Will someone like that go to heaven?
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There is no sin that cannot be forgiven through faith in Christ. The death of Jesus satisfied God's judgment for all the sins of humankind from eternity past to eternity future, and allows humans to obtain eternal life through faith in Him. Without His sacrificial death and resurrection, every human would be consigned to eternal separation from God. From a human standpoint, some specific sins might be regarded as too egregious or atrocious to be forgiven -- either by humans or by God. But God in His holiness does not make such distinctions. In His eyes, committing even the smallest sin is as unacceptable and as worthy of the same punishment as committing every possible sin (James 2:10). It is only by God's grace (undeserved love and mercy) that any human can obtain eternal life in God's presence through repentance and faith in Christ. That is why none of us are in a position to judge others -- because, apart from Christ, we are all equally guilty before God, and deserve only His condemnation.
One thing that helps me when I think about murderers who have "accepted Christ" before death is thinking about how the spiritual side of things works. I had a teacher explain once that the old person dies and the new one is raised in Christ. Therefore, the old murdering person is dead and the new one, the new creature, is the one who will be with God in eternity. It's sort of a black-and-white view of it, but it helps me make sense of it. (Also, it is not up to us to judge whether someone makes a "true" conversion or not. Thank God that He is the one who will judge the living and the dead.)
Agreed with Mr. Maas. All sin is mortal sin as it separates us from a holy God and all sin will bear consequences (Numbers 14:34, Jeremiah 32:18). All people have sinned and don’t “deserve” God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Good news though: everyone who accepts Christ through faith receives grace and forgiveness, a clean slate, if you will 1 John 1:9. Having said that, the person that refuses to recognize their own sin and great need for God will not receive His grace, forgiveness or salvation. Furthermore, the person that calls himself "christian" yet continues to sin shows himself to be under the leadership of Satan and not Christ (1 John 3:8). Jesus said in the gospel according to Matthew 13:41-42: "The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." In John's Revelation 21:8, again we're told that those who make a practice of sinning will face the consequence of the second death: "But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Hell is not a popular topic or nice to think about, but we should not be fooled-- it is the real end of those who refuse to acknowledge God and make his Son their Savior. Salvation and eternal life is free to all people; but each person must want it enough to have the Son be Lord over their life: "And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
I am also in agreement with Mr. Maas, whether your sin is stealing paper clips from the office or murder etc. All sin is equal in God's eyes. None are elevated as more egregious than the other. Even people who are Christian and do continue to sin are forgiven if they repent, truly repent, and not keep sinning because they know they can be forgiven. We are all sinners. None of us is capable of complete abstinence from sin. I find sometimes I am repenting for the same sin all the time, but I am truly sorry for grieving the heart of God. Just because we are Christian does not mean we will be sinless, it is not possible, which is why God gave us Christ the only sinless person, to sacrifice Himself for our sins. And He will give a person until he or she draws their last breath to confess Christ and repent (He knows our hearts) to be welcomed into His Kingdom and not have to face the second death, which is reserved for those sinners who never repent and never confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. He loves us all, and losing even one of us to the enemy grieves Him. He takes no joy in the death of even the most wicked of mankind.
Regardless if saved or unsaved, when we die, we all turn to dust and the spirit goes back to God who gave it (Eccl 12:7). Just as David, who is resting the grave (Acts 2:29, 34), all the dead presently are resting in the grave awaiting the resurrection – the 1st resurrection of the saved, or the 2nd of the wicked (John 5:28, 29; Rev 20:5, 6). Any unconfused and deliberate sin is enough to destroy any hope of eternal life. That’s why one bite of forbidden fruit was enough to cause death - Adam and Eve purposely disobeyed God’s command. In 1 John 3:4 sin is defined as lawlessness: the intentional breaking of God’s Word. In Revelation 21:8 we have a list of sins that would separate the sinner from God: murderers, the sexual immoral and liars are all lumped together as unfit for heaven. However, while any sin is an abomination to God, not all sins are equal. This is partly because each sin carries different consequences for both the offender and the victim. For instance, murder causes way more pain than a person lying about his/her age, weight or height. But we all have biases. For example, a heterosexual man can relate to the concept of sexual temptation. On the other hand, since that man is not attracted to other men, he cannot easily relate to the temptation of homosexuality. This bias causes us to be more understanding of one particular sin and less understanding of something we consider deviant or abnormal. And we often rank sins based on the associated consequences and our own biased. But each of our sins nailed Jesus to the cross (Rom. 3:23). When we understand this, it is much easier to be less judgmental of others sins. Matthew 18:5, 6 has very serious warning for child abusers – it appears that this sin is more appalling to God than others. It also appears that there are degrees of punishment for sinful unrepented behavior. In Luke 12:47, 48 Jesus talking about the last day judgment, is clearly saying that some will be beaten more severely than others in rapport with the knowledge they received. It is extremely difficult to say who is going to be saved and lost because only God knows the heart of man; however, anyone who is refusing the free gift of grace is going to face God's judgement and punishment (Heb 10:26, 27; 2 Peter 2:9).
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