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God's Mercy and Reconciliation

Copyright 1990
All biblical quotes are from the New American Bible.
All bolding, color and underlining of scriptural quotes has been added.
Jesus' words are in red. Bible Abreviations

NAB JOE 2:12

Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.


Since the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.

NAB EZE 18:30

Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, each one according to his ways, says the LORD GOD. Turn and be converted from all your crimes, that they may be no cause of guilt for you. Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, says the LORD GOD. Return and live!

NAB LUK 15:20

"While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' The father said to his servants: 'Quick! bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Take the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found.' Then the celebration began."

NAB JER 3:19 Conditions for Forgiveness.

I had thought: How I should like to treat you as sons, And give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful among the nations! You would call me, My Father, I thought, and never cease following me. But like a woman faithless to her lover, even so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the LORD. A cry is heard on the heights! the plaintive weeping of Israel's children, Because they have perverted their ways and forgotten the LORD, their God. Return, rebellious children, and I will cure you of your rebelling. Here we are, we now come to you because you are the LORD, our God. Deceptive indeed are the hills, the thronging mountains; In the LORD, our God, alone is the salvation of Israel. The shame-god has devoured our fathers toil from our youth, Their sheep and their cattle, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, let our disgrace cover us, for we have sinned against the LORD, our God, From our youth to this day, we and our fathers also; we listened not to the voice of the LORD, our God.

NAB SIR 17:19 Appeal for a Return to God.

But to the penitent he provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope! Return to the LORD and give up sin, pray to him and make your offenses few. Turn again to the Most High and away from sin, hate intensely what he loathes; Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High in place of the living who offer their praise? No more can the dead give praise than those who have never lived; they glorify the LORD who are alive and well. How great the mercy of the LORD, his forgiveness of those who return to him!

NAB MAT 23:37

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murderess of prophets and stoner of those who were sent to you! How often have I yearned to gather your children, as a mother bird gathers her young under her wings, but you refused me. Recall the saying, You will find your temple deserted. I tell you, you will not see me from this time on until you declare, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

NAB JER 3:12

Return, rebel Israel, says the LORD, I will not remain angry with you; For I am merciful, says the LORD, I will not continue my wrath forever. Only know your guilt: how you rebelled against the LORD, your God, How you ran hither and yon to strangers (under every green tree) and would not listen to my voice, says the LORD. Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am you Master: I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion.

NAB EZE 18:23

Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?


Grievously have we offended you, not keeping the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances which you committed to your servant Moses. But remember, I pray, the promise which you gave through Moses, your servant, when you said: Should you prove faithless, I will scatter you among the nations; but should you return to me and carefully keep my commandments, even though your outcasts have been driven to the farthest corner of the world, I will gather them from there, and bring them back to the place which I have chosen as the dwelling place for my name. They are your servants, your people, whom you freed by your great might and your strong hand, O LORD, may your ear be attentive to my prayer and that of all your willing servants who revere your name. Grant success to your servant this day, and let him find favor with this man for I was cupbearer to the king.

NAB ACT 3:19

"Therefore, reform your lives! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away!"

NAB MAR 1:15

Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!


When John the Baptizer made his appearance as a preacher in the desert of Judea, this was his theme: "Reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand." It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
"A herald's voice in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'"
They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.

NAB TOB 13:6

When you turn back to him with all your heart, to do what is right before him, Then he will turn back to you, and no longer hide his face from you. So now consider what he has done for you, and praise him with full voice. Bless the LORD of righteousness, and exalt the King of ages. In the land of my exile I praise him, and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation. Turn back, you sinners! do the right before him: perhaps he may look with favor upon you and show you mercy. As for me, I exalt God, and my spirit rejoices in the King of heaven.

NAB BAR 4:28

As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him; For he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.

NAB ZEC 1:2 Necessity of Conversion.

