Grace of God. That it is a limited gift and once you put it aside, that’s it. It’s all over. Because a gift like that can’t be given twice. When I read explanations to these things it all boils down to we are all evil and deserve Hell and should just be grateful that God even offered a chance to some people because He didn’t have to offer anything at all. I keep falling into despair and I feel like it’s all my fault for not taking everything seriously. I am filled with so much fear and dread it hits me as soon as I wake up.

    • emanuel

      Focus on Jesus. Let Him take over. Ask His Forgiveness. Jesus Will Take Over. Do you feel Love For Jesus In your heart? Of course you do because you know He Loves you. The Holy Spirit Tells you this. Where does all the pain, hurt, fear, and loneliness come from. From ourselves- from our selfishness, sin, and lack of love for anyone but ourselves. The answer- turn to Jesus. He will take the selfishness, sin, and fear away and replace it with His Love. What is our role in this? Just to have Faith. Just to Believe. That is all we have to do.

    • Kelli

      I have had similar worries like many of the previous commentators. Even today, on my way to work the thought suddenly hit me: “what if the story of Esau is an analogy about salvation?” Like, what if his birthright is supposed to be symbolic for salvation? I have felt nauseously sick ever since. It just feels like it could really mean that, I mean, God’s gift of Grace is such a huge deal, and to squander it on something so petty, like a temporary sin, and lose it forever, just seems like a possibility. I came to knowledge in Christ when I was younger, and made a decision for Christ when I was younger, too. Fell back in teen years into some serious sin, telling myself I could pray for forgiveness later. Tried to go back to God after feeling guilty, and I looked up if salvation is something you can lose. Horrifyingly, I found numerous articles to confirm my fears. I tried anyway and failed because I became so legalistic in my approach. Still that fear stayed in the back of my mind, and it seems as time goes on, I find more and more scripture to back up my fears. I have put God to the side for so many years of my life because trying to go back to Him meant facing my anxieties again. Just recently, over the past few months I have been having some serious panic attacks and anxiety over this kind of stuff. I read some revelations a few months ago, and some verses in there scared me so badly I had lost my appetite sobbed uncontrollably for weeks. There are so many verses in scripture that seem to warn people to endure and to run the race and not to sin and to ‘do this or that lest you fall into condemnation’ someone posted for people to read James 5:10-20 in these comments so I looked it up and the first thing that stuck out to me was this “12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12 every time I open the Bible the word ‘condemnation’ seems to be there!! Someone please help me.

    • Kelli

      A friend once told me that once we become ‘children of God’ we are always His children. I have a 6 year old daughter, and often, when I question salvation my friend will ask me if I would ever not forgive her for something. Of course the answer is no, I would always be wiling to forgive her, even if it was something against me. She also said that no matter what she did, even if she one day went as far as to legally divorce herself from me as my daughter she is still my daughter by blood. And we are God’s children by blood. Jesus’ blood. Just something to think about. Even if I wasn’t willing to forgive her, the Bible says that if we being evil know how to give our children good gifts, how much more does God know how to bless His children? In the same way, God is everything we are not, and the Bible tells us if a brother has sinned against us, and he comes to us seeking forgiveness we are to grant it to him. So how much more would God do that for us? (Even if we weren’t willing to do it for others?) I go up and down through feeling hopeful and back to feeling hopeless again…

    • Kelli

      I don’t know why it is just now showing my original post from a few days ago, that’s why I retyped it and submitted another similar to it. Sorry about that. Anyway, I just saw mother of 3’s comment as well. It’s verses like that that make me worry. So what is someone like me to do? Just wait out the rest of my life with fear and sadness? Is that all I can do from this point on? This is such a terrible place to be, because I don’t want to live like this, but suicide only means a quicker route to hell ??!?!

