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Feb 03 2010

What Sin Prevents Entrance Into Heaven?

A few years ago, I started attending a this new church.  The pastor that started the church had stepped down in retirement but was very active and taught bible studies.  I will say that I have never sat under a teacher that taught as he taught.  It was simply amazing in the way he taught.  He also taught a hermeneutics class as taught in seminary.  I learned a great deal from him.  The church is no longer in existence.  It folded and it was due to his sin.  Turns out he was involved in a 20 year extramarital affair with another woman who was also married and was also a member of that church.  Once a week, they would meet in his church office.  Unbelievably, he was very harsh and big on church discipline.  Church discipline was stressed.  I’ve wondered what went through his mind when he had to perform church discipline – was his sin something he contemplated while perform his duties as a church disciplinarian?  (I digress).

Today I read a question posted on a forum.  The question was posted to Christians and it was “what sin will keep you out of heaven?”  The poster went on to list some sins such as adultery, theft of something expensive, viewing porn, as well as a few others.  The thrust of the poster’s intent was to say that unless one repents of particular acts before death, one loses salvation.  Not only that, but certain sins that are more egregious is enough to cause a loss of salvation.  Since I’m not a member of that group nor do I like participating on internet discussion groups, I simply read the post and the accompanying responses.

To be honest, this really is an unfair question.  I say it is unfair because it does not take into account that a Christian now has a new nature.  Sure, people sin.  That pastor I mentioned in the beginning of this post – he surely entered into some major sin.  And while I cannot determine a person’s heart, I don’t doubt his salvation.  He sure loved the Lord but he messed up big time.  But then so did David – adultery and then murder.  You really can’t get much worse than that.  Yet God declared David as one after His own heart.

There is no sin that will keep a Christian out of heaven.  It’s all been paid for on the cross.  Now if a person’s mindset is “cool, it’s paid for so now I’m going to go have some fun,” that is demonstrative of someone that is not saved.  Jesus did not spend 6 hours on the cross and bore our sin so that we can willfully sin with the mindset that it is “no problem” since we don’t have to pay for it.  Anyone who takes that position is in error and has no salvation.  I say that because is no change of heart and no repentance.

After reading the post on the forum and the responses, I felt like requesting a list of sins to avoid.  Turns out not all sins would keep one out of heaven but only certain sins, at least according to the original poster.  If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be nice to have a list so we can check it throughout the day to make sure that we are not doing “those” sins?

The fact of the matter is Jesus paid for all of our sin – not just some.  Christians sure are messed up for we continue to sin.  But the difference is Christians feel a pricking in our conscious – if we can sin without feeling any pricking on our conscious, it might be a good idea to examine ourselves and test whether we are in the faith.  (2 Corinthians 13:5).  I say that because as Christians, we have a new nature that is unlike the nature of the unsaved.  And again, if someone’s attitude is they can pretty much live as they please because they’re forgiven, I would take a second look at what salvation is.  Being pardoned is not a license to sin with impunity – it  means that when we do mess up, we are forgiven because Jesus paid the price for that sin.

To claim that one can lose their salvation is, in essence, declaring that the work  of Christ is insufficient payment for the penalty of sin.  If it can be lost, it is Christ’s work AND the Christian’s work.

But in answer to the question, the only sin that Jesus declared will not be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

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10 comments

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  1. PaulFan

    Nice post. I believe many Christians tend toward “legalism”. That is, they do not fully understand or accept God’s grace. They see faith in God as the Pharisees saw it– worried about keeping the outside of the cup clean rather than the inside.

    1. Tishrei

      I agree — Christians tend towards legalism. And I will admit that I think certain sins are more difficult to swallow than others — like the pastor I mentioned, I was disgusted with what he did and the consequences of his actions. A whole church folded plus the harm both of them caused their respective families. His cup was sure dirtier on the outside than a Christian that might say something under their breath to a driver who cuts them off.

      But the outside of the cup means nothing — for a person that is unsaved that doesn’t do what that pastor did will not spend eternity in the presence of God while that pastor will spend eternity in His presence.

  2. reverent1

    But in answer to the question, the only sin that Jesus declared will not be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. <–

    Nicely written. Walking the average Joe through a process of being born again maybe not in full detail but a good glimpse, an opening if you will. And in the end you answer the question..

    1. Tishrei

      True, walking the average Joe through the process is the seed planting. If it falls on fertile soil, then it will take root.

  3. Liz

    another goodie. Once we confess our sin Jesus is faith and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrightousness.

    All the unrightousness of God is sin

    Romans 6:1
    [ Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God ] What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

    Romans 6:14
    For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace

    and great answer to the last part of post. Bl Blasphamy against the Holy Spirit ( I am going to read this post next)

    Some times in my sin if I know I am doing something wrong or think it is sin because if one is convicted of something then it is sin for them, like shopping is not nessecarily a sin but if it leads to unrightousness then for you it is.

