Am I Sure I Will Go to Heaven When I Die?

Am I Sure I Will Go to Heaven When I Die?

Here’s a comment that was left on my post last Friday about my tumor growing back:

“I will pray for you, Lori, but I still want to ask if you’re 100 percent sure you’ll go to heaven when you die, and the reason why I say that is because I think that you are Calvinist. You keep saying that God is ‘sovereign,’ a word never found in the Bible and also every time that you hear a story about a husband who has fallen in sin, you think that his soul is in danger like he would end up in hell if he does not repent of his sin. Do you truly believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and once saved always saved? If you don’t believe that, then it means that you believe in salvation by works and you have to repent by putting your faith on Jesus only without adding any works.”

Yes, I am 100 percent sure that I will go to heaven when I die and then will spend eternity on the new earth with Christ and all who believe in Him and love Him. No, I am not a Calvinist. I label myself by being a Christian only. Yes, you can argue Calvinism from the Bible, but you can also argue Arminianism from the Bible too. I want to be known for being a Christ follower, not some man who wasn’t God.

God is sovereign over all. Here are a 100 verses about His sovereignty. “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand” (Proverbs 19:21). This doesn’t mean that we don’t have free will. What is love if there is no choice?

I have never written that if a husband has fallen into sin that his soul is in danger if he does not repent. I believe that a true believer will believe until the end. The only unforgivable sin is the sin of unbelief. If we are true believers, we will produce fruit in keeping with salvation. Once we believe, we are forgiven from all of our sins, filled with His Spirit, dead and freed from sin (Romans 6), new creatures in Christ, delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13), clothed in Christ’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), and now walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

Will believers still sin? Yes, since we won’t be perfect until we receive our heavenly bodies but it will no longer define who we are.

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid.
Romans 6:14, 15

28 thoughts on “Am I Sure I Will Go to Heaven When I Die?

  1. I thought that was a mean comment and a very disrespectful jab for someone to make to you or anyone else who is going through health issues.But I know your confidence doesn’t lie in what people comment to or about you.Be blessed. You will give God all the glory for getting you through this.

      1. I don’t think she was trolling intentionally. She’s seemed genuinely concerned. I’ve been reading this blog for a few years and I’ve seen her leave other comments that weren’t trolling.

  2. Lori, first of all let me say that my wife and I will be praying for your health and for your family during this trying time. We love what you are doing for the Kingdom of God.

    That said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address some theological points since a lot of this post centers around theology. I don’t believe you can argue Arminianism from scripture. You can certainly infer it by bringing certain presuppositions to the text, but that’s eisegesis, not exegesis. It seems like you have some of these presuppositions yourself:

    > This doesn’t mean that we don’t have free will. What is love if there is no choice?

    I would have to ask — where does the Bible say we have free will? Further, where does the Bible define love as requiring “choice”?

    The Bible describes our wills as enslaved. That doesn’t mean we don’t make real choices, it means that our choices are according to our nature. As rebel sinners, we choose to rebel against our creator. As regenerated Christians, we choose to obey Christ, not perfectly, but the pattern of new desires should be apparent.

    I don’t believe we are saved by good theology, and so there will Arminians who are saved and Calvinists who are saved; however, I believe Calvinism is most consistent with the whole of scripture.

    Responding to the original commenter’s point about the word “sovereign” not being in scripture… well, the words triune and trinity aren’t in the Bible either but we still worship the triune God because we believe that’s who God reveals himself to be in scripture. Likewise, God’s sovereignty is plainly revealed in scripture. Salvation is certainly by grace alone through faith alone, but we can’t choose to be saved in our fallen nature. Saving faith is pleasing to God, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Scripture doesn’t teach “once saved always saved” as in, “I made a decision, and now nothing else matters,” rather, Christ knows His sheep, and His sheep know His voice, and those who are saved will persevere to the end (those who are saved cannot lose their salvation, so in a way, “once saved always saved” just not in the way it’s often stated, i.e., easy believism). I believe this understanding is at least mostly in line with what you wrote (“I believe that a true believer will believe until the end”) and so this is mostly written to respond to the original commenter’s misunderstanding of Calvinism teaching salvation by works.

