I used to work with a man who had one of the kindest, gentlest of hearts I had ever seen in someone. I was shocked to hear that this man wasn’t attending any form of worship service and that he had never become a Christian. I had decided that I was going to begin praying for him and invite him to come to church with me on Sunday. I really thought this would be an easy invite, due to his kind and compassionate character. When I asked him why he had not become a Christian, his response was shocking and to the point. “Brother, I have done a lot of bad things in my life, such bad things I don’t ever want to talk about it again. God would not even forgive me of the sins that I had committed, I am just too far gone”
After Hezekiah’s reign ended, his son Manasseh took the throne at age twelve. Unfortunately, he did not follow in the footsteps of his father Hezekiah. His reign was characterized by idol worship, even to the point of burning his own son as a burnt offering to idol. God once said that Manasseh had committed “more evil than all of the Amorites did” and that he had “shed very much innocent blood. Till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to the other” (2 Kings 21.10,16). During Manasseh’s reign he was not only guilty of his own sin but was responsible for much of the sins of the people of Judah. Many consider him to be one of the most wicked of all the kings, yet something happened. In 2 Chronicles 33.12 the king is taken captive by the king of Assyria and taken bound to Babylon. When he realized what has happened, Manasseh humbled himself, prayed and repented for the wickedness that he had done. Then God, who is rich in grace and mercy, was moved by his prayer and restored him back to Jerusalem. When he returned to Jerusalem, Manasseh kept his promises and restored the altar of the Lord and made sacrifices. The LORD blessed him because of his humility and contriteness of heart.
My friend never told me what he had done that was so bad that God would not be able to forgive. However, later someone came along and watered the seed I had planted and today I am glad to say that my friend, who considered himself too far gone, is now a faithful deacon in the LORD’s Church. You see, if God can take the sins of Manasseh and forgive them, then he can take our sins and forgive them. We are never too far away from the blood of Jesus.