The LORD was indeed angry with your fathers . . . and say to them: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. Be not like your fathers whom the former prophets warned: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Turn from your evil ways and from your wicked deeds. But they would not listen or pay attention to me, says the LORD. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, can they live forever? But my words and my decrees, which I entrusted to my servants the prophets, did not these overtake your fathers? Then they repented and admitted: The LORD of hosts has treated us according to our ways and deeds, just as he had determined he would.

NAB DEU 4:29

Yet there too you shall seek the LORD, your God; and you shall indeed find him when you search after him with your whole heart and your whole soul. In your distress, when all these things shall have come upon you, you shall finally return to the LORD, your God, and heed his voice. Since the LORD, your God, is a merciful God, he will not abandon and destroy you, nor forget the covenant which under oath he made with your fathers.

NAB PSA 116:3

"The cords of death encompassed me; the snares of the nether world seized upon me; I fell into distress and sorrow, And I called upon the name of the LORD, O LORD, save my life! Gracious is the LORD and just; yes, our God is merciful. The LORD keeps the little ones; I was brought low, and he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your tranquility, for the LORD has been good to you. For he has freed my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from tumbling. I shall walk before the LORD in the lands of the living. I believed, even when I said, I am greatly afflicted ; I said in my alarm, No man is dependable. How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD; . . . ."

NAB EZE 33:12

As for you, son of man, tell your countrymen: The virtue which man has practiced will not save him on the day that he sins; neither will the wickedness that a man has done bring about his downfall on the day that he turns from his wickedness (nor can the virtuous man, when he sins, remain alive). Though I say to the virtuous man that he shall surely live, if he then presumes on his virtue and does wrong, none of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered; because of the wrong he has done, he shall die. And though I say to the wicked man that he shall surely die, if he turns away from his sin and does what is right and just, giving back pledges, restoring stolen goods, living by the statutes that bring life, and doing no wrong, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the sins he committed shall be held against him; he has done what is right and just, he shall surely live. (ISA 43:25)

NAB JER 25:5

Turn back, each of you, from your evil way and from your evil deeds; then you shall remain in the land which the LORD gave you and your fathers, from old and forever.

NAB JER 36:7

Perhaps they will lay their supplication before the LORD and will all turn back from their evil way: for great is the fury of anger with which the LORD has threatened this people.

NAB JER 35:15

I kept sending you all my servants the prophets, telling you to turn back, all of you, from your evil way; to reform your conduct, and not follow strange gods or serve them, if you would remain on the land which I gave you and your fathers; but you did not heed me or obey me.


Why do these people rebel with obstinate resistance? Why do they cling to deceptive idols, refuse to turn back? I listen closely: they speak what is not true; No one repents of his wickedness, saying What have I done! Everyone keeps on running his course, like a steed dashing into battle. Even the stork in the air knows its seasons; Turtledove, swallow and thrush observe their time of return, But my people do not know the ordinance of the LORD.

NAB JER 7:23

This rather is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day, I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets. Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
HOS 12:7 EZE 14:11 EZE 40:21-29 LAM 3:40 BAR 2:33-35
JER 4:1 JER 18:11 JER 26:3-6 JER 32:33-35 ISA 44:22
JER 5:3 JER 15:7 JER 25:7 JER 31 EZE 14:6-7
HOS 7:13-16 AMO 4:1-11 TOB 13:5-6

NAB LUK 15:4 Parable of Divine Mercy

"Who among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wasteland and follow the lost one until he finds it? And when he finds it, he puts it on his shoulders in jubilation. Once arrived home, he invites friends and neighbors in and says to them, Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep. I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent. What woman, if she has ten silver pieces and loses one, does not light a lamp and sweep the house in a diligent search until she has retrieved what she lost? And when she finds it, she calls in her friends and neighbors to say, Rejoice with me! I have found the silver piece I lost. I tell you, there will be the same kind of joy before the angels of God over one repentant sinner."
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author Steven Merten