Will We Remember Our Sin in Heaven?
- Matt Fuller Author
- 2017 14 Jul
What is it you most look forward to about heaven? Freedom from suffering, perhaps, or being reunited with loved ones you’ve lost. Certainly, we look forward to meeting Jesus face to face. But here’s a wonderful truth about heaven that I’m sure I don’t dwell enough: there will be no more sin in us.
We currently live our lives as “perfect sinners”. We are already perfectly justified and loved by God as our Father. That will never end. But sin will end. In the new creation we will be “simply” perfect. When Christ returns, our justification will be declared before all creation and we’ll be perfected.
The Bible happily gives us a variety of pictures of our future in glory and yet, the things we are shown about the new creation are only seen in comparison with this sinful earth. It’s surely going to be far greater than all we can ask or imagine!
Here are some of things we know will be true:
1. We’ll not battle against sin
Nothing impure will ever enter it … but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27)
There is no sin in heaven and there can be no sin in us. We’ll all be given a white robe (Revelation 6:11) to show we’re without sin. Won’t that be wonderful?!
No longer will we know the temptation to do wrong. No longer the frustration of falling into sin. No longer the misery of causing hurt. No longer times of losing in our battle. We will sin no more.
2. We’ll cherish Christ rightly
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
How wonderful that I’ll never again have a devotional time that’s dry and leaves me unaffected. We will see Christ, hear his voice and respond passionately. It will be impossible to “go through the motions” of the Christian faith. Impossible to be half-hearted. Impossible to doubt.
3. We’ll delight in others truly
It’s frustrating that here on earth, there are Christians we don’t always see eye to eye with. They’re our brothers and sisters, yet we disagree on some issues and ideas. We’re a little nervous in their company; we’re careful with what we say in case we cause offence or irritate them. I’m so looking forward to being perfectly one in heart and mind.
We’ll also fully enjoy the gifts others have without any hint of jealousy. The green-eyed monster is locked out of heaven.
So, will we remember our sins?
I’m not sure the Bible addresses this question directly, yet it’s one I’ve been asked plenty of times. How can we rejoice in being forgiven but not look back in pain at our sin? In the end, we trust the Lord with this question, yet I think we are pointed towards the answer.
There are many wonderful descriptions of how the Lord views our sin. It is blotted out, wiped out, not remembered and cast into the depths of the sea (Isaiah 43:25; Acts 3:19; Hebrews 8:12; Micah 7:19). But these are descriptions of the guilt and consequences of our sin. It’s not that the Lord has selective amnesia. He chooses to not remember sin. The point is that our sin and its consequences cannot be found because they have been dealt with.
We know that, even now, the degree of our love for Christ is connected with the awareness of how deep our debt of sin is. As Jesus explained to Simon the Pharisee:
You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. (Luke 7 v 46-47)
It seems that in heaven right now, the song of the Lamb is founded upon a recollection of sin:
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5 v 9-10)
The blood of Jesus purchases us out of our slavery to sin. That’s what he’s being praised for.
So I think we will have an awareness of our sin, but that in our sinless state, it will not cause us distress. We’ll know the sweetness of being forgiven but not the shame for what we’ve done.
In the meantime, we live as children of God. We’re justified, loved and secure, united to Jesus Christ. We seek to put sin to death, even as we trust God’s promises that we are perfect before him.
Sin will end; perfection will not. What a day that will be.
Oh, that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood-washed linen
How I’ll sing thy wondrous grace!
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels soon to carry
Me to realms of endless day.
(Robert Robinson, 1758)
This is adapted from Perfect Sinners: See yourself as God sees you by Matt Fuller, available now.
This article originally appeared on TheGoodBook.com. Used with permission.
Matt Fuller is the Senior Minister at Christ Church, Mayfair in central London. Before working as a minister Matt was a secondary school teacher teaching history and politics. He is married to Ceri and they have one son Nathan.
Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/AlexVarlakov
Publication date: July 14, 2017