So you telling me if someone goes out and commits murder and the next moment they say a little prayer, God just forgives it all?
Well if you put it that way, it just sounds plain crazy -unfair and unjust to be exact. yeah, emotion can have a way of infuencing standard. Standard, it too, has a way of getting in the way of emotion sometimes. So what about this gospel the Christians spout out all the time from the Bible. Could it logically really work like that? Well yeah. In fact, it has to.
Let me explain this pill that's just 'oh so hard to swallow'.
Let me start out this way, the heart is the root of any relationship. Let that sink in, visualise it... the Bible also claims God is 'love'. It's His very essence. What has to be the environment in order for love to even exist in? that's right.. relationship -or to be technical, more than one person. I guess that weird trinity thing going on makes a slither more sense now. Humans kinda have that love thing going on too, we even have marriage, which allows two people to raise their offspring in a balanced environment in a not so predictable world. Our brains are actually wired for love. So this brings me to my next point using a husband and wife as an example. A man doesn't go out of his way to bring flowers to his wife's workplace to maintain the Tuesday checklist to keep as a husband. He does it out of heart, or at least i hope so. That's why spontaneity is so popular with the ladies, it carries more meaning.
To say that I need to read my Bible and pray for X amount of minutes every day seems to be like saying I need to meet with the same friend on the same bench at the same mall every day for the same amount of time. I listen to my friend talk and when He is finished, He listens to me talk. When I’m done talking, we leave our bench and wait to come back to it the next day. Any dating relationship based on this “formula” would get old pretty quickly.
Alright, let me reel this in finally. So can a man commit murder and get forgiven a moment later? why yes. but why !?!? true repentance is reflection of the heart, not the mind. its not the symptom of words coming out that saves a man, becuase the same words could be said the same by any reason or intent imaginable. It is the cause, a alternate heart, thats the crux. That's NOT to say though, certain consciences or repercussions of past actions will cease. If the man committed murder again after praying, well that's pobably a good indication his motive was not changed. I guess God only truly knows heart of a person to forgive him. Remember, God's salvation is about the heart and intent, it's the root, not doing x-y-z on a list; As goes a relationship with the Divine. Yes, God is just, and the sin problem was solved by Christ. So why keep the commandments? "If you love Me, keep My commandments." read that it doesn't say - to avoid damnation. Quite simply, one would end up into the eternal void by what he/she does with the provision Christ made, not by committing bad stuff. By the way, everyone has committed bad stuff.
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man." Matthew 15:18-20
The purpose of the all the commandments is to relate properly with God and others in that emotion called love. Like a husband that doesn't come home drunk, or avoids cheating on his wife; because he knows it would hurt her and cause a divide in the relationship.
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
Jesus said to him, ""You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:36-39
It's not that 'one little prayer' that forgives a man, but the heart that carried it out.