    I say to myself and I know this is wrong but..” might as well go all out, I already am in this sin” But then I am convicted and instantly repent.

    1. Tishrei

      EXACTLY — we repent because we are convicted of sin. And you are so right

  4. pttyann

    Yes indeed another goodie! Very well done Tishrei,and to make matters worse in this area.Some teach that we can lose our salvation and it’s caused so many to be totally confused.That’s why it’s so very important to stay in the word for yourself,praying for wisdom,knowledge,and a good understanding of God’s word.For God will open his word up to us.
    Have a wonderful weekend Tishrei :D

  5. Chad

    This is a very interesting post for a man in my position. I consider myself to be someone particularly strong in my faith but find myself comitting the same sins over and over again. Trying to repent each time, but to my knowledge it doesn’t seem to be any good if I comitt the sin continue and repent, even if I really mean it.
    This sin which I find myself caught up in involves the lust of the flesh (pornography). It is on my mind on a daily basis and I feel ashamed of that fact. I won’t lie and say I don’t give in to it every once in a while. My girlfriend is also addicted to pornography just as much or even more than what I am. But what I find strange enough is that I won’t stop to lust over a beautiful women in real life, as in that I see them as beautiful and not “lustfully sexy”. Furthermore my male work colleagues (most of them in serious relationships) often find themselves ditting in a strip club every other week, and I reluctently refuse to join as I don’t feel the need to be in a place like that. – perhaps its because I don’t want a further addiction. I haven’t been to one and I don’t think I’ll ever go to one. But at least with their addiction they can leave it at the strip club, where mine is at home in the form of magazines and dvd’s, starring me in the face and I’m too afraid of disposing of it for my own selfish reasons.
    And so clearly I find myself to be a sinner in The Lord’s Eyes but where do I stand, from a Christian point of view. Making me a sinner is human and inevitable but sinning the same sin continously?
    I search day after day in the bible and on the web for answers. Its all claiming that it is a sin. Even the Bible, although not so direct about it. However the one thing that startles me is that this act of sin is definitely in almost all cases a continuous sin and no man usually comitts it only once in their lifetime.
    So how do you know if this sin is forgiven if you repent and you really mean it, but the sin continues?

    I ask this advice from you fellow Christians as I would DEFINITELY want to share eternal life in heaven with God.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi,

      I waited to reply to your comment for a couple of reasons.  First, I wanted to finish off a post that I thought may be of interest to you regarding sin even though it does not directly address what you are asking.  (read it here. Don’t let the title scare you, it’s not what you think) Second, I wanted to direct you to a blog that has dealt with the issues that you are having trouble with.

      One of the things that I wanted to say is in reference to something you stated.  You said “where mine is at home in the form of magazines and dvd’s, starring me in the face and I’m too afraid of disposing of it for my own selfish reasons.” If that’s the position you are taking, then you are not willing to give up your sin.  You state you have “selfish reasons” for keeping your sin in your life. You need to decide what is more important to you, your reasons for keeping material or giving up the sin. Giving up sin is never ever easy for any of us. We all struggle with sin and we all have to give up things in our life that keeps us from having the relationship with Him that we should have.  David sinned greatly and he lost his child because of His sin. He cried out to God to restore the joy of his salvation. Obviously you don’t have joy in your salvation because of this sin that you cannot let go of. The lack of joy is coming through loud and clear in your comment.  At some point, you will pay a price for this sin (no, not the loss of your salvation) but God will chastise you.  Scripture states that if you are a child of God, He will chastise His children. (Hebrews 12:5-8).  Scripture states that if one is without discipline, then that person is illegitimate and not one of His.

      You ask “So how do you know if this sin is forgiven if you repent and you really mean it, but the sin continues?” The moment you became a child of God, all of your sins were forgiven.  When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price for your sins.  You were not yet born (obviously) so all of your sins were in the future. The sins we commit now and the sins we commit tomorrow, next week, etc. were paid for by Jesus on the cross. 

      The post I wanted to finish that I thought may be useful to you is

      I don’t have the knowledge nor expertise to help you with this.  However, I do know of a Christian blog that can help you. Click here to read the series on this particular sin.  You obviously have an addiction that needs to be dealt with.  Again, going back to your statement of being afraid of disposing of it because of your selfish reasons, it’s just something you’re going to have to do. Just think about other addictions that people have that have been overcome.  I can only imagine how difficult it is for an alcoholic to give up alcohol but if they don’t toss it out, they will always return to it.  The temptation is simply too great.  You are seriously hurting yourself by keeping the temptations at your disposal.  I urge you to go to the blog I linked to and read the series of posts on porn addiction and start a dialog with the blogger. He is better equipped to help you with this.

      God bless,

  6. Mark Yates

    regarding legalism and the cup. the outside of the cop is a reflection of the inside of a cup. read Matthew chapter 7 about the trees the bear good fruit and bad fruit and then read John 15 for a better understanding.

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