Is there hope for those who have made mistakes or bad choices in their lives? Can we really start over again, wipe the slate clean and begin a brand-new direction in our life, leaving the past behind? The Bible says: YES!
All of us make mistakes in our lives. Admittedly, some people make some very big mistakes, do some very bad things. Perhaps they have done something that has caused them to spend time in prison.
But the Bible is full of stories of those who have renewed themselves through a change of heart and faith in God, being the recipients of God’s grace.
One of the gravest forms of wrongdoing is murder. King David arranged for the murder of Uriah. Saul, who became the apostle Paul, while not committing murder, was involved in helping the persecution of converted Jews and was on the side of those who stoned Stephen to death.
Yet, God forgave them and they attained a new mindset and heart through faith and turn their lives around and became two of the leading figures of advancing the faith in biblical history.
God wants every single human being to be renewed. All sins erased and every person cleanse, given a new and everlasting life.
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,”
– Acts 3:19
Jesus knew that no human being is perfect.
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
– Luke 5:32
Once you begin your new life, you need to let go of the past, and live your life in a new way. This is reflected by the attitude in your heart and your mind, as well as represented by your actions.
“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
– Matthew 3:8
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
The key to starting over is to acknowledge you’ve made mistakes. But more than that, it is about a change of heart and mind.
The original Hebrew words in the Bible for repentance are translated by such English words as “turn, return, seek, and restore.” In the Greek translation, the word repentance means “to change the mind.”
Therefore, if you set your heart and mind change that is the first step toward repenting.
The apostle Paul wrote:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The first step towards change your mind and heart is to study the first four Gospels and the teachings of Christ found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The apostle Paul writes:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
–2 Corinthians 5:17
God, in his mercy, can forgive all sins. Jesus said there is only one sin considered unpardonable.
“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”
– Mark 3:28–29.
According to the ancient Greek original wording, it means that the one who blasphemies against the Holy Spirit is guilty of an “eternal sin”, a sin by which punishment belongs to eternity and cannot be loosened.