Hi everyone, I read that someone posted a thought I’d like to hear other input from concerning “Our future sins are forgiven before we commit them without repentance.”
Hi Gary! I don’t know but I thought of two things that would make such sentence meaningful.
The first thing is, because God is outside our time frame, He can provide such a thing that no other man can.
Secondly, repentance in Greek is Metanoia. Meta means “change” and Noi means “mind” or “thought”. So the concept of repentance in Christianity isn’t just about feeling guilty about doing something wrong, but rather about the transformative change of the heart. It’s not just feeling. It should be an ongoing state of the believer; to always examine our thoughts and our desires.
God’s work of salvation is absolutely perfect and complete. Forgiveness is always provided but not often received. In Philippians 2, Paul tells them to work out their own salvation! I believe that Jesus holds the umbrella of salvation and forgiveness and calls us to take shelter beneath it but this requires active participation on our side.
Let me know @pilgrim2 what concerns you regarding this statement?
Thank you Sara. I agree that forgiveness is an active participation. I believe the scriptures teach us we are forgiven of our sins that are past & present when we repent. I can find no scripture that teaches future sins are forgiven without repentance. That seems to be a dangerous road to antinomianism. Maranatha!
@pilgrim2 Personally, I think that talking about past, present and future forgiveness is a bit odd. What matters is that we are in Christ and since Christ has no fellowship with darkness, we must walk in the light as He is in the light.
However, I would like to share an article with you from Gospel Coalition that shows how people who believe that our past, present and future sins are forgiven are not antinomian. In other words, someone can hold to the position all our sins are forgiven without encouraging lawlessness. I do not necessarily agree with this position in its entirety, but I think we need to try hard to understand other peoples’ perspective and how they make sense of challenges to their perspective within their own frame of reference.
Hope that offers some food for thought
First , from God’s viewpoint there is no problem with saying that when he declares us just, he forgives our future sins—as well as our past and present sins—since our future lies before him as an open book. Yet from our point of view, it’s best to think of our justification as the forgiveness of all our past and present sins, and as the judicial ground for the forgiveness of future sins.
As we live our lives and unfortunately sin, we need to return to God in repentance and faith and seek his forgiveness. Yet we do so on the basis of Christ’s work applied to us in our justification. Such an experience is not a new justification but a renewed application of our justification.
Thank you for this contribution @SeanO. I would like to share this with both of you. @pilgrim2
I think a common question that arises with such statements is the one concerning suicide or a believer going astray. How do we respond to people asking: “I know X or Y, and he or she used to love the lord, but certian events took place and they no longer came to church afterwards nor had a relationship with God as they used to.” These people did not get a chance to ask God for forgiveness. So will they be forgived based on what they previously used to believe in their hearts or would we say, “May be if they had stronger faith, maybe if they understood things better…etc that wouldn’t have happened in the first place”?
The obvious answer is, ‘only God knows’, but I would love to navigate how would to respond to such questions, often filled with much emotions.
@saraisaac Great question I do think there is a degree to which only God knows the heart of any individual. However, I think we also a beautiful image in Scripture of God as our Father and that means we have been adopted as His children. While I do think people can fall away from the faith, I do not think that God kicks His kids out of the family every time they mess up or struggle. I think it requires a persistent heart attitude of rebellion. God is a gracious Father and we should not fear being kicked out of the family for a single mistake. That said, we should also take sin seriously and recognize its consequences.
- you are a child in God’s family once you repent. A father does not kick their child out of the family every time they stumble - especially when they are young and still learning to walk. In the same way, our Heavenly Father does not kick us out every time we stumble, but He does discipline us, just as a father a child he loves (Hebrews 12:4-12). We need to take sin seriously - we need to repent - but we do not need to fear that we will be kicked out every time we fall. The Father is there to pick us up and help us continue on the journey.
How Rick and Kay Warren responded to their son’s suicide:
Thank you so much for the reply Sean! I am going to watch this video. I didn’t know that actually
Someone dear to me took his life earlier this year. The answer I was given is; what doors that are no longer accessible to our human bodies are not obstacles for GOD.
I think by our logic it is easy to conclude if we are unable to touch, hold, or speak to someone, then its game over. But I was reminded of the preaching that CHRIST did while His body lay buried. I was reminded of those who had been called back from the clutch of death. Of the man who pleaded from hell for his brothers. It seems clear the conversation continues after the death of the human body. Physical death is no more a barrier for GOD than earthly remote locations on earth are to the realization of His gift of salvation.
My understanding is, if GOD so chooses, the conversation does not end at the physical grave. What does end, is my ability to know and see the outcome. We derive a measure of comfort from believing we know what the end was. So, I have relinquished that measure of comfort to the Lord. Its not my call, but it is not my worry either. Because the spirit of suicide operates on lies and deception I can only hope that when the truth of what was done is realized; it prompts a contrite heart, broken spirit and a reach for GOD. But I can not know.
