Will a Christian who dies while committing a sin go to heaven?

Dear sir I have a question for you. If a person goes to church and is saved and then he goes out to a bar and gets drunk and is killed in a car crash will he still go to heaven? If so will you please tell me where it is found in the Bible and give me the scriptures book chapter and verse. I would greatly appreciate your response.

Thank You

My response is in Green:

I don't believe there is a yes or no answer to this question. The real question is the heart of the individual. Only God knows the heart. Having said that I will take a stab at explaining my views on this subject.

We have to make a couple of assumptions to even be able to talk about this. The first assumption is that this person is a true Christian, in other words that he really has a relationship with Christ. Without that relationship it does not matter how he dies, he will spend eternity in hell.

I don't believe in once saved always saved. What I mean by that is that there are some people who believe that once you are saved it does not matter what kind of life you live you will still go to heaven. I don't think that is biblical. On the other hand I don't believe that stumbling and falling into sin will automatically void your salvation either.

Again I think it is a matter of the heart. Let me try to explain. When we become Christians, we do so by confessing to God that we are sinners and that we realize that we deserve eternal punishment but that we believe (have faith) that Jesus came to earth as a human being and lived a sinless life and died in our place for our sins. And that we believe He arose again and will forgive us if we ask. That is the confession part, but there is another part to salvation and that is repentance, meaning that we repent of our sins, or in other words that we turn from doing them and try to live a holy life because we know that is what God wants.

So here is the point, if a person goes to church and is "saved" but then goes right back to his sinful lifestyle, you have to question if the "saving" was real or not. When we truly come to the knowledge of Christ we will not want to go back to that lifestyle. However, if the person is truly saved and does not want to go back to living like that, but for whatever reason happens to fall into sin and dies during that sin, then you have to consider his heart. Only God can know for sure what the condition of the person's heart was, but the kind of life the person lead up to that point can give you some clues.

We are all human and no matter how badly we want to be holy there are times when we stumble and fall flat on our faces. That is what this passage is all about: (Romans 8:1 NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus That does not mean that we can go out and deliberately sin, but it means that if we fall He judges our heart not that individual action.

(1 Timothy 2:5 NIV) For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus This verse says much the same; Jesus is the mediator between us and God, when we make mistakes He knows our hearts and will mediate for us. I don't believe that is true if our hearts have grown cold and we no longer walk in the faith.

(1 John 2:1-2 NIV) [1] My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. [2] He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. And yet again we see the same thoughts. If a Christian sins, it should be something that is out of character for them, something that over took them and they stumbled, if that happens then Jesus will be our advocate and speak in our defense. He will not speak in defense of someone who is no longer in the faith or who wants to live a life of sin.

That is why it is hard to answer this question. If the person is a true believer and is trying to follow Christ, yet for whatever reason (other then rebellion against God) goes out and gets drunk and is killed, I think God will look at the person's heart and forgive him. But on the other hand if the person thinks that they can do whatever they want and live however they want because they have their ticket to heaven punched, I think God would judge them and find them wanting and in rebellion.

This goes to the heart of once saved always saved. Can a person who is saved then go and live like the world and not follow Christ and yet go to heaven? (Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV) [26] If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, [27] but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

(1 John 3:9-10 NIV) [9] No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. [10] This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. Notice this passage does not say that we will never sin, or never stumble, but we won't live that kind of life. If a person is living a life of sin and refusing to repent and get right with God, then they are not a Christian.

I hope my answer does not seem vague to you, but it all depends on the person's heart at the time of his death. We can get clues from the way he lived the rest of his life; was this out of the ordinary or was it common place... A person cannot make a fool of God. Either the person is a believer which means they want to live a holy life and honor God or they are an un-believer who does not care about being holy and pleasing God. One has eternal life and the other does not. I don't believe a single action on the part of a person would change that.

Ralph

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