    • Maggie

      Kelli … I know exactly how you feel. It took a year or so, but here is how I came to peace with God, and He has wonderously, by his Holy Spirit confirmed in my heart that I am a child of God.
      First: what must I do to be saved ?
      Read every verse you can find on this important step.
      Romans 10:9, John 5:24, Romans 10:13, Psalms 9:10, I John 4:15, I John 1:9 & 12, Romans 8:1, Romans 5:1, John 5:24, Romans 3:22-24, John 1:12, Psalms 103:8, John 20:31, I John 4:10
      If you BELIEVE that Jesus died for your sins, that He was raised from the dead … whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
      Write out all the verses, read them over and over every day, pray and ask God to confirm in your heart.
      Do you believe God’s word is true and faithful, that He cannot lie ? Then you are born again.

      When step one took hold in my heart I looked up verses that addressed my fears, and wrote them out.

      When Satan’s next stumbling block came along, I looked up more verses on line … wrote them out and read them constantly. For example, trust, refuge, loving kindness, promises etc.
      Confess lack of trust … Psalms 51:10, Psalm 86:11

      My notebook of verses became my lifeline !!! Because, as you said, all I could see was condemnation. I believe Satan was keeping me bound in fear. Focus on one step, one thought, at a time. I understand scrupulosity. Our minds become bogged down in too many thoughts at once.

      I understand waking each morning in abject fear … it was an horrendous year. But this way of coping changed my life. Yes, I am still sinning and struggling … but as you pointed out, God knows how to give good gifts to his children, and He is slowly bringing me along, as I yield my unclean habits and fears to him.
      Learning theology can wait … start at the beginning, the basics … leave the difficult verses for a later time, and KNOW you are born again.

    • Maggie

      As far as the verse about Esau goes … we must remember that God blessed Esau most abundantly … that Joseph came “crawling back” to his brother for forgiveness, which he received. After which they both dwelt together in the land until they had so much cattle that there was not enough vegetation for them all … so they separated. God did not condemn Esau … he may very well be heaven right now … it was his descendants that chose not to follow God.
      When the Israelites were conquering the promised land, God told them NOT to hurt the Edomites, Esau’s descendants, because they were their brothers.
      Joseph was chosen for service to be the line from which Jesus Christ would descend.
      Middle Eastern language has always been extreme … love and hate … no middle ground. It only means that one is chosen over another. ie: Love thy father and mother vs. if you don’t hate your mother and father, you cannot be my disciple. Jesus is saying, you must love me MORE than your parents or anything else.

    • Kelli

      Thank you for your replies, Maggie, but I’m afraid I still feel completely empty right now, and completely sad, all I can do is sob. Previous comments here point to Esau just proving himself not able to stick with God and likening him to a cheating spouse, of whom complete trust is lost so God doesn’t trust us to stay with him because we’ve already ‘cheated’ on him once. I feel like in foolishness and not really counting the cost I’ve squandered my only hope for salvation on small meaningless things in life.

    • Kelli

      Even looking to another source, I found an article on the importance of birthrights in the Bible, and they even compared them to having a birthright from Christ: “Christians are warned not to imitate Esau who, on impulse, gave away his birthright for a bowl of stew (Hebrews 12:16-17; Genesis 25:19-34). Because of his foolishness, Esau lost his birthright and the blessings of his father (Genesis 27). The lesson for us is to respect what is holy. We should never throw away what is important, godly, or honorable for the sake of temporary pleasure.” But it doesn’t offer advice on what to do if you have done that. I suppose it’s because there is nothing one can do, just lie In this horrible hopeless state and wait for death to come.

    • Kelli

      Also, just thinking about things I think I can vaguely remember a few times where there was some sin I was tempted to commit, probably gossip or just saying negative things about someone, and I think I remember telling myself (or God) that it was ok I would just to to Hell for it, like I traded my salvation for the moment of being able to commit that sin. I am freaking out right now because that sounds exactly like the story of Esau someone please help me I am feeling so many things right now I can’t deal with this alone

    • Kelli

      if you take it to mean Esau was sad over losing his birthright I’m trying to take a literal approach here and say Esau sold his birthright (salvation) for food (sin) and I did exactly that many times in the past

      • cg16

        I can 100% relate to your experience. It is the worst. Are you feeling any peace yet?

