Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor

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Die in Your Sins

 

Dear Brother Ron

What Does it mean to die in your sins?

John 8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. John 8:22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Martian Jew

Dear Martian Jew

Albert Barnes (no relation) explains it this way:

All those who reject the Lord Jesus must die unforgiven. There is no way of pardon but by him. There will be a time when sinners will seek for a Savior but will find none. Often this is done too late, in a dying moment, and in the future world they may seek a deliverer, but not be able to find one. Those who reject the Lord Jesus must perish. Where he is they cannot come. Where he is is heaven. Where he is not, with his favor and mercy, there is hell; and the sinner that has no Savior must be wretched forever.

I have several problems with this. First, according to this passage, Jesus is placing Himself as superior to God in deciding who gets to stay in heaven and who is vanquished to hell. In all the rest of His ministry, Jesus clearly states that His power and authority come from God. He encourages us to worship God, not Him. So for Jesus to now say that only He has the right to make such a decision seems out of character.

Second, Barnes tells us that deathbed repentance is too late. The only time that Jesus ever told anybody they were going to heaven was the thief on the cross beside Him. It would seem, therefore, that such repentance is acceptable.

Third, this assumes that God is waiting to see what we will do before deciding what He will do. I find this as a constant theme of Christianity. It would seem, then, that Christian churches preach a three-dimensional God who has no ability to see the future. He bases His actions on my actions. The God I worship has already seen my mistakes and forgiven me for them before I commit them. If so, then the whole idea of pardon is irrelevant.

Best always

Brother Ron