Question:Many professing Christians do not walk the walk,
do not entertain celibacy, are still drinking, still addicted, are
living together, etc. I believe that when you are saved you are changed.
For some, the release from addiction seems to be miraculous, in that
they no longer are addicted. For others, it seems to take forever
for that change to come. 1 Corinthians 3:15 gives me the impression
that some Christians will smell of smoke but still be saved.My confusion
is this, if someone is saved, has repented and confessed Jesus as
Lord and Savior, but are continuing to commit sins (whether it is
over eating, smoking, fornication, adultery, lying, thinking the
wrong thoughts, pornography, omission) - sin from the smallest to
the greatest still being sin - how can sin keep you out of heaven
if you have received Christ? I don't understand why Christians aren't
chastised to the point when they sin that they would try not to sin.
I seem to be chastised if I congratulate myself for something the
Lord is telling me that He did and not me. Doesn't match some of
the horrendous sins we are capable of doing, but for me and God,
it does. In case I am still not making myself clear, I'm not trying
to make excuses for people to sin. Since we are saved by accepting
Christ, all sin past present and future being forgiven at the cross,
how can any sin keep us out of heaven? They have already accepted
Christ and have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Since the Spirit is
a seal, He's not going anywhere. So one can't be resaved. One can
only repent if truly sorry. Since only God knows the heart, we really
can't even say when a person is truly saved even by their actions
depending on where they are in their area of growth, but positionally,
are they saved? Since everyone who is saved has the Holy Spirit,
I think that Jesus keeps them saved by either bringing them back
to the fold or taking them out of the world as when the scriptures
speak of many who got sick and died when they partook of the communion
the wrong way. I don't want to come across as being judgmental or
critical, but this is a real concern for me when I speak to other
Christians who mention Jesus in their conversation and then talk
about living with their boyfriend. I can't seem to get a hang on
this. Can you help me out?
Bible Answer: To answer your question we will
turn to the New Testament book of 1 John. It was written by the apostle
John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Purpose of 1 John. At the end of the book
the apostle John explains why he wrote 1 John. He wrote it so that we
can know if we have eternal life.
These things I have written to you who believe in the
name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
(NASB) 1 John 5:13
That is the purpose of the book. From the first chapter to the last
chapter, the apostle provides a series of tests that a person can ask
of himself/herself to determine it he/she is a real Christian. These
are an important series of tests. They help a people to know if they
Your Question. One of these tests answers
your question. Here it is,
The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and
does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.
(NASB) 1 John 2:4-5
The meaning of the Greek word for “keep” has the idea to
carefully and watchfully keep. It has the idea of wanting to keep God’s
commands and doing it carefully. The Greek tense of the word “keep” is
a present active participle. This means a true Christian always wants
to obey and faithfully keeps seeking to obey. The passage says that a
person can claim to be a Christian, but if he/she has no desire to obey
God and is not trying to obey Him, then he/she has deceived himself/herself.
We can never know for sure that a person is a Christian; but when his/her
life has ongoing, unrepentant patterns of sin, there is reason to be concerned that he/she is not
real. Scripture is not kind towards those who claim to be Christians and then live like someone who
does not believe in Jesus. Even the Apostle Paul had doubts about the Corinthians who claimed to
be Christians but were sinning in many different ways. Therefore, he encouraged them to test
themselves to see if they were real.
Test yourselves to see if you
are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus
Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test? (NASB) 2 Corinthians 13:5
Conclusion:When Christians are comfortable with sin in their lives then
there is reason to be concerned that they are not real Christians. The truth is not found in
what they say. The truth is found in their pattern of life. A Christian who has an intimate
relationship with God will want to obey, to please God above anyone else - their family,
spouse, or girl friend or boy friend.