Should we repent of new sins?
The Bible says that Jesus paid for all of our sins, even the future ones, and that we are saved by God’s grace as a free gift, but we have to actually claim the gift by faith every day (see 1 Corinthians 15:31 and Luke 9:23 below). That means that the forgiveness is available for all, because Jesus took them all upon Himself on the cross, and paid the price for all of them with His blood. But we still have to repent and ask forgiveness for the sins, to receive the forgiveness. If we say that we don’t have to repent and ask God’s forgiveness, and that we don’t have to ask Him to change our minds so that He can live in us and transform our characters, so that sin becomes something we hate, then we actually are just happily going on in sin. God does not save us in our sin, He saves us from our sins. God hates sin, and wants to change us to hate sin too. But God loves sinners, and if He doesn’t change our characters, we will never be able to love those around us as He does. Why then does He ask us to do exactly that, love others as He loves us? You see, Jesus does forgive us our sins, but not before we repent, confess and ask for forgiveness, every time we sin. Jesus does not just forgive our sins automatically, we have to ask.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Corinthians 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Matthew 6 12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 15:10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
1 John 2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Luke 24 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Now I already know that there are many people, and perhaps those at your school, who say that once you are saved, you are never thereafter lost. They say that whatever you do after the first acceptance of Christ, you can never be lost after that, and that is why we do not have to repent and ask for forgiveness again. That means that if you claim to be a Christian, having once given you life to Jesus, you can now live like the devil, yet be saved in the end. That is totally against the Bible! Look at the example of King Saul, who, just before he became king, was filled with the Holy Spirit and became a “new man” – which we take as being saved – yet in the end he was rejected by God, because of his bad choices, and his clinging to his sins. Look at the highlights of his history.
1 Samuel 10 6 Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
9 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
1 Samuel 15 10 Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”
1 Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
1 Samuel 28 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.
In addition, there are many passages in the Bible that talk about people falling away from the faith, turning from their righteousness, or departing from the faith. Why would they be there, if it is impossible to be lost, once you are saved? Here are some examples.
Luke 8:13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Hebrews 6 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Ezekiel 3 20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”
Ezekiel 33:18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it.
1 Timothy 4 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
2 Peter 2 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
Also, why would God give warnings about people trying to pull others away from their faith, if it was impossible to be taken away from being saved? Here are some passages that give warnings of what would happen in the future.
Acts 20 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
2 Peter 2 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
And finally, why would Jesus spend a lot of time in His final big speech to His disciples, warning them about being deceived by the devil’s tricks, which would be so effective that they would almost deceive the very elect? If you were always saved, no matter what (and the disciples were saved!), then it would make no difference. And what about Judas, who performed all the miracles the other disciples did, yet chose money over salvation, and was not saved in the end?
Matthew 24 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.”
To end off, Jesus said that not everyone who called Him, Lord, Lord, would get into heaven. Yet, when you look below at what the people said that they did, they seem like super-Christians. Were they never saved, while they did everything in His name? But He doesn’t tell them that they were never saved, only that He didn’t know them. The criterion for salvation therefore is knowing God, and Him knowing us, a close personal relationship between us. And a relationship, as you know, can break up at any time, when one of the parties withdraws. God will never withdraw, so when we do fall away from God completely, as often happens, there will be no salvation. Let’s look at the final passages.
Hebrews 13:5 …. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Matthew 7 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
People can argue as much as they want, but there is no way that you always stay saved when you have been saved once, if you drift away from your relationship with God. God created us with the power of free choice, and if we choose to withdraw from the relationship with God, by holding on to our sins, He will never force the issue, and we will therefore be lost. And there will be many of that type, thinking that they will always be saved, that will be in that group that are told to depart from God. If we do not have a close, personal, intimate relationship with God to the very end, heaven will be closed to us, which is a frightening thought.
I hope that this gives you the answers you have been looking for, and the ammunition that you need to fight this wrong doctrine. God bless!
2 Peter 2
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