Will We Go to Heaven Even if we Sin on Earth?

heaven-1400-lowWill we go to heaven even if we sin on earth?

First let’s talk about sin and what sin does.  Isaiah 59:1-2 teaches us that it is sin that separates man from God: “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”  When a person sins, by virtue of that sin, he/she separates himself/herself from God eternally.  That is to say, it is not God’s fault that men and women sin and separate themselves from Him.  The sinner must take responsibility for the sins in which he/she is involved, and own up to the fact that he/she is responsible for getting himself/herself into the predicament that he/she is in.  Moreover, the Bible teaches that not one single responsible person is immune from sin.  First John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” and verse 10 says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  Young children and some persons with mental handicaps are not responsible in that they are not able to be involved in sin due to their limitations.  However, the vast majority of people in the world are involved in sin, and by virtue of their being involved in sin, they merit eternal separation from God.  Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.”

Second, let’s talk about heaven and what it is.  The Bible teaches that heaven is where God dwells: “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men” (Psalm 11:4), and Isaiah 66:1 reads, “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?”  What these verses show is that God’s throne is in heaven, and that is where God manifests His ultimate glory.  This is the picture that we get of God in Revelation 4 also.  So God lives and dwells in heaven, and the person who sins, separates himself from God.  Because he cannot dwell with God in heaven, where does that leave him to dwell for all eternity?  There is only one other place, and that is the place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).  So, the Bible teaches clearly that those who sin while on earth will not go to heaven.

However, there is another side to this question that we have not addressed, and that has to do with what God has done to save the sinner from the fate of being eternally separated from Him.  We read in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  The rest of Romans 6:23 says, “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”  What God is telling us is that by virtue of what Jesus has done, the sinner may be forgiven of sin and dwell with God in heaven in spite of the fact that he has sinned.  However, to be forgiven of sin, one must believe in Jesus by obeying the gospel of Jesus.  Note 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”  It is only those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus that will be punished from the presence of the Lord.  This means that if we obey the gospel, then we will be saved despite the fact that we have sinned.  Hebrews 5:9 affirms this as well: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”  We obey the gospel by obeying what Jesus said to do to become a child of God, a Christian.  Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).  If we obey the gospel, and if we do not fall away from the faith, then we will be saved, and God promises that we will dwell with Him in heaven forever even if we have sinned.  Revelation 21:3 says, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”