One cannot—under any circumstance—lose his or her salvation. You can’t lose your salvation if you truly accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior . . . no matter what you do or do not do. If salvation depended on us, we would all be in trouble. Rather, salvation centers on repentance and faith in Christ (John 3:16, Hebrews 2:3). It proceeds from the love of God and is based on Christ’s atonement on the cross. There is no way to “earn” your way to heaven . . . It is only through the grace, mercy and sacrifice of God himself.
We are all sinners . . . but, as Christians, the Father is working on us. The doctrine is called “Perseverance of the Saints.” Take a look at Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” We’re going through a growing process.
As Christians, we do continue to sin and it’s a constant struggle (see Romans 7 for Paul’s struggle). The difference may be that, as Christians, we sin in different areas, sinning more in the heart and less in the flesh. In other words, changing one’s actions, but not changing one’s underlying motivations of rebellion, selfishness and independence.
Certainly, there are obvious sins that need to be laid aside—“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). A Christian naturally wants to please God. We’re obedient out of love for God and not out of fear of the law, of punishment.
As God reveals sin, we deal with that particular sin and move on. Then God reveals further sin and the process continues. We grow, but we’re so sinful, especially in the heart, that there will never be a time in which we don't stumble . . . until we get Home to heaven.
Not one of us is perfect in following Christ. Not one of us is sinless. As Christians, we live a life of repentance (simply agreement with God about our sin). Confession is the manifestation of that life of repentance. The lack of confession does not affect our relationship nor is it the motivating factor of our forgiveness. When we confess to God and to him alone, it is for our own sake.
Forgiveness is taught throughout Scripture: Psalm 51:2,7; Psalm 32:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 1:9; Romans 4:7; Hebrews 8:12; Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 38:17; John 8:36; Isaiah 43:25; Matthew 6:14-15; Luke 23:34 . . . These references are but a few.
All sin is serious, but God’s forgiveness is forever. That is what the cross was all about! The Bible teaches in Romans 8:1 that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Christians are covered by the blood of Christ. In his death, Christ has already paid the price for our judgment.
God forgives all of our sin, regardless of how “big” or “small” that sin may be . . . because of his great and enduring love. What that means, from God’s perspective, is that he has forgotten our sins and is not holding us accountable for them. They have already been paid for. God has already forgiven our sin—past, present and future—in the shedding of blood and sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. When we ask for forgiveness it is for our benefit. In other words, asking for forgiveness acknowledges our sin and rebellion against God and allows us to turn towards him in an attitude of repentance. It is an act of love.
It is important to remember that Christians aren’t perfect, only forgiven. There are two kinds of people in the world, not the good and the bad; but, rather, the bad who know it and the bad who don’t. As Christians, we need to be honest about who we are and about who God is.
There is absolutely nothing you can do to get God to love you one iota more than he already does and there is absolutely nothing you can do to get God to love you one iota less.