    • Maggie

      Kelli … God chose Jacob to be the forefather of Israel … NOT for Salvation … and he foretold us this because
      he knew what Esau would do. The firstborn always inherits from the father, but that does NOT have anything to do
      with salvation.
      “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” … Jacob actually did quite a lot of sinning with his deceit.
      ALL, EVERYONE of us … none of us can stand before a holy God.

      Jesus said to forgive 70 x 7 . If he expects that of us, how much more will he pour out his love and forgiveness
      to those who ask. God will NEVER say “no” to anyone who seeks him.
      So many of us have abused him and turned our backs … but Jesus’s sacrifice, his own blood, covers EVERY sin,
      not just some … or no one would be in heaven … but He makes us whiter than snow.
      If you ask Him, repent with genuine sorrow, our Father God hears you. He can not lie !!!
      “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
      “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

      Please BELIEVE AND TRUST in Jesus’s own words. Do you believe right now? Then start thanking and praising God
      that he accepts you … and me … and the many many many other people who turned their backs on him.

      WE crazy human beings turn our backs, but GOD never does. He wept for Jerusalem and the Israelites because they turned their backs on him over and over again. What did God say to this?
      “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
      God is weeping for you to confess and then trust Him, to be gathered into his arms.
      He always leaves the 99 sheep safe in the pen, and goes out hunting for the one who is lost. BELIEVE HIM.

    • Maggie

      Jesus NEVER ignores the one who seeks him … and will search and find a wandering Christian

      Song: Ninety and Nine

      There were ninety and nine that safely lay
      In the shelter of the fold;
      But one was out on the hills away,
      Far off from the gates of gold.
      Away on the mountains wild and bare;
      Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
      “Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
      Are they not enough for Thee?”
      But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
      Has wandered away from Me.
      And although the road be rough and steep,
      I go to the desert to find My sheep.”
      But none of the ransomed ever knew
      How deep were the waters crossed;
      Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
      Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
      Out in the desert He heard its cry;
      ’Twas sick and helpless and ready to die.
      “Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,
      That mark out the mountain’s track?”
      “They were shed for one who had gone astray
      Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
      “Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
      “They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn.”
      And all through the mountains, thunder-riv’n,
      And up from the rocky steep,
      There arose a glad cry to the gate of heav’n,
      “Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
      And the angels echoed around the throne,
      “Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

    • Sdr

      I understand those feelings of loss of closeness with the Lord. The enemy is very clever. I too have felt the “too far gone” and “knew” I was Esau, not Jacob.

      The main thing I see with these posts of hard heartedness (and with myself) is a focus on self (I messed up too far, I am going to hell, I sit in a closet in the dark, my spouse does it better, etc).

      Stop. It is still focus on YOU. It is not trusting God. It is not acknowledging His power. It is not throwing yourself wholly at His feet and trusting His wisdom and sovereignity to make that decision, whatever it is.

      We are just part of His plan and our whole purpose is to glorify Him. Are we glorifying Him by focusing on ourselves, even to hate ourselves? No.

      When I have been so far from God, I decided that I was still going to worship Him, to acknowledge His Holiness. Not dwell in my mire but focus all on Him. IT CHANGES ME INSTANTLY. You can repent of every sin. You can love others when you stop thinking of yourself.

      When you are willing to be poured out completely–COMPLETELY– for the glory of God, trusting His perfect will WHATEVER it is, this will crack the hard heart within you. Had Esau recognized the Lord’s moving with Jacob, acknowledging his own weakness then dedicating himself to the Lord’s plan through Jacob, praising God and serving Jacob joyfullyI think he would have been saved as that would be true repentance.

