Can I be forgiven for sins I have committed since I was first a born-again Christian? I have confessed, repented, and turned away from those sins.

M.H
United Kingdom

When we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, our sins are forgiven and washed away (I John 1:7). Romans 8:1 says: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Our sins are not held against us although there is a reckoning time for Christians called the Judgment Seat of Christ. Romans 14:12 and II Corinthians 5:10 will shed further light on the Judgment Seat. Notice I Corinthians 3, verse 15: "If any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer loss..." Everything that we have done in the body shall pass through a proving fire. The works that were good will not burn, like silver, gold or diamonds. The works that were not for the Lord will burn, like wood, hay and stubble. Even if our works all burn up into a pile of ashes, "...but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire." This verse proves that sin is not held against us, but we still have to give account for what we have done. We may suffer loss of rewards (see also Ecclesiastes 12:14).

The Bible is clear in its teaching that only the saved stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Those who have not been faithful will be ashamed. I John 2:28 states: "And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." The message is to the little children, those who are born again or saved. These are in danger of being ashamed before the Lord at His coming but not cast out.

The Judgment Seat of Christ takes place immediately upon His coming. You will note from Revelation 20:5 that lost people are not resurrected until after the Millennium, after the resurrection of the saved and the Judgment Seat of Christ. We can rest assured that the teaching of the Bible will not give comfort to those who do not want to give up their sins. The true Biblical teaching of the Judgment Seat of Christ should call Christians to a dedicated and holy life because of the wonderful rewards that will be theirs at that time.

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