Question: I was reading in Deuteronomy 29:20 where God says if anyone goes and follows after other gods that God will NEVER be willing to forgive them. Yet again and again I see in scripture where God will and does forgive Israel for serving other Gods like Hosea, Jeremiah, judges, etc so I’m not understanding this passage. Unless he means if they persist in doing so but if they stopped and repented he’d forgive them, but NEVER doesn’t exactly sound like a conditional statement based on their repentance.
I ask because I know someone who is a Christian and has committed spiritual adultery, and I know God is unchanging so why does he say never willing to forgive? Is there hope for this person? And is this verse still applicable today for Christians?
Answer: Understanding how some of the Old Testament passages apply to our lives today is not always easy, and “spiritual adultery” is also a serious scenario. However it’s important to remember to whom the author was writing, and when it was written. You may have heard the teaching that we are no longer under the Law (as those who lived in OT times), but we’re living in the age of Grace. This is a deep subject, so we encourage you to do some research on your own if you are interested to learn more.
For now, we would suggest you and/or your friend read the book of 1 John: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John+1&version=NIV
You can also listen to Dr Dave’s Talks on this book: http://www.growingchristians.org/rfgc/1-2-3john/index.html
The purpose of 1 John is Assurance of Salvation. 1 John 5:13 says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that may know that you have eternal life.”
A key verse for your question would be 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”