How Much Sin Can I Do and Still Go To Heaven

Question:

If a person says they are born again, but still participates in partying, drinking, drugs; will they go to heaven?

Answer:

This question is very similar to another question which is located here:  Says He’s Saved, But Still Drinks and Takes Drugs

Where is the line?  How much sin can a person do and still get into heaven?  If a person wants to do sin, why would they want to be in heaven with the Holy God anyway?  Actually, there is no such line described in Scripture, but there are severe warnings.  The Bible tells us that if someone falls short in even one point, that person is guilty of the entire law.  That is very serious.  Yet, the Scripture is also very clear that there is no way to earn salvation through works.  How many works and what quality would they have to have in order to be acceptable enough to earn salvation?  Again, the Scripture indicates that it would be impossible for us to earn our salvation.  Yet, there is a lot in the New Testament about good works and holiness.

Disobedience is not to be taken lightly.  It is very serious.  There are consequences here and there are consequences in the age that is to come.  Wickedness also affects others, and God will not hold a person guiltless who destroys the souls of others.

There is a lot that we do not know about the judgments of God, but there is a lot that we do know.  We know, for instance, that those who walk in disobedience and teach others to walk in disobedience will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Some people teach the Kingdom of Heaven as if everything will be equal there.  The Bible teaches of rewards.  “Your reward shall be great…”  There is a lot in the Bible about this.  Since all righteousness is a free gift (that is grace) we can see from the following scriptures how this works.  I may not quote these exactly, but I’ll just put them in here as they come to mind:  Whatever is not of faith is sin.  Faith come by hearing and hearing comes by the word (literally, utterance) of God.  It is faith that gives us access into this grace.  Then, we have a number of places where it is plainly stated that it is not us who does the work but it is grace, the free gift, that does the works in us.  In Romans, it tells us that righteousness is a free gift.

So righteousness consists of God speaking, us acknowledging Him rather than the world, the devil, or our sinful flesh, and God imparting faith to us.  Faith opens the door to grace and the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.  Anything that we think, say, or do that does not follow this pattern of “by grace, which is through faith” is called sin.  Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.  Romans 14:23

At the end of this present evil age, our repented sins will NOT be brought up if we have been born again.  God says that He will forget them and remember them no more.  It is a perpetual salvation.  However, our rewards will be based on all the work that God has done through us.  There will be two judgment seats of Christ, which the Bible speaks of.  One is to punish the wicked.  The other is to reward those works of Christians that are by faith.  Look at it this way: God gives us His leading.  If we acknowledge, pay attention to, Him, He gives us His faith, a kind of supernatural belief.  Then, He gives us His free gift of righteousness, His Love, and He does His works through us.  He has done everything.  He would never force us into this, but all we did was to allow Him to do it.  Then, He turns around and rewards us as if we had done something.  That is a great deal.  This is the grace of God.

But what of the things that were not of faith.  Suppose we had a thought of sexual desire.  Suppose we went out preaching the gospel when God didn’t send us.  Suppose we got involved in a charity and God didn’t lead us there, but it was what we wanted to do.  Suppose we stole a pencil from work and took it home.  Suppose we bought a car that God didn’t tell us to buy.  Those works will be burnt up.  If we confess our faults, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins.  At the same time, there will be NO reward for our sins.  “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

There is one other thing.  “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, Who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30  The Father made Christ Jesus our Wisdom.  Jesus is Wisdom.  There is no other wisdom available to us.  In the Greek, the three elements of wisdom given here, righteousness, holiness and redemption, are not exhaustive.  In other word, there may be more to wisdom than this, but these three things are part of wisdom, which is Jesus Christ.  If you look at these three, righteousness, holiness and redemption, you will see that they are progressive.  Let me explain.  Righteousness is the Love of God.  Love fulfills the whole law.  God created us to flow with His Love by the process of “by grace through faith” that you just read about a couple paragraphs ago.  This righteousness is in the moment.  That is why you can be praying in the Spirit one moment and someone does something and you get angry the next moment.  There is a difference between faith and faithfulness.  Faithfulness literally means stabilty.  Faithfulness is not in the moment but is something that you become, but righteousness is in the moment.  Faithfulness is the same as holiness or sanctification and is a change in your heart/mind/soul.  When God does His righteousness through you, this causes a small change in your heart.  He plants good seed in your heart through righteousness (you reap what you sow), which grows up and bears the fruit of the Spirit.  By the Water of His Spirit, He softens the soil of your heart (I’m speaking in metaphors) to receive the seed.  You die to self and begin to live to Him.  Paul said, to the Galatian Church, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” 4:19  Christ is formed in you to a greater degree each time you submit to the Holy Spirit.  You cannot submit to Christ without being changed in your very nature.  As we all, with the fleshly veil taken away from our faces so that we can see reality, look and see the glory of the Lord as if looking at an image, we are transfigured into that same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.  This is a progressive experience that is meant for the Church, but many have lost sight of it because they teach being born again as the end of being saved… when it is only the beginning.  So, righteousness leads to holiness or sanctification, which is faithfulness or stability, but it also leads to redemption, which is freedom or a release from bondage to our sinful nature.  Anyone who has walked with God for any time will attest to the fact that there were sinful inclinations and temptations in their past that no longer have an effect on them.  They have been set free from them.  This freedom is redemption.  All of this is supposed to work in concert with the Church being built according to the pattern of Scripture.  In other words, the man-made offices, ministries, forms, doctrines, and rituals are to be removed and the holy pattern that God has given us in Scripture is to be gradually revealed and we are to walk according to that pattern until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man (The Church in perfect unity with Christ and with each other member of the Body of Christ) to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Given all of that, consider the person who walks in willing sin.  The battle described above is clearly a battle for the mind.  The mind will be conformed to one of two–it will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ by yielding to the Spirit of God or it will be conformed to the image of Satan by yielding to the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh.  When someone sins on purpose, that person is setting a course that is not good.  They can let these things slip as the Scripture declares.  They can walk right out of the Kingdom of God.  I know of people who have gone from Spirit-filled believer to acid-tongued Atheist by this very process.  How sad.

Yet, the glories of walking in the Spirit are so wonderful that we really cannot comprehend them right now.  We have every reason to move on with God to higher heights and deeper depths.  God is calling us higher, and to remain where we are is disobedience.  May every person press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.  To search for the most fleshly way that one could live and still make it into the Kingdom is insane.  It is not dealing with reality.

 

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