Sin Can’t Condemn Us?

Sin Can’t Condemn Us?

Richard Hollerman

Does sin have the power to condemn a Christian?  If a saved person chooses to sin, will that sin keep him from heaven?  One of the popular teachings in our day is that a Christian who has been saved from sin cannot do anything that will allow him to be lost in hell.  Is this a Biblical teaching?  Did Jesus teach it?  Did the New Testament writers proclaim it?

Recently I read an article entitled, “So, You’re a Baptist?” (The Light, January 2010).  The following portion speaks to the title that we’ve given the present article.  Notice this carefully and ask yourself if you or a friend happens to hold this faulty, deceitful, and disastrous view:

Sam Morris, deceased, once Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Stamford, Texas, wrote in his controversial tract Do A Christian’s Sins Damn His Soul?  “We take the position that a Christian’s sins do not damn his soul!  The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul. . . . All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger. . . . The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul.”

On August 5, 2009, George Sodini, 48, of Scott Township, PA, opened fire on an exercise class of women in a Pittsburgh gym, killing three people and himself. He wrote in his blog just before this atrocity: “I need to remain focused and absorbed COMPLETELY.  Last time I tried this, in January, I chickened out.  Let’s see how this new approach works.  Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus.  At least that is what I was told.  Eternal life does NOT depend on works.  If it did, we will all be in hell.  Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid.”

Perhaps more subtle, but nonetheless as inclusive as the preceding from Sam Morris, Mr. Billy Graham, Baptist preacher, assures: “When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God, and have the privilege of talking to him in prayer at any time about anything.  The Christian life is a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity.  You CANNOT end this relationship.  Once you have accepted Christ you are his forevermore.”

A Mr. Bill Foster, Baptist preacher in Louisville, KY made this comment: “If I killed my wife and mother and debauched a thousand women I couldn’t go to hell—in fact, I couldn’t go to hell if I wanted to.” (End quotations. Emphasis from The Light)

Is this popular teaching correct?  Is it Scriptural?  Is this what Jesus and the apostles wanted us to believe?  We know that some strict Calvinists would deplore these examples, but some of the “once saved, always saved,” “unconditional eternal security” proponents actually believe this serious error.  Furthermore, many people live their lives in known sin, acting as though they believed what the above teachers were willing to teach.  Such people are able to deliberately and unrepentantly do what they know to be wrong and sinful, yet think that they remain safe in Christ and bound for heaven!

The Scripture is clear: “If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).  Paul writes, “The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9).  Again, the apostle says, “Those who practice such things [sins] will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).  Only those who are willing to repent of their sin, will not perish (Luke 13:3).  Only those who repent of their sins will escape the judgment (Acts 17:30-31).  And what of those in sin?  “The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).

Please don’t allow the pious platitudes of persuasive preachers to deceive you!  Don’t permit the seductive teachings of smooth-talking teachers to lead you astray.  Don’t be fooled by the faulty reasoning of pastors who would pull out certain Bible verses and say that it doesn’t matter how you live your life.  The wages of sin continues to be death!


 

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