    1. There are many Biblical arguments against Calvinism. I’ve heard/read many of them (even given some). I really appreciate Lori saying she is only a Christian as that is the only thing we are called to be.

      1. If you had to pick one, what would be your number one strongest Biblical argument against Calvinism?

        I take no beef with anyone saying they will only call themselves Christian, I only desire that descriptions of any positions are accurately representative of what the position holds to. Calvinism doesn’t teach salvation by works as implied by the original commenter. I also don’t think you can get to Arminianism, a system which limits the sovereignty of God, simply by using scripture alone. I wouldn’t anathematize anyone who calls themselves Arminian, but I would encourage them to look at what Calvinism actually teaches and not go by strawman arguments about what it really is.

        1. Hi Ken,

          You wrote, “but I would encourage them to look at what Calvinism actually teaches and not go by strawman arguments about what it really is.” I really agree with this. So many times I’ve heard strawman arguments. It is good to get it from the horses mouth (so to speak).

          I’m really trying to cut down on being contentious https://thetransformedwife.com/truly-powerful-women-have-calm-spirits/ . I’ve been in too many on-line “debates”. One thing I’ve learned is that there is always a reason for people’s understanding of the Bible. I no longer assume there is no Biblical basis for anything (just a different or mis-understanding). Often it is a definition of words or a context issue.

          Case in point, I was always suspect of the 7th Day Adventist’s claim that Jesus and Michael the Archangel were one in the same. I hadn’t heard their pro argument but having read the scripture many times and never seeing such a statement I thought they pulled it out of the air. I had an opportunity to visit a 7th Day Adventist congregation for several months and was finally able to hear their understanding. They believe that the word Archangel means over the angels (like an arch above something). The name Michael means “Who is like God”. (I always knew the meaning of Michael but interpreted it as a question “Who is like God?”, they interpret it as a statement.) So when they read “Michael, the Archangel”, they read “One who is above the angels and is like God”. I’m still not sure about their complete argument but I see that it is a thoughtful understanding and one that does have Biblical basis.

          This is often the case with the “salvation by works” argument as well. I have yet to hear one fellowship claim that they believe in salvation by works (that is a label places upon denominations by others who disagree with them). The question is never really about whether Jesus’ work was complete on the cross, all the Christians I know of believe that 100% (even Jesus as He said, “it is finished”). But the question is how one defines “work”. Since we inherit eternal life, I often think of earthly inheritances. We never “work” for those either as they are given in full after the deceased has completed the work. But the questions come in with obtaining the inheritance. Some may argue that the deceased finished their work, you just have to sit back and accept it. Others may say that you have to sign your name in order to make it legal (which the first may argue is an added “work”). A third may say, you have to go and take possession of it which the first two may claim is work. All of these believe the work is finished (they don’t have to go out to build the house, make the money, etc.) but how does one take possession of the inheritance is the question.

          So I say all that to say that there isn’t much (that I’ve found) that whole religions completely ignore. If it isn’t an issue with definitions than I’ve found it is often a context issue. I’ve often found that to be so with doctrines taken from the epistles. The letters were written to the churches who were by definition Christians and as whole letters. Statements are often lifted out of them and made into doctrine leaving behind the context. Usually if we could take the time to read the whole letter as a letter in the manner it may have been read to the original hearers we couple probably bypass a lot of confusion.

          Many of these issues are in my opinion at the root of the Calvanists’ understanding versus other’s understanding. (I visited a Calvinist church for awhile as well as learned the Westminster and Heidelberg Catechism ). So if you tell me which Calvinist tenet you would like to hear the strongest Biblical argument against I’ll give you that. BUT I really don’t want to get into an argument as I’ve never seen anyone change their mind in an on-line argument (perhaps someone reading along but not the two people debating) and it leaves me feeling sad and hollow.

          1. Years ago, I listened to Michael Pearl teach a sermon on TULIP. He doesn’t agree with Calvinism and these beliefs. Neither do we. God wants ALL to come to repentance and believe.

        2. There are many strong arguments against Calvinism, but if you want one, this is a good start: in Calvinism God does not want, wish for, or provide salvation for all humans. God only want and provide salvation to a tiny minority of humans. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that God want and provide for the salvation of everyone.

