Today’s Question and Answer
Recently on a radio show you said that Ananias and Sapphira are in Heaven.
It seems to me that your adherence to your “once saved always saved, all your sins past, present, future are forgiven” doctrine puts you in a position of contradicting the Lord Himself.
Revelation 21:27 and 22:15 clearly tell us that “whosoever maketh a lie” and “whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” are excluded from Heaven. The inescapable conclusion from Scripture is that Ananias and Sapphira are not in Heaven.
First John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If it is true that our future sins are already forgiven, why is it necessary for God to forgive them?
Asked by: Wayne, Virginia
Well Wayne, first of all I want to tell you that I’m so glad that you asked your question.
I want to start with a couple of comments about future sins. I believe that when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, our sins are forgiven—past, present and future—legally.
If you’re asking for a passage of Scripture, look at Colossians 2:14 and following; we find the very same teaching in Hebrews 10, where it says that Jesus Christ took away all our sins. You see, if that wasn’t true, then whenever you and I sinned, we’d be in jeopardy of losing our salvation. Can you imagine? That wouldn’t be a great hope, would it? Salvation would produce fear rather than hope. Any sin committed just before death would send us to hell.
In the reference that you gave, 1 John 1:9, we need to realize that the forgiveness mentioned here maintains our fellowship with God, and that we need to confess so that we are in agreement with God.
Maybe this illustration will help: Let’s suppose that my child disobeys. They have to come and they have to ask forgiveness because we have to get back into agreement. That doesn’t mean they lose their status as one of my children—and that’s what I believe the Bible teaches about future sin and the recognition that we always need to confess our sins.
Now, a comment about Ananias and Sapphira. While it’s true that the book of Revelation says that liars are excluded from the heavenly city, the fact is that there are many Christians that die with sin on their consciences. But when we are cleansed by Christ and His righteousness, we are declared righteous by God, and that gives us our admittance into the heavenly city. Thankfully, there will be many people who were at one time liars in heaven; the same goes for adulterers and those who have committed other sins. And yes, regretfully Christians sometimes commit such sins as well.
But those whose lives have been characterized by deceit and lies—clearly that reference in Revelation refers to those who are not Christians—they most assuredly will be excluded from the heavenly city.
I hope this helps. And always keep in mind that those of us who believe, we can count on that salvation all the way to heaven. It doesn’t mean that we are soft on sin. It only means that God keeps His promises and we know that He is going to keep us until the day of redemption.