How can I get rid of the guilt that I feel for backsliding after baptism?

Q: I was baptized but have backslidden. Now I’d like to come back to God. I’m doing daily lesson studies and have been attending church lately. However, I’m still a bit troubled in my life and after turning away from God I did horrible things. I still feel guilty, and I don’t know what to do. What do you think is the best thing for me to do? — N.K., from Papua New Guinea

A: Dear friend, I want to encourage you to come back to God, who loves you so much that He died to save you. Making a full and complete surrender of your life to Him. Confess your sins to Him and ask for His forgiveness. There is nothing so horrible that He will not forgive. Claim the promise that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I also want to encourage you to read (or re-read) that marvelous little book, “Steps to Christ” by Ellen G. White. In this little book that has sold tens of millions of copies and has been published into more than 165 languages, you will find great encouragement, such as this gem:

“As you see the enormity of sin, as you see yourself as you really are, do not give up to despair. It was sinners that Christ came to save. … He is wooing by His tender love the hearts of His erring children. No earthly parent could be as patient with the faults and mistakes of his children, as is God with those He seeks to save. … When Satan comes to tell you that you are a great sinner, look up to your Redeemer and talk of His merits. … Acknowledge your sin, but tell the enemy that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ and that you may be saved by His matchless love. 1 Tim. 1:15” (p. 35). You can download a free audio version of this book at www.audioverse.org, or a PDF at www.ellenwhite.org.

Finally, I encourage you to reach out to someone in your church who is spiritually strong—perhaps your pastor or a church elder — who will encourage you in your spiritual walk. And remember to spend time with Jesus each day, through Bible study and prayer. One way to do this, is through our worldwide daily Bible study and prayer initiative, “Believe His Prophets,” and “United in Prayer.” You can sign up for these free Bible readings and prayer requests www.revivalandreformation.org/signup

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