A State of Heart…
Got asked the following question on a recent post:
Hi Warrior. For whatever the reason, Michael wouldn’t answer this particular question that I posed to him, but I’d like to hear your opinion:
My family and I used to attend a Word of Faith church that was led by a pastor who previously was the head editor for Kenneth E. Hagin’s publications. One Sunday, she preached that if a born-again believer happened to commit one sin and then died immediately before he or she had a chance to repent, that they would go to hell. Do you believe that?
Here’s my answer:
I believe (and this is what I see the Bible teaching) that being saved is a state of heart.
Only God will be able to judge this fairly.
So to answer your question, in your hypothetical situation: it depends on whether that one sin was big enough to put the person over the edge of where God deems your heart to be acceptable to Him or not…
Does this mean you can repent on your deathbed? Only God will know if your repentance was great / sincere enough to lead to a change of heart. So it’s not just fear talking, but a real conversion.
For most people becoming a Christian is a slow process of repentance and still living in sin. (I believe God intervenes in live and protects these people from dying prematurely by the way, until their sanctification is complete) For some people this process is immediate – we’ve all heard and seen the testimonies of people that had a radical encounters with God leaving their sinful lives forever changed afterwards. So yes, I believe it is possible to recant on your deathbed, but only God will know if it really lead to a change of heart.
The same thinking applies in your situation. It depends whether that one sin – left unconfessed was the last straw that meant that your heart NEVER would be acceptable to God. Note, I believe that should God deem the person worth saving, He would have intervened and allowed some miracle to take place, to save that person from dying – to allow him to repent and complete the sanctification process…
And this is why it is so important to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
I am not saying you to need to walk around repenting every single sin as quick as possible in the perpetual fear that the next moment I might die and go to Hell, because I did not repent of it. No, that means your salvation is purely dependant on whether you confessed all your sins.
I am saying that you need to get your heart into a place, where you have the faith and confidence that you are indeed saved. Not blind belief, but a faithfilled biblical understanding of what it means to be saved, and having and building your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you do not have this in your live, you really need to start questioning your own faith in fear and trembling, and start asking for change of heart as a matter of urgency!
1Jo 3:19 NKJV – And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
1Jo 3:20 NKJV – For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
1Jo 3:21 NKJV – Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
1Jo 3:22 NKJV – And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
1Jo 3:23 NKJV – And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
1Jo 3:24 NKJV – Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
It really puts verses like these into a new perspective:
Rom 8:15 NKJV – For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Rom 8:16 NKJV – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom 8:17 NKJV – and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him], that we may also be glorified together.
Rom 8:26 NKJV – Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Rom 8:27 NKJV – Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit [is], because He makes intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
Rom 8:28 NKJV – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.
Rom 8:29 NKJV – For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to be] conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 NKJV – Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.