      Surrender yourself to the Lord, choosing to praise the Lord even if He makes you chaff not wheat. I think you will then find the fruit of wheat begin to grow within you because you will finally surrender yourself to Him. Even if you are chaff,though, you will praise Him for His perfection and, again, I think you will find your heart grow right with Him.

    • Sdr

      I do have to fix one comment in my post. There is the unpardonable sin–blaspheming the Holy Spirit. However, I am not entirely sure that those who feel the loss of the Lord have committed that.

    • Donna Yates

      After reading all comments here, I have good news for all. Acts, Chapter 1, verse 8, says we will receive power AFTER that the Holy Ghost has come on us. If you do not know the original apostolic plan of salvation, it is Acts 2:38. John 3:5tells us we must be born of water and Spirit. Matthew 28:19 commands to be baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Notice it says the NAME. The verse before tells us that all power is given to Jesus in heaven and in earth. That’s because He is the mighty God who came in the flesh. His Name was called over those being baptised, not the titles. The apostles obeyed this commission all through the book of Acts; Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10, Acts 19. All those on the day of Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance , and were baptised in Jesus Name. This is how we receive the power over sin, no other way. Find a church that teaches this full gospel message and you will find that God has answered your cries. Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus, scripture says. The power is in His Name, not His titles. The apostles knew this. I was of the Baptist faith for 30 years, when I found myself asking God for a church that would teach all I needed to be saved. I was so afraid of going to hell. His answer came so fast, it was amazing. I pray for you who are struggling in much pain and sorrow, and God has heard you and has the gift of the Holy Ghost for you. Do what the apostles did and you will get what they got. Power to overcome sin and be saved. Acts 19 says, “Have you received the Holy Ghost SINCE you believed. It is not an extra blessing, but the actual birth of the Spirit within you. Jesus said, I have been with you, but shall be IN you.” The thief on the cross was saved because he lived during the dispensensation of faith. Only faith in God was the requirement for salvation at that time. When Jesus ascended and came back as the Holy Ghost, we are in the dispensation of grace, but salvation begins with obedience to Acts 2:38. Now baptism must be in His Name and we must receive the Holy Ghost. “Without the Holy Ghost, we are none of His” . “Jesus in you, the hope of glory!!” Believe and receive God’s gift, and find your mourning turned into dancing!! God Bless You on your journey as you seek His truth!!

    • Christopher

      Hi All,

      I want to write you a message of hope to all who are worried about having “Lost” their salvation. It is Jesus who offers us the gift of salvation by believing in Him. You cannot ever do anything to earn your salvation. Jesus won salvation for you and you cannot lose what you never achieved.

      It is up to you to respond to His Grace. If you are stuck in the place where you think you have “lost” your salvation, realize that that heart itself is a sin!

      Think about why. Jesus died for ALL sin and came back to life so you can be redeemed in relationship to God. If you are afraid of God and think that He’s removed your salvation despite your desire to return, that goes directly against the prodigal Son story. It is heresy. The father RAN towards the returning son! God is RUNNING towards you and you just need to embrace Him!

      It doesn’t matter how bad you were before. You need to TRUST that Jesus is ENOUGH to redeem you from those sins. If you don’t then you are sinning by letting your fears be greater than Jesus.

      The verse in Hebrews about impossible to be brought back to repentance does NOT apply to you and let me tell you why. If you read the book of Hebrews, know that it is a letter of ENCOURAGEMENT to Hebrews enduring persecution and not one of Condemnation and Exclusion. That verse is essentially a warning given to THOSE people, “Don’t even think about turning your back on God when you have made it this far!”

      Another thing to keep in mind is the conditions of the described person in that verse. Such a person has tasted the Goodness of the word of God. They have tasted the powers of the coming age. In order to taste such things, it takes a lot of maturity and/or wisdom in your relationship with Christ. The person is making a conscious decision knowing exactly what they are doing and turning their backs. Then brought back to repentance is NOT something a person does but that verb ‘brought’ can only be done by Jesus. The person will not want to repent because they cannot be brought back to repentance. It is impossible. They HATE the idea of repentance. It is unlike you guys who desperately long to return to Christ.

