Sinless, Sinful, Saved, or Severed? (Part 2)
In our prior lesson we noted that when one dies he will be in one of four spiritual conditions: sinless, sinful, saved, or severed. We've elaborated on the first two conditions and now we will proceed to consider the last two.

The purpose of the gospel of Christ is to save sinners. Romans 1:16 states - "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." The Bible has facts that must be believed, commands that must be obeyed, warnings that must be heeded, and promises that can then be obtained (e.g., forgiveness and everlasting life). Let's take some time to consider these points in greater detail:

Paul described the eternal destiny of those who die, having been saved and having served Christ faithfully - "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" (I Thess. 4:16-18).

He later contrasted the eternal destinies of those who die in a saved condition with those who die in a sinful condition. Consider II Thessalonians 1:6-9:

"Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."

It is obvious that we need to be in either a sinless condition (as an innocent child) or in a saved condition (as a faithful Christian) at death if we desire to live with God in heaven.


Calvinism teaches that those who have been saved simply cannot fall from the state of grace in an absolute sense. They believe that once a person is saved, he will always be saved. However, the Bible teaches that after obeying the gospel, the Galatian Christians removed themselves from Christ in that they attempted to be justified by law--they fell from God's grace. It is therefore possible for those who have obeyed the gospel to become severed from Christ. As Revelation 3:16 shows us, it is possible for a person to offend Christ to the extent that He will vomit them out of His mouth. Again, this implies a severed condition.

Those who die physically, severed from Christ spiritually, will receive a punishment worse than physical death. Consider Hebrews 10:26-29:

"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?"

Peter also commented concerning this severed condition in II Peter 2:20-22 - "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and 'a sow having washed to her wallowing in the mire.'"

Those who have severed themselves from Christ must repent if they desire to be saved. Jesus said in Luke 13:3 - "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Severed Christians must confess their sins - "If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). They must also pray for forgiveness - "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). For example, when Simon the sorcerer sinned after being saved, Peter told him - "Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."

Dear friends, at death every person will be in one of the four conditions we've studied in this series. God will reward those who die in a sinless or saved condition with an eternal home in heaven. He will sentence those who die in a sinful or severed state to everlasting punishment in hell. May God grant alien sinners the time and opportunity to obey the gospel, and may He grant His unfaithful, severed children time and opportunity to return to Him.

Every one of us has an appointment with death and the Judgment - "And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). We don't know when that time will come (or if, perhaps, Jesus will return first).

Friends, in what condition will you be found come Judgment Day? If you are an adult and have all your mental faculties, you won't die in the sinless state of childhood, but it is my hope that you would die in the saved state as a faithful Christian!

Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.