“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”” (Acts 10:43, ESV)
Several times, I have met people who were convinced that they had sinned in a way that they considered so grievous that they could not be forgiven by God. A woman came into the first church that I ever joined and I had a brief conversation with her. I had been through evangelism training and could see that something was bothering her. I discovered that she believed she was destined for eternal punishment because of something she had done. Apparently, she had hit the moral rock-bottom. She never revealed what her sin was. I guess she was too ashamed to even mention it.
So, I shared the message of God’s mercy available by trusting in Jesus Christ alone with her. After hearing the gospel, she still could not believe that God would forgive her. Then the pastor of the church came over to find out what we were discussing. He took her to 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, ESV). He asked her, “What is not included in the word all?” She said, “Nothing.” This broke the ice with her and that day, she believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin.
Here, we see Peter preaching the gospel message to Cornelius and those with him. In verse 43, Peter tells those present that whoever believes in Jesus receives remission of sins. The word believes, pisteuo, has the idea of more than just a knowledge of the gospel, but a conviction that it is true to the point of trusting. The result is the forgiveness of sins.
There are two very significant but simple words that people need to understand when it comes to forgiveness. They are, “all” and “everyone.” In verse 43, Peter references the prophets who bore witness to this truth and stated that “everyone who believes” in Jesus “receives forgiveness of sins.” Who is not included in everyone? No one. Everyone means . . . everyone, just as all means . . .all.
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21, AV)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, AV)
Too many people are bound today by past sins. They have never come to the point in resting in the forgiveness that we have by trusting in Jesus Christ. Even professing believers allow themselves to be riddled with guilt from their past mistakes. The Lord does not want us to remain in bondage. He has set us free. He has released us from the guilt and penalty of our sin. We just need to get it in our heads the meaning of all and everyone, and then rest our heads on the comfortable pillow of God’s word.