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Tattoos & God's Forgiveness

We received the following email on the subject which we will call, Tattoos & God’s Forgiveness. The questions asked by this man are especially relevant since there are many tattooed Christians walking around and the questions asked are representative of the vast multitude of Christians living in the world today.

I have a question regarding your page on tattooing. I was tattooed before receiving Christ. I ask God for forgiveness every day for the sins I have committed in the past and for the sins am destined to commit in the future. Do you really believe my Salvation is at risk for the marks I have put on my body in the past? Is a person damned for what they have done before receiving and repenting?

Thanks for your time,


Dear Anonymous,

As a fellow brother in Christ, I welcome you in the name of Jesus! I may be somewhat lengthy in responding, but I want to make sure that I give you the best reply possible. Although you and I have never met, we are alike in many ways. Even though I have never been tattooed, we were both sinners who came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; furthermore, you can rest assured that the same problems and difficulties which you are facing are not unique since other believers around the world are also experiencing the same thing.

1 Peter 5:8-9

8.     Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9.     Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

When Satan attacks a Christian, it is always the same way, through the mind! Our best defense is always a solid knowledge of the Bible, otherwise, how else are we going to defend ourselves when Satan attacks? I have heard the following saying and like it very much: “When Satan reminds you of your past, tell him about his future.” It is important to note that we can only do so if we know where we stand as a blood bought, born again Christian.

1 Peter 1:13-16

13. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14. As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

When we become saved, we are viewed as a new creation in God’s eyes. As you read the scripture below, take note of the word “reconciliation.” It literally means “enemies being made friends again.” You see, we were enemies with God because of the sin we all have when we are born into this world. God is totally holy and without sin and it was because of Adam’s sin that we all are in this state (Romans 5:12). So when we come to the cross and confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God the Father sees us as a new creation. Like a dirty chalkboard, He wipes away all the sins in our life up to that point. The old markings are gone and we have a clean slate. So when Satan reminds you of your past, you don’t have to feel guilty about it, he can’t hang that garbage over your head anymore!

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The concept that we need to continually ask God to forgive us of past sins in not found in the Bible. Like I stated earlier, your life can be likened to a chalkboard, when you sin, marks are written upon it and when you confess your sins, the Lord will wipe them away to be remembered no more. We simply don’t need to ask God for forgiveness for the same sin over and over again.

Psalms 103:8-18

8.      The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9.      He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Once we have repented, renounce the sin and broken the curse, it’s over and done. It might be that we might have to make restoration to people we hurt or go to prison for a crime committed, but as far as God is concerned, we are totally forgiven. We have the confidence of knowing that when we confess our sins, God will forgive us. How do I know this, because the Bible says so!

1 John 1:4-10

4.      And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5.      This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6.      If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7.      But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8.      If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9.      If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

If you go back and reread verse 9, I find it peculiar that you are confessing future sins which you have not even committed. This concept is not even found in the Bible. Each and every day is truly a gift from the Lord. He won’t allow us to go back and redo the past, nor can we see the future, but should be content to live in the present. That is the way we need to handle the sins in our life. We confess our sins of the past and present and strive to live in obedience to the Lord for the future. The Lord will forgive; He’s just waiting for you to make contact with Him.

Do you really believe my Salvation is at risk for the marks I have put on my body in the past? Is a person damned for what they have done before receiving and repenting?

The only sin that will send a person to hell is the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus wasn’t joking when He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

John 3:16-18

16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God loves you so much that when you were a dirty rotten sinner and totally helpless even though you didn’t know it, Christ still died for you.

Romans 5:6-8

6.      For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7.      For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8.      But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Did you know that God loves you unconditionally? There is nothing that can literally separate you from the love of God!

Romans 8:38-39

38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are not saved because we stop sinning; we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and His atonement on the cross. We don’t stop our sinful practices to be saved but rather it is out of obedience and a love to please the Lord. Your salvation in Jesus Christ is secure, irregardless of the marks you have placed upon your body up to now. However, in the future there will come a time when a world leader (the Antichrist) will require you to take a mark in your forehead or right hand.

Revelation 13:16-18 

16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads

17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 

18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

This will be an illegal mark of loyalty that God totally hates. Anyone with this mark will be rejected by the Lord even if they previously received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! Did you notice what I just said? EVERYONE who takes the loyalty mark, saved or not, will be cast into the Lake of Fire! Sadly, tattoos are now preparing people for the mark of the Beast; this is what the Bible has to say about those who take Satan’s mark:

Revelation 14:9-12 

9.      And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 

10. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 

11. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 

12. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Some may try and discredit this scripture by saying that it does not apply to Christians, but it should be noted that it says, “IF ANY MAN” receives this mark, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire. All people, sinner or saint, qualify under the “any man” category just like everyone qualifies under the “whosoever” category of Romans 10:13.

I would like to assure you that your salvation is totally secure in Jesus Christ, for it is He who is keeping you saved. Many Christians lose sight or simply don’t understand that it is the Holy Spirit that is keeping us saved. It all comes down to, “Who is keeping me saved, God or me?” If you should require more reading on our security in Christ, see the article, “Once Saved…Always Saved?.

Unless you have taken the mark of the beast, your salvation is totally secure. I know this because this is what I have read in the Bible.

There is nothing that can replace an intimate knowledge of the Bible. It is our only weapon with which we have to fight our enemies whether they are spirit or flesh. Read it and let the Lord speak through it.

Your brother in Christ,

Charles Thorell

Back to Being Berean: Various Subjects and The Bible's Answers

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