          1. God saving a “tiny minority” isn’t part of the doctrines of grace, rather, God saving whomsoever He wills is part of the doctrines of grace. Many postmillennialists believe, for instance, that God will ultimately save multitudes that cannot be counted, ultimately resulting in the salvation of the majority of the human race (they see an optimistic future where the Gospel has been effectively preached and the great commission has been fulfilled). But in promoting the doctrines of grace I am not advocating for any position on how many will ultimately be saved.

    2. Thank you Ken for your prayers for Lori, as we sure can use them.

      Although I greatly admire John Calvin and his desire to try and wrap up God’s Word into a nice greatly wound theology, the Word itself cannot be as systematic as many of us would like. When we take God at His Word He is found to most definitely be sovereign over all, yet in His sovereignty he allows mankind freedom to choose for or against Him once the message of salvation is proclaimed.

      “Whosoever will may come” is not an empty promise, just as “chosen before the foundations of the earth” is true also. I do not believe we must reconcile these two important truths but know instead that God has them perfectly reconciled. We can speculate on how the may work together, but when we witness to an unbeliever we must do so with the conviction that we are not only commanded by God to evangelize, but they have God’s Word that “whosoever will may come.”

      I believe that Calvinism, in its attempt to reconcile the Word tries to put God in a box He cannot fit in. If a sovereign God chooses to give man feel will, who are we to say that He cannot do so? Of course He can as He is sovereign.

      It seems the exact interaction between God’s sovereignty and free will cannot be fully ascertained if one is desiring to accept some scriptures over over others. Instead we must allow the scriptures to speak for themselves and and accept them at face value the way the original hearer would have who do not have the ability to try and create a systematic theology, but instead walked by faith with each and every Word of God.

      I wonder at time if the answer is not that God indeed did choose us “in Christ.” That Christ is the One He chose before the foundation of the earth allowing all those who are “in Christ” to be chosen with Him. As such, whosoever will may choose Him, and yes, the Spirit of God draws them near, but many reject His calling. Some even taste of the Spirit and walk away. Hence the idea “Irresistible Grace” may be a false theology. If God can come in the flesh and be rejected by His own who were looking for Him, why can’t many who hear the Word reject it or fall away AFTER being drawn to Him?

      We prefer to now get caught up in a system of theology… we are not Cavinists or Arminians, but rather prefer to be students of the Word, accepting as true what God says is true and not trying to forcibly make squeeze the Word into a system. As you say so well, “I don’t believe we are saved by good theology, and so there will Arminians who are saved and Calvinists who are saved,” but I do not believe Calvinism captures best an approach to the Word of God by rather muddies things that are clear, and to often harms the church when a Calvinist or Arminianist seek to press their points effectively wiping out large passages of scripture so that there system works for their minds… instead of seeking the mind of God in all the Word just as it is plainly given.

      1. Thank you for this comment, Ken. You’ve answered some of my own questions on this topic! From reading the Bible it seems clear that God has elected some to salvation, and I’ve struggled with how to reconcile that with other passages. I do think that if God is sovereign, then he can indeed reveal himself and his truth to an unbeliever, at which point His grace WOULD be irresistable since the unbeliever’s eyes have been opened to his depravity (at least, that’s how I understand it). I do not believe any unbeliever can ever choose Christ because they are spiritually dead. As such, I have never been able to agree with Arminianism because I think humans are given too much credit and it takes away from God’s sovereignty. Regardless, sometimes the theological side of any doctrinal issue just seems so vague and abstract to me, and almost pointless when we think about who we are and how futile it is to try to perfectly understand God and His ways. I think you have hit the nail on the head here about following and obeying Him and being students of the Word, not merely being students of a fallible human pastor or theologian.

  3. Exactly ! you are sola fide meaning justified by faith alone in Christ alone. So many people think you are legalistic but I read in your blogs in an answer to a commenter we are saved by God’s finished work in the cross, all sin, past present and future. Thanks for making your position clear! Now maybe some that oppose you will get on with life

  4. John Calvin was a legend, he wasn’t the only person in church history to talk about the logical conclusions of the absolute sovereignty and perfect knowledge of all things which God declares he possesses. All christians rely on the language, terms and ideas that people before us have articulated. The comment sounds like that person doesn’t even understand the ideas which are referred to as Calvinism. Fighting over misrepresentations is a silly thing to do and distracts from the task at hand.

