Question: If a Christian sins willingly knowing that what they are doing is a sin. What then? I mean...what if it is like an "obsessive" or "secret" sin? Is there forgiveness for that? Will God listen to their pleas
for help to overcome it? Even though they practice this sin, they hate themselves for doing it. Let's saying drinking
to excess, or a sexual sin, gambling or something like that....?
Answer: What a challenging question! But one we all should be able to answer.
There are two prevalent, though opposing, schools of theology on that. We don't agree with either one of them, but let's
look at what they teach anyway.
One group that says, once we are saved, we are always saved, that no matter what, it is impossible
to lose our salvation. They usually deal with the issue of habitual sin by saying we must have never been saved
in the first place.
We Do Not Agree With That Position. We believe it
is a cop out, because they cannot reconcile their doctrine with a person who claims to have truly accepted Christ as Savior
yet cannot give up a compulsive habitual sin. It is easier for spiritual leadership to say they a professing believer was
never saved in the first place than to deal Biblically with obvious sin in a professing believer’s life.
The Other Group Takes the Completely Opposite View. They agree that habitual sinners probably
did get saved, but when they slide back into sin, they lose their salvation, but if they repent and gives up the sin; they
will "make it" into Heaven. We call this "Yo-Yo" salvation. Lost it-got it back-lost it-got it back.... We do not agree with
this view either.
The scriptures are very clear that if we ever do "fall away" (falling away and backsliding are
not the same thing) renewal back into repentance is impossible (Hebrews 6:4-6). If we ever fall away (lose our salvation)--we
can never regain it. The scriptures are clear on this, there are no other sacrifices available to us. Jesus cannot
go back and die again for us.
So where does that leave the Christian who sins? First of all, we need to believe the scriptures.
There is only one sin that can cost us eternal life, and that is the sin of unbelief. All other sins can be repented of and forgiven
(1 John 1:9). Does that give a Christian a license to sin? Absolutely not!
It is important to understand that neither belief nor unbelief are mere intellectual
understandings. Every devil in acknowledges the existence, incarnation, birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We
are told in scripture they tremble because of this. Technically there are no unbelieving devils. Yet they are not saved.
The fallen angels fell because of unbelief,which was expressed in their choices. James 1:13-15 lays out clearly the steps involved with searing our conscience
and "falling away." It Can Happen. First, James tells us, we are drawn away of our own lust and enticed. God will never tempt us with sin.
Rather, Satan will tempt us with our own lusts. Then, lust conceives--it becomes pregnant (at this point it is still
possible to abort). Choose to abort the sin--not eternal life!. But if the pregnancy conceived (by lust) is allowed to gestate
(fully develop), it will eventually reach full term and bring forth that which it conceived. And James 1:15
says it will bring forth "death"-- the very death described so graphically in Hebrews 10:26-29.
That James is speaking to Christians in this passage is made very clear when he concludes by saying,
"Do not be deceived my beloved brethren.