Will We Go To Heaven If We Die With Sin left Un-Repented?
A lot of times, we think that we are sinners because we do sinful things: for example, because we lie, cheat, steal. But really it is the reverse: we do sinful things because we are sinners. Sinfulness is a condition that we are in, and the condition is there regardless of whether it expresses itself outwardly or not. It is like a sickness, and therefore can be present even at times when we do not immediately observe its outward symptoms.
For this reason, it is more important for us to confess our sinful condition in general than it is for us to confess our sinful acts in particular (though that is important too). This is clear from the fact that our sin not only extends to those things which we recognize as wrong, but also to things that we might not even be aware of. Indeed, it is often from the sinful habits of the mind, many of which we do not even recognize as sinful, that we often set ourselves up to do wrong at a later time.
Thus, when it comes to confessing our sin, God’s forgiveness cannot depend upon our having explicitly enumerated each transgression. For if sin goes as deep as we have reason to believe it does, then we are not really in a position to know all that we have done wrong, even if there are some things that we can name. Confession is therefore not so much about good moral bookkeeping as it is about renewing within ourselves a spirit of humility and dependence upon the grace of God.
Such repentance is however a necessary part of our salvation. So the answer to the question is both “Yes” and “No.” No one will go to heaven if they die having left their sinful condition un-repented. But they can still go to heaven if they die having left certain sins un-repented, for the latter are included within the scope of the former.
Pastor Chad LewisOctober 1, 2014