Will God forgive me if I die before I have confessed a sin?
When you become a believer, a tremendous change in your relationship with God happens.
• God adopts you as his child: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God”, 1 John 3:1.
• You used to be darkness, but now you are light: “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord”, Ephesians 5:18.
• You used to be spiritually dead, but God made you alive. “God… even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”, Ephesians 2:4,5.
• You have become a member of the church, which is the body of Christ: “Now you are the body of Christ”, 1 Corinthians 12:27.
• You have received forgiveness for all your sins: “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name”, Acts 10:43.
• You are God’s possession with a special position: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession”, 1 Peter 2:9.
• You have an eternally secure position as a sheep in Jesus’ care: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand”, John 10:28.
Does all of this change when we sin? No, it still remains true. Does it change when we do not confess that sin before we die? No, it still remains true. These are all unconditional promises for God’s children, and descriptions of their position in God’s sight.
At the same time, the Bible calls upon us as believers to confess our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”, 1 John 1:9. When we read this in the light of all the verses above, it is clear that it cannot mean that we have lost our salvation as long as we have not confessed our sins.
Our position as a child of God has not changed. But the relationship has changed. A child can do something to make his parents angry or sad. But it does not mean he is not their child anymore. Yet he needs to confess and to better his life to repair his relationship with his parents. The same is true for God’s children. God’s love for you has not changed. You have not lost your salvation through sinning. But to be close to God again, to restore the relationship, you need to confess your sin and receive his forgiveness.
So don’t be afraid you will go to hell if you have un-confessed sins when you die. But don’t wait to confess them either. Confessing your sins and receiving God’s forgiveness will help you to walk joyfully with the Lord every day of your life.