Q. I was having a conversation with a friend who totally believes in conditional salvation and it basically ended in an argument. One of the things he kept bringing up was the fact that we had to repent of our sins and that is why it was conditional. Honestly, I was always brought up to always ask for forgiveness of sins and I do and I believe you have said that asking is more for our benefit. I guess my questions here are what if you sin and then you die before having an opportunity to ask forgiveness? And why is it so hard for people to see that once we are saved we are always saved?
A. In Ephesians 1:13-14 Paul said that the Holy Spirit was sealed within us when we first believed as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. So at the moment of belief our salvation was guaranteed forever. But there’s more to our life with God than just salvation in eternity. We also have a relationship with Him in the here and now.
To repent means to change your mind and admit you’re a sinner. It doesn’t mean to stop sinning. Even though we try not to, all believers still sin, and when we do it strains our earthly relationship. By that I mean we may not receive blessings we could have otherwise had, and our communication with the Lord may temporarily stop. By confessing our sins, we restore the relationship because confession purifies us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
That said, Colossians 2:13-14 tells us Jesus forgave all our sins on the cross. That means every sin of our lives was wiped clean at the cross, past present and future. Therefore, it’s impossible to die leaving any sins unforgiven. Hebrews 10:14 says that by one sacrifice He made us perfect forever. That’s why our salvation can be guaranteed. So, the reason we confess is not to regain our eternal salvation but to avoid interrupting our Earthly relationship with the Lord.
Think of it this way. Your behavior could strain your relationship with your earthly father and there might be times when you aren’t receiving his blessing because of it. But you can never stop being His daughter. It’s the same with the Lord.