      If this has still not alleviated you, there is more encouragement. Read the book of Revelations. It talks about 7 churches found to be in pretty serious sins. Those churches are not condemned but rather urged to REPENT by the angels. I don’t know about you but this chapter was the final flag over the demon of fear and self-condemnation for me. Christ wants you back. As long as you are alive God is calling. So do not harden your own heart with fear. God pursues you like the Dad in the Prodigal Son Story. Don’t hurt Daddy by running away! Run TO HIM!

      There are some pretty great today world examples where God is continually pursuing people who have really fallen many, many, many times. Stories like: http://www.net-burst.net/guilty/extreme_grace_testimony.htm
      Show God’s mercy and Grace.

      It may take time for you to completely get through your fear of having been sealed in condemnation but in Ephesians 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” completely negates what that demon telling you you are finished is saying.

      Yes! That thing that made you sick with fear is NOT God. It is a demon pretending to be God’s voice. Resist it in Christ’s name declaring that Christ is enough to forgive you and restore you.

      People are by nature sinful and that is why we need Jesus to be saved. If it were possible to lose our salvation by sinning or even having had once turned our backs on God, heaven would be empty except for God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Angels.

    • Christopher

      Hi All,

      I want to tell you all the awesome power Jesus has to deliver you from what you are going through. I was attacked and oppressed by a demon that pretended to be God and told me I was going to Hell. I was under this oppression for weeks and Hebrews 6:4:6 was the demon’s weapon against me. I was so convinced by so much of the bible that I was going to hell that I was losing my mind and performing very terribly at work. There was a church retreat I went to where one of the faithful brothers in Christ prayed over me and prayed in Christ’s name to cast the demon out. Instantly, I felt restored as if none of that ever happened and I perceived a very strong feeling of Jesus saying He still cares about me and is with me.

      Do you want to know what originally had planted the demon? Back when I was a senior in college, there was one time when I got so angry at God that I had told Him to leave my life and never come back. I publicly denounced Jesus and disowned him online. I spent 5 days without Christ. On the 5th day, something terrifying happened where I was most certain that the Holy Spirit withdrew from me telling me that it was a done deal and there was no turning back. I was so terrified and I remember even perceiving, “You can call your mom but nothing changes.”

      I wanted to repent but I couldn’t, it was as if God ceased to exist in my life.

      I still felt there was nowhere to turn but call my mother. I had a tearful conversation with her telling her that I had abandoned God but my mom reassured me that that is not how God’s love works, that you can’t throw God out of your life. After the long conversation, I was able to pray and apologize and repent to God in Jesus’s name and I felt the Holy Spirit come back. Just like the Prodigal Son and his Father.

      The perception that God was telling me it was a done deal and it is over was NOT God!! God would NEVER say that to you. God is like the father in the Prodigal Son story times infinity!!! The voice that pretended to be God saying it is over was Satan!!! Recognize that!!

      Even though this had happened, the demon lay dormant for 8 years and struck terror in my life one day using Hebrews 6:4:6. Again pretending to be God, the demon told me, “You had your chance with Christ. It is not fair that you are asking Christ to die for you again and no way will that be happening. You are going to hell. Give it up. You never belonged to Christ.” The oppression lasted for weeks before I was finally healed through Christ’s loving and infinite power at the church retreat. Sometimes, the demon needs to be casted out like that through a deliverance prayer.

      So if you are struggling like that where every warning in the bible seems to be applying to you and you are convinced that you are going to hell – Remember that it is a demon!! Tell someone about it and ask them to find a pastor to pray for you for deliverance from the demon.

      Satan wants nothing more than to make you believe that it is impossible to be restored in Christ’s name. God greatly weeps when He sees his children suffer like that and God really hates having to say goodbye to people. For He does not delight in the death of the wicked but would MUCH rather they repent and be saved as written in Eziekiel. God is waiting on the other side but it is like the Prodigal Son story where there is a demon blocking the road between you and Jesus. That demon needs to be exterminated in Christ’s name before the road is opened back up. It can and will be done when done in faith in Christ’s Holy name.

