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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