MISUNDERSTANDING: We are only forgiven for past, accidental & confessed sin

Suppose you had to participate in the following activity…

(A) USE THE TABLE BELOW TO WRITE OUT A LIST OF ALL YOUR PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE, ACCIDENTAL & DELIBERATE SINS… 

Lifetime of Sins

Obviously there will be lots of sins from your past that you’ve forgotten you committed. Obviously it’s impossible to predict what sins you are going to commit in the future. And obviously this table would not be large enough.

But for the sake of the activity, let’s imagine that you were able to fill in the table accurately.

(B) GO THROUGH AND CROSS OFF ALL THE SINS WHICH YOU HAVE CONFESSED TO GOD…

Lifetime of Sins Crossed out

Obviously there will still be many sins not crossed out. Some remain unconfessed because you forgot you committed them. Some remain unconfessed because you did not even realize they were sins. And some remain unconfessed simply because you did not find the time. But whatever the reason, all of us live with unconfessed sin on our record.

(C) DRAW A CIRCLE AROUND ALL THE SINS THAT JESUS HAS PAID FOR…

Possibility #1
Many people would only place a circle around their past, accidental, confessed sins.

Lifetime of Sins Crossed out & Circle 1

Possibility #2
Others would place a circle around all their past, present and future accidental sins.

Lifetime of Sins Crossed out & Circle 2

Possibility #3
Some would place a circle around all their past, present, future, deliberate & accidental sins.

Lifetime of Sins Crossed out & Circle 3

So which is correct?

If ‘Possibilitiy #1’ is correct, then no one would make it to heaven.

If ‘Possibility #2’ is correct, it also means that no one would make it to heaven because everybody deliberately sins. Despite what some people might think, nearly all sin is deliberate. We sin because we have a sinful nature which loves sin and craves sin.

Therefore, the only option that makes any sense is ‘Possibility #3’. Jesus died on the cross to pay for sin in full. He wants us to be sure that we are forgiven, sure that we are going to heaven and sure that we have escaped God’s condemnation. This can only happen if Jesus has paid for all our past, present, future, accidental & deliberate sin.

The Bible teaches that we are not forgiven because we avoid deliberate sin, or because we confess our sin. But rather we are forgiven if we place our life and eternity in Jesus hands, trusting Him to pay for our sin in full.

“God not only forgives the former sins you have committed; but looks through his fingers and forgives the sins you will yet commit” – Martin Luther

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