Painfully, I’ve also heard those messages, even by men of God that we hold at high esteem. Someone even said that a Christian who committed sin doesn’t need to ask for forgiveness because Jesus has already carried his future sins. Which means if he continues to sin and doesn’t repent from his sinful ways, he’d make heaven.
They’d tell you that the only thing that can send a person to hell is the rejection of Christ; that once you accept Christ, you’ve become the righteousness of God in Christ. In furtherance to their submission, they’d say everytime God looks at you, He sees Christ. So no matter how much you sin, God is not seeing your sins; rather, He’s seeing the righteousness of Christ.
The mistake they make is that if God is seeing Christ, then who is Christ seeing? Ofcourse, Christ is seeing you, and He’s seeing your sins, and scripture makes it clear that He can blot your name out of the book of life because of unrepented sin.
One of the strategies I use to understand what the Apostles said is to use what Jesus and the Holy Spirit said to interpret what they said. Unfortunately, many believers and even preachers now do it the other way round. They read what the Apostles said and conclude that it’s the truth. Truth can only be established when there are at least two witnesses.
This is why Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son, so we can understand what the kingdom of heaven is like. Salvation and Repentance are two different and unique words as far as the Kingdom of heaven is concerned. While those who haven’t accepted Christ needs salvation, those who are already in Christ will need repentance (and seek forgiveness) when they get involved with sin.
The prodigal son was already in the kingdom of his father before he left, so he needed to repent and seek forgiveness to be reinstated. If he didn’t repent, he would have remained outside. One unique thing though, is that the Father is faithful and just to forgive, that’s why the prodigal son’s father ran to embrace his son even before his son could say a word. His return was already a language of repentance.
There’s no sin that God cannot forgive, but there’s no sin that God will forgive without repentance. A Christian who doesn’t repent from his sin is rebellious, and as we’d learn from the parable of the talent, Jesus casts out rebellious people.
So yes, sin can take a Christian to hell if he doesn’t repent. Jesus was clear about this in his teachings and parables. The Holy Spirit also communicated this in the book of Revelations. Let’s see a few of them:
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Did you notice verse 5? Jesus is in charge of the book of life at the moment, not God. That’s why God doesn’t have to look at you, He only needs to look at Jesus. Consequently, anyone that doesn’t overcome sin, He will blot out his name from the book of life and He’d not mention that person to God the Father.
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Just look at that! Any believer who is lukewarm will be spued out of His mouth. Perhaps we don’t understand the implication of Jesus not confessing us before the Father, it means we won’t be part of God’s everlasting life agenda. It means condemnation.
Here are a couple of additional passages that pretty much spell out the fact that one can lose one’s salvation:
– Matt: 6:15
– Matt: 19:21-35
– Matt: 10:22-32
– Luke 12:41-46
– 1 Cor. 15:1-2
– Colossians 1:22-23
– Hebrews 3:6, 14
– Rev. 2:10, 25-36, 3:1-5
– 2 Peter 2:20-22
These passages give a pretty strong witness to the fact that we can fall away and, if we do not repent and come back to Jesus, we could suffer the consequences for all eternity.
It’s true that the apostles said Jesus has already paid the sacrifice for sin in advance, but some of us are applying that revelation wrongly. If you read from Jesus and the Holy Spirit, then you’d understand that what the Apostles mean is that THERE’S NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SIN. The blood of Jesus will remain the atonement for sin. You don’t have to keep sacrificing a human being or an animal like they were doing in the old testament. So anytime you sin, don’t sacrifice a man or a goat, just repent using the existing blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus doesn’t expire, unlike animal blood that needed to be renewed yearly. That’s the correct explanation to what the Apostles said. The blood is once and for all.
There’s so much to say about this matter, but the article is already too long. The comment section will be open for conversations. If you still have doubts and need clarity after reading this, please do not hesitate to leave a comment. Let’s discuss this!
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!