Q. I’m struggling with trying to understand and accept the idea of willfully, consciously sinning and still being saved. For example, if someone decides to commit adultery, or hurt a child sexually, or kill an unfaithful wife, you’ve explained that they’re still going to heaven if they have previously accepted the truth of Jesus Christ as Son of God and their Savior, Redeemer. It seems to go against every moral, spiritual conduct to have no eternal consequence in choosing to do the above. I understand they’ll have earthly consequences (jail, remorse, etc.), but are we sure that God will give entrance to heaven to a soul who chose to bring death to others?
A. The reason people have problems with this is because we all have a flawed perspective on morality. Take murder for example. We think if we haven’t killed anyone then we haven’t committed murder. But Jesus taught that being angry with someone is equivalent to murdering them from God’s perspective (Matt. 5:21-22). He drew the same comparison between adultery and thinking lustful thoughts (Matt. 5:27-28). His point was that sin begins in our heart. That means whether we act on our thoughts or not everyone is equally guilty and deserving of judgment. We can only escape the judgment by accepting His death as payment for our sins.
Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that our salvation was guaranteed from the moment we first believed. 2 Cor. 1:21-22 confirms this, adding that God has taken ownership of us and accepted responsibility for us. Jesus said that once that happens nothing on Earth can change it (John 10:27-30).