Question:

Hello,

I want to love God with all my mind, heart, and soul. I respect God and by God I mean YHWH, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit. God is indeed good and has blessed me and my family much. I have been and am still living quite a sinful life. I recognize my sin now because before I was ignorant of its validity and audacity. I am a very evil man. I have no illusions of my goodness for a bad tree bears bad fruit and a good tree bears good fruit. I am not good, but I believe in what is good, and what is good comes from God and from God alone. I recognize my sins and what types of sins they are. Sadly I still commit either physically or mentally adultery, murder, covet, hatred, lies, theft, pride, idoltary (though not intended), and just about every other sin, though I fear blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I do not delude myself into believing that I myself can break away from my sins. It is only through the strength of God that I can ever resist. When I do resist I thank God. When I don't I ask for forgiveness.

Now my question, or more of an accusation, is that you claim that salvation is in true repentance as in not just asking for forgiveness but truly turning from your sins. The Bible says that salvation comes purely and without question from my Beloved Yeshua the Son of God on High, whilst he did his fathers will he died and took all sins upon himself. The Bible states clearly that salvation comes from Jesus, that no man truly searches for God, that no man is righteous, and that God gives of the waters of life freely not because of our actions but because of Yeshua's actions. Now my quarrel with you is that you either claimed or gave the strong impression that salvation comes from not sinning. Most of your answers are on how to make yourself stop sinning. Now while I 100% agree with attempting to stop sinning and that it is important, I do not hold the same view that even if you stopped sinning that it would make any difference in your salvation. Believing in Jesus in totality is the price of salvation, not a price we paid, but a price we must believe.

I am wicked, as is every single man, woman and child. I think we get a little carried away with our own righteousness that we all believe we have to an extent. My problem is that you give the impression that, yes, Jesus saves you, but you have to change all your ways to taste the gift of salvation. If that is biblical than the gift of salvation isn't necessarily a gift is it? If salvation is not given freely but only given to those who obtain the attitude of turning from sin, then salvation becomes something you earn not that you receive. Clearly I cannot receive salvation from my works, for I am a sinner, though a sinner who recognizes and truly attempts true repentance. I cannot never live up to the law of the Lord, and barely if I even, to the law of faith.

Now for people like you and me, Hell is a much more vicious thing, because when an ignorant atheist goes to hell, they are subjected to a certain type of punishment. When backsliding Christians who fall from grace go to hell, or any Christian that goes to hell, we receive the greatest damnation imaginable, the same as Judas. Now I don't want to burn in hell obviously, but the pain is irrelevant when concerning Hell. The true torture for me is being separated from God. I love God, and I pray for God to give me the ability to love him more than I do always, and the most important commandment: Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:30-31, Matthew 26:36-40.

So the very simple yet not so simple question or accusation: If I am a God-fearing, attempting God loving Christian who recognized his sins, recognizes that Yeshua is the Son of God the Father, Creator and Savior of Mankind, that I need Yeshua for salvation, that I will put on the Bride's Groom for Yeshua, that none of my actions can save me, only some make me fall away, that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is one of the few true ways a Christian can burn, who commits just about every sin, but loves God, asks for forgiveness every time he sins and means it, but does the same sin every time even though trying not too. Am I damned?


Answer:

You start out with a common but flawed set of reasoning. Because I talked with some about the need to repent, you incorrectly assume that it is exclusive -- despite the fact that neither I nor the Bible talk about repentance in an exclusive manner. You then pick one aspect of how we are saved -- through the sacrifice of Jesus and then apply that as if it is the only factor in a person's salvation; something that the Bible never states. There are numerous things all contributing to a person's salvation. See: What Saves a Person?

Let's reverse the argument. Can anyone be saved without repenting of their sins? Jesus said, "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Clearly repentance is not optional; it is a requirement -- a requirement that God has set and not man.

Can a fornicator be saved while continuing his sins? God says "no." "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" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Therefore, continuing to sin has a negative impact on one's salvation.

"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? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die" (Ezekiel 18:21-24).

Turning from sin is not all that is necessary for men to be saved, but it is a factor in each man's salvation. "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

Nowhere in the Bible does God say that belief is the sum total of all that man must do to be saved -- though do notice that it is something people do. James says there is more involved because you cannot have faith if you do not have obedience. "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).

While God points out that we all sin (I John 1:8,10), He does not say we need remain sinners.

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19).

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2).

"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him" (I John 2:28-29).

"Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:6-8).

You seem to be claiming that people can repent of sin simply by expressing sorrow for doing it, but without any effort of changing their behavior. That some slip and fall back into sin is a common problem, but it doesn't mean the Christian is content to accept sin as inevitable. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:7-8). By ourselves, that effort is inadequate, but God requires us to make the effort and He takes care of what we cannot do.