Paul's Passing Thoughts

Will I Be Able To Sin In Heaven?

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on December 9, 2019

It should come as no surprise to any of us that scholarship and expertism rule the day in our modern society. Actually, if one thinks about it, such has always been the case for centuries. There is nothing new under the sun. We meager peasants must concede our woeful lack of understanding to those in authority who are much smarter than us. They are the experts after all, so they must know something that we don’t. This is the very assumption that keeps mankind under tyranny. Religious and political despots prey on unwitting slaves using this very premise. It is the primary tool in their tyrannical toolbox. It is rule number one in the art of subduing the masses: you know nothing, therefore you must submit to me.

In the endless discussion over determinism and total depravity there is always one key idea that most everyone (at least in the religious realm anyways) always overlooks, and that is man’s relationship to the law and the law’s role in justification. And so when I come across a podcast posted in a discussion group about Calvinism, to me the answer to the question posed by the article is outrageously simple. But like all things that God made for man to understand, it is the Philosopher King who goes out of his way to make the simple unbearably complicated.

Like most religious scholars, the speaker seeks to impress us with lofty words and ideas. Much effort is made talking about doctrines of angels and philosophical thought experiments that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. It merely serves to obfuscate the answer, talking round and round in circles, using many words but in the end saying very little of substance, not coming anywhere close to giving a definitive answer about anything. Yet many will be impressed and humbled by this man’s great wisdom as compared to their own lack of understanding since their primitive totally-depraved mind can never hope to comprehend such things. Therefore the laity defers to those in authority to do the heavy lifting for them. The dirty little secret is, this is exactly the way the experts want it, and you have played right into their hands.

To be honest, I can’t recall that I have ever even considered the question before: Will I be able to sin in heaven? I don’t know why I never thought about it. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to think about such things. I guess I never assumed it was an option let alone a possibility. It seems like a stupid question really. I mean, the apostle Paul said in Romans, “Should we continue in sin that grace may abound?” But even Paul rejected the absurdity of this notion. Why should we who were saved from sin continue in it any longer?

Nevertheless, once I did pause and consider the question I found it intriguing. I knew the answer right away. It is as plain as plain can be. I also knew that before I even read the transcript of the podcast I knew what the scholar’s answer would be; or at least knew what his premise would be. You see, regardless of what this speaker says, whether he actually answers the question or not, his purpose in the question begins with the premise that denies the reality of the New Birth and reveals a woeful misunderstanding of the law. Before we can even consider if his answer has any shred of credibility, we must first start by unpacking what he is really asking.

The question is not a matter of reality in heaven but one of man’s ability.   Notice, it is not about IS there sin in Heaven, but will I have the ABILTY to sin.

The problem with this question should be obvious. No self-respecting Calvinist believes that man has any ability whatsoever. Not only that, if God determines everything – and this MUST include sin – any question of man’s ability is irrelevant from the get go. Such a question is disingenuous at best and outright deception at worst.

It doesn’t take a genius or a biblical scholar to know the answer right off the bat. I can say emphatically and without equivocation that I will not be able to sin in Heaven.

As stated many times over and over here at TANC Ministries and Paul’s Passing Thoughts, a proper understanding of justification begins with a proper understanding of the law and its role in justification. The reality is that man does not have a “sin” problem. Man has a relationship to the law problem. Because unregenerate man is under law he is subject to condemnation. The law can only condemn him. Regardless of how much good he does, he is under condemnation because he is under law.

But the New Birth changes that. When a person accepts God’s gift of eternal life, his old self dies, and in his place a new creature is reborn who is the literal offspring of God the Father.   This new creature is not under law. The law cannot touch him. The Bible states that where there is no law there is no sin, and if there is no sin then believers are fully righteous. Believers are righteous not because of perfect law-keeping imputed to them. Believers are righteous because their existence as God’s offspring precludes any ability to sin since there is no law that can condemn them. This is why the apostle John said,

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9

Do you get that? Christians don’t sin because they CAN’T sin. It is a metaphysical impossibility for believers to sin. If it is impossible for believers to sin while here on earth, doesn’t it stand to reason that the same must hold true in Heaven as well?

Believers are free to show love to God and others by aggressively striving to obey the law. While the law does not justify, the law that once condemned us is now our vehicle for showing love. Any system of doctrine that teaches that we should not obey but rather experience Jesus’ obedience manifested through us takes away man’s ability to show love to God and others. In fact, showing love to God and others is a fulfillment of the law.

But there is another reality that is important to mention that is relevant to this discussion. It is the reality that here and now, we believers still reside in a body of flesh. The Bible says that this body is weak. Weakness is not “evil,” nevertheless because our bodies are weak we are still subject to temptation. Now while believers cannot be condemned, we don’t always show love they way we should. This happens when the Sin master comes along and tries to control us or tempt us to wield control over others. Control lust is the antithesis of love. While it is impossible for believers to sin, it is still possible for us to fail to show love. This is a reality that we as believers will struggle with for the rest of our earthly lives.

But here is another truth. One day, these earthly bodies will be changed as well. There will come a time when we will no longer reside in corruptible flesh, but our spirits will reside in new glorified bodies that will never corrupt. Our weak flesh will finally be perfect, mature, complete!

So I ask you this, since it is impossible for believers to sin on earth in weak fleshly bodies, how much more impossible will it be it be for us in Heaven with complete glorified bodies?

Now wasn’t that easy?

~ Andy

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