    • William

      No matter what mindset I use, I can’t find relief. I want so much to sense God’s presence once again! How could I have been so foolish to value the things of this world more than eternal things?!

      • Anonymous

        Hey William, any changes?

        • Leah Rose

          Hi William want to talk to u aren’t here?

    • Solomon

      Hey guys,

      I’m awestruck at how many people can relate to what torment I have been going through in this same regard.

      I too felt ( or rather still feel ) like Esau. I feel I came to know christ (like many of you) at one point as well. I know ( and knew ) that only Jesus blood saves us and I felt I had that faith ( through hearing the word ) but my ongoing struggle with sin ( if u want to call it that cause sometimes I think it hasn’t been a struggle – I’ve just been giving in ) has been making me think that i traded my faith for one last meal ( but I’m not sure at what point this happened or; if everytime I gave into drunkenness or porn/mastrabation over the last few months was a slow gradual ” trading in my faith for worldliness”…..I’m tormented with OCD and scrupulousity to the point of wondering if I’m already in Hell.

      This brings me to another topic…I see many who posted here fear that they are ” gonna be in hell”. My head has been telling me that I’m already in hell ( and it connects that reality to me maybe losing my faith over time )..

      Has anyone else felt this way ( that they are in hell already )? Is this really a trick of the devil or is it a reality? Isnt my worrying that I slowly have been giving away my faith for that last porn or drink a kinda of confirmation that I’m now stripped of faith in Jesus saving power? And if we really don’t have faith maybe we can never know and so this cycle of worrying about it and trying to get it back is the hell of regret etc….

      Can a person stop believing they are in hell?

      I’m sorry if this sounds scary or too much for people but I really am in a confused but and don’t know where or how to get out? I don’t want to believe that it is already too late but I’m already believing it.

      Has anyone had the belief that they were too far gone after sinning much willfully after knowing Christ (and then been free of the conviction that they are doomed?

      • Steven

        Yes, plenty of people have been were you are and have been completely restored! Why – Because God promises if you genuinely seek Him with all your heart you will find Him, so don’t give up. It may take 1 year or 20 years; but you will find if you seek with all your heart. News flash, your not the first person who felt like God had left them, when it was not the case. David felt like that when Saul was chasing him around for I think (like 7 years) trying to kill him, Job felt like that as the devil tried to destroy every part of his life, the restored Corinthian in 2nd Corinthians could have felt like that if Paul didn’t tell the other people in the church to reaffirm their love for him, (lest he be Swallowed up with excessive sorrow); well even Jesus seemly felt like that as he cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I am sure there are others; but those are the ones coming to mind right now. But in all those cases it was just a feeling; truth was – God never left them; they only felt like it.

        I personally know three people who have gone through this (i am one of them) and I have read about many others who have been delivered from this. Its just the devil, getting in your head. God is so ready to forgive. God is Love. There isn’t one instance in the entire Bible where a person or a group of people were genuinely sorry for their sins and decided to turn their lives back to God; who were not forgiven. Thinking like this rips at the very fabric of God’s Character. Anybody struggling with this; needs to get off the internet and get someone to help them through it; who is in Love with Jesus.

        There is soooooo much you don’t understand about God; that He wants to reveal to you about His Grace and Love. You want to see some people who willfully sinned; read this study i did on Ezekiel.

        Here is a study I did on the Book of Ezekiel

        The book of Ezekiel is arguably one of the most terrifying books about God’s judgement. God goes into great detail about how He is going to destroy them, He leaves nothing to the imagination of those that He is going to destroy. These people were God’s people, they new the 10 commandments, but they could care less about them. The basically spit in the face of God with no second thoughts.

        Read this part of Ezekiel to see what kind of children God was dealing with.