However, what I do know is the Agape love of GOD’s heart. If there is a place to turn into His arms. If there is a place to know Him after physical death; than GOD is faithful to provide it. What my heart cannot know, is whether my love one took advantage of the opportunity.
Hope that helps.
I am sorry to hear that @cer7. I too have lost two of my friends to suicide and though I knew them and spent time with them we never got to talk about their relationship with God.
I don’t think that suicide is unforgivable but it can’t just be viewed as single act independent of the person as a whole. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a sin. Even those who had chemical imbalance or depression, it means they had a reason for it, it doesn’t mean it’s a legit or justified reason. But it’d be unfair to sum up the person based on that final act of anguish.
Jesus says that the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. If one does he is the one putting the “barrier” and rejecting God’s hand altogether. C.S Lewis has a famous quote from the Problem of Pain:
The gates of hell are locked from the inside.
He also says in the great divorce:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.
The parable of the Rich and Lazrus you referred to, Rhodes, actually announces that life is enough to make such a decision. And God as you said, is a faithful father. He does not leave himself without a witness. I can almost assert that no man leaves this life without an encounter with our Living Lord. And those who did not respond in this life, won’t in any other life.
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.
I think we are still on the same page but please go ahead and let me know if you have a different opinion on something.
@saraisaac Yep, now they reach out and help others walking along a similar journey, though hopefully not with a similar ending. There is a need in the Church to better understand mental health issues and not be reductionist in our approach.
I have a much different understanding of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. You can not blaspheme what you have never known. I know Atheist and others take delight in announcing what they consider is blasphemy. But again, you can’t blaspheme what you have never known.
“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”
“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Though I can’t speak to the motivation of every suicide event, I would conclude that, ultimately, the act of suicide indicates that the individual never reached a familiarity with the Holy Ghost.
What I wanted to share, was not that suicide is not a sin, but rather the outcome of that act is beyond our knowing.
Likewise, the inclusion of the brother appealing for his brothers from hell does not indicate that salvation is possible after death; but rather that the conversation does not end at the grave.
It did not end with JESUS at the crucifix. 1Peter 3:18-20. It did not end for Lazarus four days in the grave. John 11:14-44. But suicide leaves the answer in question. We can only hope but we don’t know. There is always the chance that even with such availability people will reject redemption. It is impossible for us to know. I would expand that by saying, our preoccupation with declaring one way or another is human enough. But it does not identify the limits of GOD’s authority in life or death.
So, yes I speak often of the lie covered by the spirit of suicide. The deception that causes many of us to believe we have the ability to direct our own destiny. But that deception is not limited to the act of physical suicide but also accompanies spiritual suicide as well. It is wrong to take the gift of life and reduce it to immediate comfort or anger. Suicide transgresses the gift GOD has given and wrecks harm upon those who dared to love us. Of course, it is wrong.
But if I can make my bed in hell and the Lord is still there, why would the prison of death cause Him a problem? Psalms 139:1-17.
OK, at the risk of this being removed for being non-stream Christian let me offer a different way of looking at sin that answers the question. First, we are made in the image of our Father and thus are perfect in His eyes This means we are incapable of sinning. The sin that is committed is a sin ON us not by us. The sin committed against us is a sin against our Father as well as us and Father recognizing the sin is against His child wipes that sin away (forgiving is blotting it out as if it never happened). Because our Father is Good and only Good there can be no sin in His Kingdom and we, as His creation are members of His Kingdom. So when Father forgives us He is (thru His Love and Truth) reclaiming what is His and blotting out forever that which is NOT His and sin is NOT His. Jesus cast out the sin as it is an invasion of the Spiritual Mind and Body created by our Father. - Repenting, then is accepting Father’s Healing Love and Truth and extending that Healing Love and Truth to others. Thus Love Father and Love each other. Jesus gave us our mission - Cast out sin in ourselves with Love for one another. Father is Love and Love is Forgiveness. Sinning is an attack on Father - Loving Father is our armor against sinning.and accepting Father’s Love is Loving Him back and that is our Forgiveness.
Hi @Jack_Cowan! Thank you for jumping in! Don’t you worry, this is a safe place to examine our ideas and test our beliefs with others who can help us.
I think we need to establish a common understanding of what Sin really means. C.S Lewis says:
The sin both of men and of angels, was rendered possible by the fact that God gave us free will.
God is capable of creating beings who are incapable of sinning or refusing him. But He wouldn’t delight in that. The idea of ‘Love’ is absolutely absurd without the possibilty of freedom. Imagine you setting your smart phone to say every morning, “Good morning Jack. I love you.”
Yes, it is costly for God but that is just a proof of His goodness.
Yes, but it not like God getting amnesia. There 's a broader sense of love and acceptance when we realize that we are fully known yet fully accepted.
