We ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, … he saved us.
The way Robert spent his youth was appalling. But after he was converted to Jesus Christ, he became a zealous preacher of the gospel. One evening he entered the hall where he had been invited to speak. There someone who was a complete stranger to him handed him a slip of paper on which was written: “You are a hypocrite! You really ought to refresh your memory. Don’t you remember this … and that …? Have you got the courage to preach the good news here tonight?”
It was a hard blow for Robert, but he went to the front, opened his Bible and read out loud: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). He paused. Then he began: “Dear friends, when I entered this hall, I was handed a message. The writer of these lines knows me and accuses me of having formerly lived a scandalous life. I should like to make three comments on the matter: The person in question is absolutely right. The past cannot be obliterated. To my shame I must admit all the wrongdoings of my youth.
After I confessed them to God, He forgave me everything on the ground of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. If God has been able to forgive my great guilt, indeed, if He forgave the apostle Paul, who admitted to being the greatest of all sinners, then there is no-one who cannot obtain divine forgiveness.