How can I get to heaven if I've told a lie?


I was pondering this question. Jesus states that those who are liars, murderers, etc. will not inherit the kingdom of God. In Revelation it states "And nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." However, in Psalms it states He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

I am conflicted. On one hand certain types of people will not get into the kingdom; however, that verse in Psalms tells me that he has already removed our sins from our lives. As a Christian, we stumble and fall. Christians slip up like everyone else. How are we to separate this issue? As a Christian I feel God cares about the heart, and if He has your heart you will serve Him. Not saying that you won't make any mistakes, because you will, I know I have lied since becoming a Christian, and have done other things. I know I will probably lie again. But God has my heart, I am just asking because I was on campus and saw a preacher talking about God's wrath and judgement and not His love and compassion. Thoughts?


In regards to God, people have a strong tendency to try and simplify God. They tend to focus on only a few of His attributes and forget that God is greater than they imagine. I have a longer study that goes in greater detail, called The Lord Your God is an Awesome God! but if you are pressed for time, there is a shorter lesson that I would like you to look at and think about: "Oversimplifying God."

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 1:8-2:1).

If I understand your quandary correctly, you are not distinguishing between a person who actively wallows in a sin and the one who slips up, sins, but then works to not repeat the sin.

Let's use lying as the example. When Revelation 21:8 says all liars will experience the second death, he is talking about people who actively, presently lie. People who either don't think lying is wrong, or who think that they are justified in telling lies. These are people who don't regret the lies they have told in the past and who made no effort to change their behavior. What God is not saying is that anyone who ever told a lie will die.

That is what forgiveness is about. When we are forgiven of sin by God, He treats us as if it never happened. It doesn't remove the memory of our sin, nor does it mean we won't face consequences because of our sin, but as far as God is concerned, the sin is gone. "Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back" (Isaiah 38:17).

Now, God's forgiveness is based on our changing our behavior. We have to repent of the fact that we sinned. ""But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23). That is what distinguishes a righteous man from a wicked man.

"Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whoever remains in him doesn't sin. Whoever sins hasn't seen him, neither knows him. Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn't commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his brother" (I John 3:4-10).

This is not as clear in English as it is in Greek, but John is not contradicting himself by saying Christians cannot sin. He is saying a real Christian cannot stay in sin because his desire to serve Jesus pulls him out.

Think of it this way. A wicked person is never totally wicked. Even the most vile person will do something right or good once in a while. But we don't call him righteous because that is not his nature. He returns to sin. Similarly even the most holy man, outside of Christ, whom we can imagine still slips in sin occasionally, yet we do not call him wicked because that is not his nature. He turns from his sins and returns to righteousness.

So the question is not whether you've ever told a lie, but whether if you have turned away from that sin, repented of it, so that God can forgive you of your trespasses. That is what determines who you are and where you are going.