  5. All the “sovereign” references are from the ESV which also changes the King James verse ” those that ARE SAVED ” to “those that are BEING SAVED” 1 Cor 1:18 and 1Cot 15:2. IMPLYING A WORKS BASED PROCESS OF BEING SAVED. IM NOT BEING SAVED. I DONE BEEN SAVED WHEN I BELIEVED ON JESUS CHRIST FOR SALVATION. DONE DEAL. IM BORN AGAIN AND CAN NOT BECOME UN-BORN AGAIN. NOR CAN I BE BORN AGAIN. AGAIN. SALVATION IS ETERNAL.

  6. I think sometimes we can get wrapped up into Interpretations and Difficult Concepts…there’s a time and place for that…but I’d like to put this out there..

    Instinct. Instinct is never wrong.

    Instinct is why people who have sinned always try to get other people to sin. It’s because they know they are in trouble, and they don’t want to be alone.

    Deep down inside, you know the truth. You can justify this feeling with word salad or argue against the feeling with world salad…but You Know.

    Here’s an example:

    I was 5 years old and I was standing alone in a department store (My mom was looking at a rack nearby, but had no idea what was going on) and two homosexual men saw me alone and in front of me, by the escalator, began making out. Even at age 5…never reading the Bible, never have any Religious or Moral Training as of yet…I knew that what these two men were doing was unnatural…but more importantly I thought…

    “They are trying to hurt me”

    That says it right there. Instinct.

    If you trust your gut, if you listen to your gut, you’ll probably stay on the right path for the most part.

    1. Nonsense Christine,

      That is EXACTLY the kind of naive and foolish thinking that gets so many women into trouble!

      If we all just naturally had the proper “Instincts” about everything then we would not need the Word of God at all, we could just do what we “felt” was right in any given situation and always be the better for it but NOTHING is further from the truth.

      I hope you have some good male authority over you that is watching out for you because that kind of thinking is going to get you in trouble.

    2. Instinct keeps us safe, absolutely. But it definitely does not help us in our service to God. Serving the Lord is about self-denial. Instincts are about self-preservation.
      Instincts tell us if a person is inherently “good” or “bad” – as in dangerous/a threat and we would do well to heed them.
      Instincts tell us how to nurture our babies.
      But they don’t help us walk with the Lord. The Bible tells us that human nature is wicked.
      The only way we can please the Lord is by having his redeeming power in our lives and letting Him transform us to His will. And that’s nothing to do with instinct.

  7. Ken Alexander, I’m so glad you responded here in the comment section. I love this ministry that Lori has so faithfully been doing for the glory of our Lord and Savior. I whole heartedly agree with what you said above. I only recently heard about Calvinism and have done some heavy research on it and the tenets of TULIP. I was truly open to hearing what they believed and whether it made sense to me in light of scripture. I would agree on the words they use (ie God is sovereign) but completely disagree on how they define those words. We also don’t put ourselves in the Arminian camp either. I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, and I don’t need a man made theological system to tell me how to read Gods Holy Word. I let Gods word speak for itself (although I know Calvinists would also claim this). I felt that their arguments for each of the tenets of TULIP and the scriptures used to support them were taken out of context and misrepresented. What scares me the most is how passionate these pastors are who push Calvinism. They draw so many new Christians who are concerned about many of the watered down churches around nowadays. They flock to Calvinism and these fiery pastors who proclaim it. I too am disheartened by many of the “ luke warm” churches around me. But Calvinism is not the answer. The god of Calvinism is not the God I believe in. They change His character and much of the Bible story by their interpretations and lens! It’s very sad and concerning. There will be many false teachers and we need to be careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  8. This comment section is full of lies about Calvinism, slander and misrepresentation. There are hundreds of thousands of christians who have believed in the Tenants of Calvinism and some of the words spoken here condemn them to hell and the people saying it put themselves to be judge and God just like Satan has done. Saying the God of Calvinism is different than the God you know is a horrible thing to say. You reject good brothers and sisters in the faith because of hatred in your heart towards a biblical framework that you don’t like. This is terrible behaviour for a processing Christian and I encourage everyone who slanders calvinists to repent and learn to be loving to other Christians. Everyone accepts language, terms and frameworks from church fathers about the trinity, using language not found in scripture. This is fine to do but it’s wrong if we do this about Gods sovereignty? Picking and choosing doctrines you like as if your in a buffet line up. Calvinism does not teach salvation by works and neither does the esv, anyone who says that is putting on display their ignorance and lack of knowledge. This is an insane opinion that would be rejected by any fair minded person. Ken Alexander says that believers can be drawn by the father and then fall away, the bible says the opposite. John 6:35–40 (ESV): Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
    Also
    John 6:44 (ESV): No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

