If I Die On My Way Home…
“If a believer dies and has not asked God to forgive him for his sins of the day will he be saved, or will he go to hell?”
This question was sort of posed at a recent bible study I was at. There are so many passages of scripture I can quote. I am going to quote one of my favorites:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Do you believe that? If this is true, that is, if you believe that Christ died for you while you were a sinner…then even while you are still a sinner, if you die, you are saved. Right?
The moment you believe in Jesus Christ as the saviour you are justified. Justification, in simple terms, means that you are forgiven of all your sins, past, present and future, for all time, because you believe that Jesus died in your place on the cross. Every sin you have committed, or will commit, has been placed upon the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The wrath of the Father, which was meant for you, was poured out on the Son. Jesus suffered in your place, not for some of your sins, or most of your sins, but for ALL of your sins. If you believe in him, and put your trust in him, you should never fear of dying.
A common misconception is that believers need to continually ask for forgiveness, as if the Father forgot his promises, or did not know that you would continue in sin when he saved you. No. You do not need to ask forgiveness every day, or every time you sin. Why? Because you are already forgiven! Rather, we must continually confess and repent of our sins. To confess your sin means that you admit your sins, you call them by name before almighty God, you admit your weakness, admit your helplessness, and admit that you are utterly dependent upon him for your salvation. To repent means to turn from the sin and then turn to him in thankfulness.
The moment you believe you are saved…and you are forgiven, you are justified. But that does not mean we are free to continue in our sins…daily, moment by moment, we must confess our sins, and repent, that is, turn from our sin and turn instead to God. And that is achieved through a process called sanctification. Sanctification, simply, is when the Holy Spirit works in our lives to overcome sins, and to bear the fruit of good works, so that we may become more and more like the perfect one, Jesus Christ. So with grace driven effort, out of thankfulness for the great and free gift of salvation, we bear fruit and strive to perfection.
So, a new believer may smoke, lie, view porn and be an alcoholic, but he is heartily sorry for these sins, has been forgiven and is struggling against them – even though he may fail in his body. A person 20 years into his sanctification may have overcome these things by God’s grace. If these two people were driving together and died together in a horrible accident, both would be welcomed into the everlasting arms of Jesus. Why? Not based on how sanctified they were, but based on how justified they are. Both are totally, completely, and finally justified by faith alone in Christ alone. Justification has nothing to do with us and our strength, but everything to do with God.
If a believer dies and has not asked for forgiveness for a particular sin, he is not eternally lost. God is so much bigger than that.
What about you? Are you a believer? Have you asked forgiveness for every sin? Are you even aware of every sin you have committed? I doubt it, so how would you even ask for forgiveness of those sins? Give thanks to God for this wonderful salvation that has nothing to do with our power, but everything to do with His power.
So to end I do not want you to think that sinning is ok, and not seeking forgiveness is ok. Those grafted by faith into Jesus will bear fruit, so I will end with James 2:14-26:
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.