For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Not-So-Everlasting Life
Earlier, I said that we were taught by pastors, SS teachers, CG teachers or disciplers that the everlasting life that we received after we accepted Christ is dependent on our living a holy life. If we keep on sinning and sinning, we can lose our salvation; life everlasting is not that lasting after all.
One of the favourite verses that they use to support this theology is Heb 10:26-27:
26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
What is meant by sinning wilfully? Most people define it as doing a sinful deed again and again despite knowing that it is a sinful deed. I guess that includes most of us because let's face it, we commit sins everyday.
No, not you? Are you sure? You don't tell a single lie? Not even when your wife asks you how she looks in that very expensive dress? How many times have we gotten worried during the day, gotten angry with someone, snapped at the waiter, gossiped about somebody?
The point I'm making is that in the flesh we all sin, and every time we sin, it is wilful because we know it is a sin. If this "losing your salvation theology" is correct, then there is no hope for us because we do "sin wilfully" everyday.
But wait, I hear some voices saying there is an escape clause: 1 John 1:9
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Every time we sin, we just confess it and we'll be safe (i.e. forgiven); we still qualify for everlasting life.
(Another angle to this verse is that some people say we have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven but I will talk about this later in another post)
Let me put aside my disagreement with the interpretation and use of Heb 10:26-27 and 1John 1:9 first, and deal with the logic of the above "theology":
If we sin wilfully, we lose our everlasting life. However, if we confess our wilful sins, we get it back. What if you confessed all the sins of your entire life (which i don't believe we are able to but for the sake of argument let's say we can) except for one which you forgot.
Do you think that you are still able to get to heaven and enjoy everlasting life? I would say no because there is no room for sin in heaven.
Is that fair? Is it logical that our Daddy God operates like that?
I submit that the "losing your salvation theology" is wrong.
What is the real meaning of "sinning wilfully"?
Let's look at Heb 10:26-27 again in the proper context.
The book of Hebrews was written by Paul to the Hebrews (i.e. Jews) who follow the Law of Moses (i.e. under Judaism) to reveal to them the truth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah.
Heb 1: 1-4 (NLT)
1Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. 4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
Paul is a Jew and when he says in Heb 1:1 that God to spoke to our ancestors, that means he is speaking to his fellow Jews.
In Heb 10, Paul was revealing to his fellow Jews that Christ is the ultimate sacrifice for sins once for all; the blood of Jesus removes sin which the animal sacrifices by the Jews under the Law of Moses cannot do:
Heb 10 :1, 8-10
1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
In Heb 10:26-27 Paul is telling the Jews that if they reject the truth of Christ being the ultimate sacrifice for sins once for all, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. The animal sacrifices that they repeat year after year under the Law of Moses can no longer save them because that covenant of the Law has been cancelled and replaced by the covenant of Jesus Christ.
Now that the Jews know, through Paul, the truth of Jesus' sacrifice and yet they still reject Jesus, preferring to cling on to the blood of bulls and goats, they are actually "sinning wilfully". What sin? The sin of refusing to believe in Christ Jesus.
John 16:7-9 (NLT)
Will we ever lose our salvation?
Heb 10:11-12, 17 (NLT)
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
17 Then he says, “I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”
Our Daddy God doesn't, nay, cannot contradict Himself.
Our Daddy God says what He means and means what He says.
He says we receive everlasting life; that means it lasts forever.
He says Jesus offered himself as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time; that means our sins have been forgiven forever.
He says He forgives our sins based on His estimation of our sins, not our own estimation i.e. confession.