What encouragement does the Bible offer to those infected with AIDS in this life who are repentant and honestly want to "go and sin no more?"

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What encouragement does the Bible offer to those infected with AIDS in this life who are repentant and honestly want to "go and sin no more?"

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God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34). No sin can be committed of which we can- not repent. This includes sexual sin, whether homosexual or heterosexual. The apostle Paul wrote about such sins, prevalent in the ancient Greek port city of Corinth. Many Church members had been guilty of sexual and other sins. He reminded them that these sins were in the past, that they had struggled and overcome. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sancti- fied, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

In one verse the apostle fills us all with encouragement. He assures us that all our sins can be washed away, forgiven by the shed blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He also reminds us that it is possible to overcome our sins with God’s help.

We can find further encouragement in reading of Paul’s personal struggle with sin in Romans 7:14-25.

Overcoming sin is never easy. Often we have relapses. The apostle John tells us: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins [to God], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). From these two verses we learn the importance of recognizing our sin and admitting our guilt. If we repent and ask God for forgiveness, Christ’s blood once again cleanses us from our sin.

Although God is quick to forgive, many people aren’t. Here Christians should follow Christ’s example.

Jesus did not avoid those who were widely known for their sins. In Matthew 9:10-13 we see Him criticized for mixing with “tax collectors [those who collected taxes for the Roman government] and sinners.” He did not turn away those who were in spiritual need. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick,” He said (verse 12). Christ’s hope is “that all should come
to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus for His judgment, He said: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7). Jesus knew that “all men have sinned” (Romans 3:23). He was and is perfectly forgiving. When her accusers walked away, He said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you.” But at the same time He added, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

Christians should follow Christ’s example. We should be filled with compassion, actively helping others who are in need. Jesus pointed out that His followers would visit the sick, who today include those with AIDS (Matthew 25:34-40).

It should be possible for repentant people with AIDS to share their struggle with others in a congregation that loves them and will fervently pray for them (James 5:16).

The Scriptures record several examples that show that God heals when doing so is in accordance with His will and purpose. But they also record times when His faithful servants were not healed. Ultimately “it is appointed for men to die once” (Hebrews 9:27).

Regardless of whether God chooses to heal those who are afflicted with disease in this life, He promises His repentant and faithful servants a glorious resurrection to immortal spirit bodies at Jesus’ return (1 Corinthians 15:42-54). Once resurrected to eternal life, they will no longer be subject to illness, injury and death. Ultimately they will live in a glorious world in which “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” and when “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4).

For a fuller understanding of these subjects, please request the free booklets What Is Your Destiny?, Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion and What Happens After Death?