Question:

I am a member of the Church of Christ and have been all my life (70 years). I was baptized, I think, when I was sixteen and really did not know the importance of it. I never regularly attended church as a child or a young adult. I would go occasionally but not like I should have.

I have retired and for the last several years have attended regularly Bible class, worship service, Wednesday night class, home group, and ladies' Bible class.

I strayed for many years and committed sexually immoral sins. I was molested as a child and as a result I turned to the same sex. I tried to be with a man but my terrible memories kept coming back.

I have repented and have sinned no more in many years, but I have read and studied the Bible and have learned that if you are baptized and then turn away and commit these sins, I have no way of entering the Kingdom of God. I am carrying a heavy burden and would like to know if this is correct.


Answer:

I know of no passage that states as you claim. There is no passage that states that God will refuse anyone who repents of their sins. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

Like many people, you have probably read passages, such as "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:4-6), which tells Christians that it is impossible to bring someone back to God who is determined to sin. But this passage says nothing about whether that same person might not change his own mind to return. I can't convince him to change while he has rejected God, but it doesn't mean that he can't turn on his own.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

A person cannot reach heaven while remaining in sin, but this clearly does not teach that sin need be permanent.

"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. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (I John 2:1-2).