        “Now this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols, filthy and foul— you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world. O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near. “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder. Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things. Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭22:1-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        In reality they could make the worst Christian look like a saint, and this was God’s chosen nation!

        But if you read the book of Ezekiel, you will quickly see starting from the beginning of the book and throughout, God was only threatening to bring such disaster to try to break through to their unmovable, calloused, Stoney heart; and cause them to repent.

        These people were as hard as stone to God, and such a impending disaster is the only thing that may cause them to repent. His ultimate purpose for such a warning because He wanted to save them from hell. Such a warning was given out of love, otherwise why give them a warning at all.

        Read (below) some of the verses woven into the book of Ezekiel. All these verses tell the same thing, God brings warnings to people not to destroy them, but so they would repent.

        “But if you do warn the righteous not to sin, and they don’t sin, they will be declared righteous. Their lives will be preserved because they heeded the warning, and you will save your life.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭CEB‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        “But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins. “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I. “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:21-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live. “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭33:10-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        Did a something cause you to repent? (repent basically means to think differently about sin, which then leads to a different lifestyle) – if so, its because God worked that out in your life to bring you to a place of repentance. God loves you, relax and let Him comfort you.

        God loves you and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Anybody feel free to reach out to me I can help you. [email protected]

        Your not doomed; your loved. God loves you.

    • Moz

      The thing that bothers me most about this whole story is that Jacob used deceit to rob Esau of his birthright and blessing and then he was honoured and blessed for this deceitfulness! Does anyone else feel that this just isn’t right?

    • William

      I am still struggling, but I do have times of relief when I concentrate on Christ’s finished work on the cross instead of my sinful past. I still suffer the consequences of my past, but at least I am no longer suicidal and am believing that God gives second chances. Someone told me that no matter what to cling to the cross—that’s what I am doing and it is helping, praise God!

    • William

      Although my heart sometimes still feels hard, I believe the Lord is gradually softening it. I hope this encourages those in this thread who feel it’s too late to keep seeking the Lord. Turn to Him and He will abundantly pardon. He is good!!!

    • William

      Each day I see God’s mercy in my life. There are some major and permanent consequences for my sin, but Christ’s atonement knows no limits. My eyes are fixed on Him, regardless of what my feelings are like.

    • solomon david

      Thanks William. That was encouraging

    • William

      One thing that’s helping is keeping my thoughts pure. Christ said the pure in heart will see God. Porn and impure thoughts cloud God out. I’m beginning to sense God’s calming and cleansing presence again. Still a long ways to go.

    • William

      Today I preached in church to fill in (I was a preacher before falling morally). It felt so good to be used by God again to be a blessing to His people. I hope and pray for more opportunities like this one. It helps me to believe that I am not just a broken off branch, withering and waiting to be thrown into the fire. PTL!

    • William

      I think there was some demonic oppression involved with me earlier through my immorality. As the Lord has been enabling me to keep my mind pure, my mind is clearing up, like the demoniac in the Gospels who ended up in his right mind, sitting at Jesus’ feet.

    • William

      Having a tough time today—satan is relentless at accusing, but still forcing myself to look toward Jesus.

    • William

      No matter what, Jesus still is and will always be Lord and Savior!

    • William

      I will trust in You, O God, and not be shaken

    • William

      Plugging away at seeking the Lord’s face and not looking back

    • William

      Everyday it gets a little better. The Lord is good

    • William

      His mercy is new every morning. Never give up seeking His face

    • William

      Some of the most powerful words from the Bible for this thread are in Hosea 14:4–“I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.” This is a God who delights in turning from His anger and showing mercy.

    • William

      I just went through my life in my mind thinking of every sin that I could and thinking of Christ on the cross atoning for them and God casting them as far as the East is from the west.

    • William

      Looking toward the finished work of Christ rather than trusting my feelings

    • William

      Isaiah 55– God says He will abundantly pardon if we turn from our evil ways and forsake our thoughts.

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