Glory be to God! This is Salt and Light Commission!
It’s a menacing question…can a Christian go to hell? It’s a question that I myself have struggled answering for much of my salvation. But before we get into answering that question, we must lay some groundwork. First what is a Christian? Who is he or she?
A Christian is plainly a follower of Christ—meaning that person, he or she, believes in that Jesus is Lord. That He is the Messiah. That He died for our sins and rose again on the third day. This person now has salvation, or this person is saved. Saved from what? Saved from the slavery of sin. A person that has accepted Jesus is free from the chains of their sin and is destined to be with God in heaven forever with eternal life. Once this person openly confesses that Jesus is Lord then that person lives according to what Jesus taught during His life. This includes living the moral laws such as the ten commandments. Living the way Jesus lived is the focus of a Christian life. Jesus lived a sinless life, therefore we, Christians, must also live a sinless life—or as close as we can.
Before salvation we were slaves to our sinful nature, when we receive salvation, we are new creatures in Christ…this means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT). With that being said, we are free from the desire to sin intentionally.
Still with me so far? Good.
Now the question is not: Can a Christian lose their salvation? Salvation, as explained, is saving you from your sinful nature. What I didn’t explain is the fact that once you become saved the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within you. The Holy Spirit then serves as a voice of discernment to convict you on right and wrong choices. That still small voice of God. Now like all voices you have a choice to make, listen or ignore. To ignore the Holy Spirit is what scriptures called quenching the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). If you are saved, you have openly accepted Jesus as Lord, you believe in Him as the Son of God, the salvation cannot be lost once given. Several verses in the bible talk about this.
Nothing can separate a child of God from the Father’s love (Romans 8:38–39). Nothing can remove a Christian from God’s hand (John 10:28–29). For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).
Those are just a few verses that prove that salvation or redemption cannot be lost if you sin or backside for any period time. And if you are true in your faith you will come back to God asking for forgiveness…that’s the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you back.
So, let’s return to the question… Can a Christian go to hell? Now remember a Christian is a Christ follower, one who has been saved from the slavery of sin and is on the way to heaven. They are saved right so, the answer should be no. We just looked at verses that stated salvation is never lost. But is salvation the only thing you need to escape hell? To answer this, we need to look at the prime example of salvation given by God in the past to serve as a guide for us in modern times. No better example than the one that comes from the story of Moses and the Israelites journey to the Promised Land. These are the verse written by Paul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit explaining this:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come (1 Corinthians 10:1-11).
Verse 6 and 11 states that God, in his infinite wisdom, crafted the events in the Exodus story to serve as an example to us because he knew this question would be asked. If you haven’t read it, I highly encourage you that you do, it’s a delightful book centered in salvation. Anyway, as the story goes The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. They cried out for a savior, and God sent Moses. Moses saved the Israelites from slavery. On the way to the Promised Land some of them desired evil things and did sin. All the sinners died in the wilderness. They were destroyed one way or another in the wilderness, and never made it to the Promised Land.
Do you see that? Moses saved them from Egypt’s slavery, they had salvation, but because of their desire to sin, they never made it to the Promised Land. The parallel is with us. Christians are saved from the slavery of sin, through our Savior Jesus, salvation is achieved, but because of their desire to sin they will not enter the Kingdom of God. A perfect example for us on what not to do.
As a young Christian I used to wonder what the verses in Matthew 7 meant. It reads:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23).
I didn’t understand why a Christian would not be able to enter into heaven. Surely, they are Christians, because they are calling Jesus Lord. So, they can’t be unbelievers trying to sneak their way into heaven. I figured they had to be fake Christians, they looked the part, played the part, but never truly submitted to Jesus.
But the truth might be even worst than that. As I studied more I realized that they were actual Christians. They confessed Jesus as Lord and believed in Him in their hearts, but desired and lived a sinful lifestyle even after receiving salvation. It’s possible they felt like they were safe and could live anyway they wanted, because they knew salvation is never lost. They had their tickets ready to go to heaven, but meanwhile party time! Let’s see what the book of Hebrews has to say about it.
If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume all adversaries. Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think one deserves to be punished who has trampled on the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29).
This says it plainly! If you deliberately keep sinning after knowing the truth—meaning you have gained salvation and you are a Christian—you are deserving of a fiery judgement. Hell awaits you. So, let’s drive it home.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to curse like a sailor and have unclean conversations.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to tell lies.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to sleep with your boyfriend/girlfriend.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to steal.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to get high and/or get drunk.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to put idols in God’s place.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to commit adultery.
You know it’s wrong, but you continue to dishonor and insult your parents.
You know it’s wrong, but—the list goes on and on. If you do these things Jesus is not going to welcome you to heaven.
Now to answer the question—Can a Christian go to hell? The sad truth is yes, a Christian can go to hell if they are deliberately sinning.
Before I close this post, it is important to note that there is a difference between making a mistake and sometimes sinning and deliberately choosing to live a lifestyle contrary to the word of God. The Christian that made the mistake has a repenting heart and will ask for forgiveness and work towards never doing it again. The deliberate sinning Christian is not so. The Spirit has been quenched so much within him that he has become desensitized to sin. Sin seems like the norm. His heart is hardened.
The good news is that there hope even for this type of Christian. They must repent and rededicate their lives to Christ. I know, because I used to be like them. Maybe you were too. Maybe you still are. Maybe you are reading this post and you have given your live to Christ, but you been quenching the Spirit. You have been living life on your own terms. Now you can almost hear Jesus telling you, “depart from me you evildoer!” You are not reading this post by accident. You found this post because you have questions and God is giving you the answers. Repent of your sins, rededicate your life to Christ and run away for the sinful lifestyle.
If you are one of those type of Christians and you are willing I would love to pray with you and help you rededicate. Message me on the Contact Me page and we will pray.
If this post has helped you like and comment and share it with someone who also needs it. We are his hands and feet of Christ and equally as important we are the salt and light of the world.