Is this a Heaven or Hell Issue?

The following is for whoever may be troubled about all those mean old preachers who preach standards that aren’t named in black and white in the New Testament.

We hear a lot of people these days asking if a certain thing is a “heaven or hell issue.” I think the very term smacks of bad theology. “Issues” aren’t what sends you to heaven or hell.

Faith saves. Lack of Faith condemns.
Faith with no obedience is dead and ineffective for salvation.
Saving Faith always includes and is inseparable from obedience to God’s word.

If you would like to go to hell then it is not enough for you to just sin. The blood of Jesus is so effective that God will not even charge sin to your account as long as you are walking by faith (which includes and is inseparable from obedience).

When you sin, something miraculous happens…. you are convicted of the sin by the Holy Ghost, and for most this produces immediate confession and forgiveness. The Word of God pierces our soul and reveals our sin and even our motives for sinning. Sometimes gentle, private conviction is not enough and so, mercifully and for our benefit, the Father chastens us. There are other times when we refuse to be dealt with privately, and so God has His man correct us or rebuke us. Since God’s mercy is everlasting, He may run us through this process several times…each time…with the purpose of trying to elicit true repentance from us.

If you really want to go to hell…then you must ignore all of this and go ahead and do what you want to do anyway. You must keep on ignoring God’s voice.

And I can’t tell you when…
But it will surely and suddenly happen….
You will shake yourself as before…but you will realize the Spirit has departed.

And it will not be because of what you did, but because you refused to repent and walk once again in obedience to God’s Word–shocking evidence that your faith has died.


How do I reconcile this with my fierce opposition to the statement _______ is not a heaven or hell issue, when it seems I am not willing to concede that ANY action, in and of itself, will doom one to hell?

Why do I recoil at the thought of “The New Birth is sacred but everything else is optional” line of thinking?

Because, the definition of sin remains the same: to transgress God’s Law.

If one transgresses God’s Law and refuses to repent (which includes a decision to change)…his faith is dead and ineffective.

I do not know at what precise point some things become a sin in a person’s life. Although, if I have pastored them very long, I can usually guess pretty close.

But I do know that at the precise moment that they break God’s Law, and they refuse His correction to the point God lays the sin to their charge, it has become a “Heaven or Hell” issue in their life.

So, you will never hear me say that any standard, principle of holiness, etc. is not a “Heaven or Hell” issue.

It becomes one when we refuse to walk in faith, demonstrated by our obedience.


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