You’re right. There shall be no sin in the coming kingdom of God. There used to be song that we used to sing at our Sunday school at church, it said in my own language, “Jesus took my sin and threw it in the sea, TISHH! And threw it in the sea TISHH!” Well, I guess that’s not merely the case. We got some throwing to do ourselves as well. Paul encourage Timothy telling him:
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:11-12
Jesus indeed lifted the punishment of Sin and reconciliated us to God. There is grace of course
and freedom in Christ. But without fighting the good fight, we are not suitable beings of Heaven. Our character wouldn’t be ripe enough to assume such a position. If we don’t know how to hold an arrow and a bow here on earth, we are not apt to hold a harp there in heaven.
Would love to hear your thoughs dear Jack!
There is a topic about “is once saved, always saved?” --> How would you explain 2 Peter 1:5 to once saved always saved, hypergrace believer?
I guess we’ll always run back to whether he/she truly knew God or not and that’s not something tangible to argue from. But yes real believers can can mess a big time yet always find God’a arms wide open. But in this situation, they are no longer able to do so. So, this brings me to this:
What sort of conversation do you mean? And is this conversation available for both believers (or once was) and non-believers? And to what purpose will it serve?
When I say conversation I mean communication with GOD. I believe all of life involves communication with GOD. Things we consider tragic are also a part of that conversation. In the midst of what certainly is tragic to us, there is something from GOD. When we stop bemoaning our condition we listen to hear what GOD says to our souls. It is how all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord.
I call it conversation because that’s how it comes to me. So, I have found myself in ICU from one condition or another; but the Lord brought great comfort and joy. Who in the world finds comfort and joy from an ICU room? I did. When I realized where I was I thanked the Lord for the chance to nap, and went right back to sleep. I rested because I knew I was in good hands. I knew the most extreme thing that could happen was to be ushered into glory.
In 2016 I went to emergency care seven different times. But I found when I quieted myself, I could plainly see the benefits of my experience. People thought I was lying. But I was not. For awhile the hospital felt more like a time of vacation and rest. And though the prognosis was grim, I felt sheltered and held.
Every time I hear someone moan about the condition of our society today; I am not shaken. I know GOD is talking to both saint and sinner. It is up to us to listen. When this conversation will end, I leave up to GOD. There is a part, as one of His redeemed, that I must play. However, I am not tasked with deciding when GOD is finished with an individual. But I know to assume my soul will be redeemed, between the stirrup and the ground, is a gamble I would not take. And I tell others not to take it either. I would think to wait and deliberately gamble with the opportunity for redemption might guarantee that the opportunity never materializes. GOD knows the heart. That’s what condemns us.
The conversation is unending. We can feel alone because we don’t listen. But the Lord never stops reaching for any of us. But when it’s too late, when that grace has been withdrawn is something I don’t feel it is my call to declare; specifically in cases of suicide. I just don’t know. But I don’t pretend to know. I won’t send anyone to hell or heaven.
Gary, I’m having trouble understanding the meaning of the post. Can you tell me more explicitly what you think it is saying? I could understand if the question is about how our future sins are forgiven, but I’m not sure that is what is being asked.
Sorry forgot to answer your first question. I would not be able to align my exclamation with a “once saved always saved” doctrine. Although it is a popular premise suggested in the plan of salvation; I don’t believe it is supported by the scriptures. I have many friends and family who believe otherwise.
The short of the idea for me is if I can walk into Glory with salvation and my besetting sin; I am most certainly going to keep my sin. Besetting sins offer a measure of pleasure that’s why they can beset me. If Grace means GOD will not hold to my account any present or future sin. That’s a benefit I would exploit.
I’ve been thinking about what you said about “Personally, I think that talking about past, present and future forgiveness is a bit odd.” What did you think was “a bit odd” about my statement? Maybe I didn’t phrase what I said correctly.
I believe we are forgiven for future sins because how can Jesus’s death in one point in time cover everyone in that time period and those now who accept him unless it’s for future sins as well. If not he would have to die multiple times. But repentance as was stated by others is something that is on the believer to do. Meaning to live a life that is pleasing to God.
If you love him you will follow his commands. When it comes to suicide one thing I know for sure is that like how you can be born blind or without limbs you can be born with a chemical imbalance which can cause you not to think rationally. That’s not something you can control most times even with proper medication. I have family members who hear voices and see things that aren’t there even while on meds and have wanted to commit suicide because they didn’t know what was real anymore. They are Christian and desperately want to please God but it’s hard when reality is distorted.
This is why I do believe God is just an understands situations like this and I don’t think he would fault a believer for killing themselves so much so that they would go to hell. I do believe he’d rather they live and I’m not saying it isn’t sinful, but I do think God being love itself understands.
Ultimately we aren’t God and can’t judge someone’s heart. People who we think won’t make it through are probably the ones who understand grace better than any of us and will be there with Christ. Lol while others who we thought had it all together may not be who we think they are.
Anthony, I was talking about the doctrine of unconditional eternal security. That doctrine that is taught in some denominations is actually antinomianism.