Is it your understanding that all sins, past, present and future, are forgiven upon conversion and that we don’t have to repent of any sins that we may commit after conversion? (Part 1)


This is clearly not our understanding. The erroneous concept that we do not have to repent of any sins that we may commit after conversion is part of the “once saved, always saved” (or eternal security) doctrine espoused by some, in mainstream Christianity. One such proponent gave the following five Scriptures and explanations and said that “they prove the glorious truth of scripture—‘once in Christ, in Christ forever.’” Let us review these:

  • John 5:24:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

The proponents of eternal security say that “this passage is a one-way street and carries no threat of reversal.” However, many other Scriptures state otherwise. Nothing can stop us from attaining this, except we ourselves!

This verse talks about the time when someone puts his trust in God and makes the decision to follow and obey Him and if he remains faithful to his calling for the rest of his life, he will make it, with the help of God, into the Kingdom of God.

There is the understanding by some that believers do not have to keep asking for forgiveness or repenting in order to have their sins forgiven. How wrong can they be? Of course, Jesus died for all of our sins, past, present and future, but the Bible is clear that repentance is necessary and that we must ask for forgiveness as we acknowledge our sins to God.

One writer stated that “the word ‘believes’ in John 5:24 is a present active participle in the Greek. Therefore, the Lord is saying here that we must continually be believing the Father, that is His testimony about Jesus.”

From the website “” they state the following: “The present active participle, like all present participles, is derived only from imperfect verbs, since it refers to an action that is currently taking place or which takes place repeatedly.”

  • John 10:27-28:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

The Pulpit Commentary observes the following in John 10:27 in respect of the sheep:

“‘My sheep hear my voice’ (their receptivity).

“‘And I know them’ (the Lord’s response to their faith).

“‘And they follow me’ (their active obedience).”

Following God obviously requires active and ongoing obedience. It would be ridiculous to think that a true Christian could wilfully be disobedient to God, and, without repentance and genuinely asking for forgiveness, have his sins forgiven before he even committed such acts. That erroneous thinking and “belief” will encourage a lack of care in necessary behaviour and lead to a person doing what he wants to do, thinking that it doesn’t matter as he has already been forgiven. It beggars or is beyond belief that there are those who read the Word of God and who come to such a conclusion.

One writer stated the following:

“Some people see salvation with ‘no strings attached’ that is, regarding how far one may stray doctrinally or sinfully, he will always be of the group that shall never perish. But the context of John 10:27-29 destroys this deadly interpretation of the most commonly cited proof for eternal security. Verse 27 describes the sheep and states that they follow Jesus. The Greek word is a continuous tense and describes the only people who will never perish and won’t get plucked out of God’s hand (see verses 28-29).”

The fact that following Jesus is a continuous action and doesn’t allow for wilful disobedience and turning one’s back on the Way of Life that He commands us to live is clearly shown in Matthew 10:22, which reads: “And you shall be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” This same principle of enduring to the end is a theme within the Word of God.

Another writer, an on-line commentator, observed as follows:

“Notice first of all who His sheep are: They are those who hear His voice and follow Him. The idea that obedience is essential to salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ is claimed through God’s revelation. Jesus identifies those who belong to Him, having His blessing, protection, they are people who listen to His directions and carry them out! That is the only way one is really acting ‘by faith.’ One can look at the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, where so many were successful ‘by faith,’ and if you are honest with yourself, you’ll see each one carefully followed the Lord’s directions.

“That is the way one can be SURE of his/her salvation. Truly, no one is wise or strong enough to overpower God and take you or me away IF we are loyal to Him. Yet, one can walk away, as we have seen many do in the centuries past, as they are recorded in the Bible for us to see. We are often referred to them as they did receive the wrath of God, because they failed to listen and perform as directed.

“Remember how the serpent beguiled Eve, in persuading her that she would not experience the consequences that God said she would when and if she failed to follow His teachings. Think about this: why would the Lord give so many warnings about being led astray and falling, IF IT WERE IMPOSSIBLE? Why are we told to make our calling and election sure, if there is no way it can be made unsure?”

The passage in 2 Peter 1:5-11 is very instructive:

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

It is clear from this passage of Scripture that the continuance of obedience to God’s instructions is essential.

  • Ephesians 4:30:

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom [which] you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

We read earlier in the book of Ephesians (chapter 1:13-14) about being “sealed”: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who [which] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

In verse 14, the guarantee is a down payment or earnest (an old-fashioned description meaning a deposit), but has not yet come to full maturity and this will only occur at the resurrection to life at Christ’s return for all those who have died in the faith; and at the time of change to eternal life for those who are still alive in Christ when He returns and have endured unto the end.

In Strong’s Concordance #4972, we read that the Greek word for seal is sphragizo. One of the definitions is that which “signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing (full authority) of the owner. ‘Sealing’ in the ancient world served as a ‘legal signature’ which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed.” However, in Matthew 27:66, the same word is used: “So they went and made the tomb secure sealing the stone and setting the guard.” Just two verses later in Matthew 28:2, we read: “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it.”

This shows that the seal could be broken in some circumstances. An instance of this is shown in 1 Timothy 1:18-20: “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

The verses quoted show that the understanding that the seal of the Holy Spirit is an unconditional guarantee of “once saved, always saved” is a flawed and erroneous concept.

  • Philippians 1:6:

“… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

We read in many other Scriptures that a believer has to endure to the end to be saved and, therefore, this verse must be interpreted with that understanding. God will complete the good work that He has begun in us, subject to us playing our full part, and nothing less will do.

  • 2 Timothy 1:12:

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

God does not call and choose us unless He is fully convinced that we will be able to live His Way of Life. He is not in the business of failure and He calls us, knowing that we have what it takes to stay close to Him until the end. However, we must make that concerted effort and not wander off the path to eternal life which some have done and more will do in the future.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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