How Important Is it to Ask God for Forgiveness?

What if a Christian sins and then dies before they confess their sin and ask God for forgiveness? Will they still make it to heaven?

We are convinced that a Christian will still go to heaven, even if they sin and then suddenly die (say in a car wreck). Our salvation is based on faith in the Jesus of the Bible, not on a set of prescribed regulations.

Can a Christian Die in Sin and Still Go to Heaven?

2 thoughts on “How Important Is it to Ask God for Forgiveness?”

  1. before a Christian dies the priest or the pastor does the last Rites and gives them their last holy communion before they die so this means when you recive commuoin before you die you will be forgiven then to be sent to the state of prufication then someone prays for that soul and then they go to heven.

    1. From your comment, I take it that you have a Roman Catholic background. Most of the rest of Christianity does not accept a future purification period for believers or Last Rites as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. The reason lies in Scripture. There are no teachings or examples of Last Rites being given in the pages of Holy Scripture. Further, the idea that we can do anything to purify our sins, other than come to Christ, seems counter to the thrust of Christ’s teachings, the Apostle Paul’s teachings, the Apostle Peter’s teachings, and the Apostle John’s teachings.

      Roman Catholics will say that we need to be purified to make it to heaven, and then argue that we are purified through suffering. But to the rest of Christianity, our righteousness is found only in Jesus Christ who was made to be our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). We are cleansed through the Word of God (John 15:3; 17:17; Ephesians 5:26). Paul argues that he wants to be found, not having his own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ which comes from faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9). Our faith in Christ imparts to us the righteousness of God to which nothing can be added. One cannot be more righteous than God. And one cannot by suffering cleanse one’s soul from sin. Micah says that we cannot even by the greatest suffering, sacrificing our own sons, cleanse one’s soul (Micah 6:7). Jesus teaches that we will not come into judgment but we have passed from death to life when we believe in Him (John 5:24).

      Accordingly, in following Scripture we believe that those who trust in Christ do not need any last rites, and do not need to worry about purgatory. When we die, we go to be with Jesus as Scripture teaches (Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). And we will come back with Him when He comes with a shout to claim the living from this earth.

      I urge you to read the Bible for yourself and discover what God says about this subject. I note that some Catholics will go to 2 Maccabees 12 for support for a purgatory. But the books of the Maccabees were written before the time of Jesus and the Apostles and Jesus and the Apostles never once referred to these books as being inspired by God. These books were not part of the Jewish canon of Scripture nor are they part of the New Testament canon of Scripture. Further, the early church fathers did not accept them as part of the Old Testament canon. See For this reason, I do not find 2 Maccabees as providing good support for the Roman Catholic tradition.

      One final thought. One might go to verses such as 1 John 1:9 to show that cleansing comes from confession, and thus provide some support for the concept of last rites. However, the thrust of the passage is that we need to confess our sins to restore our fellowship with God when we are alive, but the passages goes on to note that if we sin, He has already covered our sins (1 John 2:2). The passages says nothing about what happens at or after death. The Apostle Paul does not teach last rites or purgatory, and neither should the church, in our view. But both we and the Roman Catholic Church should continue to teach that the relationship with God is founded solely on Christ and His righteousness which we obtain, not by works, but by faith (Romans 4:5; see also Titus 3:5; Hebrews 11:6).

      Thanks for your comment.

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