    No one comes to Christ for salvation unless the father draws them, everyone who is drawn by the father/given to the son are raised up on the last day, have eternal life and Christ loses none of them. No one who is drawn can fall away unless Christ is a weak failure at his task of saving them.

    God predestined a people for himself to be saved, they are called the elect or chosen and God saves them completely and loses none.

    Romans 8:29–30 (ESV): For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

    To say that people who teach this have a different God is horrible and should not be repeated. Let’s stick to teaching young people to get married and have kids not slander other Christians and fight about theological systems.

  9. Rex Lux, I want to first apologize if I came off as slandering you or any genuine person who follows Calvinism. That was not my intention whatsoever. Perhaps I should have explained my opinion better. I have family who are Catholic, I am friends with people who are Mormon and friends with people who are Calvinist and I am friends with Jewish people and Muslims. I show these friends love and kindness. If and when doctrinal issues come up I do tell them that I strongly disagree with their theology and interpretation of the scriptures and offer how I interpret such scriptures. I do believe there are many genuine Calvinists who truly believe they are reading scripture accurately and I actually have a lot of respect for the level of obedience the Calvinists show to the words of Jesus. I also dont disagree with everything a Calvinist might say, for example, many will agree with biblical womanhood, women being keepers at home and not speaking in church. We have a shared opinion there. My issue is with the theology of Tulip. I have to reject the notion that God damns a whole group of people to hell for no doing of their own because of limited atonement, unconditional election, and irresistible grace. I believe God wills all to come to himself and that the call is out there to everyone but that many will reject the call. That puts the blame on the lost rather than on God. I also don’t think the receiver of a gift has any right to boast for accepting a free gift. So I don’t see how that takes away from God’s soverignty either. In God’s soverignty I believe He gave us free will and that He wants all to come to Him and be saved but that many will not and be punished for eternity in hell. I believe God predestined that people will go to a heaven or a hell and that those who accept His free gift of salvation and believe in His son Jesus will go to heaven and those who reject Him will go to hell. Him giving us free will doesn’t take away from His soverignty if He willed to give it to us. What is love without choice? So yes, my God who wants all to be saved, who does not unconditionally damn certain people to hell for no choice of their own (if they couldn’t choose him even if they wanted since they have no freewill) then yes, my God is different then the god calvinists believe in. I am in no way judging your salvation or saying individual calvinists are going to hell for their theology. Not one bit! God alone knows that! And I will not assume to know whether you or any other Calvinist, Mormon, Catholic or any other Christian denomination that I disagree with is going to hell. Again, I apologize if my comment came across as slander or anything of the sort. Just voicing my concern over the pattern I have personally seen of newer Christians flocking to Calvinism after being disheartened by a luke warm church. I wish I knew the answers to theological differences between the many, many different groups of Christians but I don’t. God bless you and I pray for wisdom and truth for myself and all of us genuinely searching for truth.

  10. What love is this? is an excellent book about Calvinism (the problems with it). A lengthy read… But I found it very enlightening, as did my husband.

  11. Thanks for your response Lori, i’m glad to know that you’re not a calvinist. I’m a man btw my comment wasn’t to be mean i had to know because salvation is the number one important thing and everyone would agree with that. The thing is that there is a lot of fake christians today who preach a hardcore worksbased salvation on youtube and i’ve been deceive by them in the past a lot of them are calvinists and arminians. I got saved In 2017 at the age of 23 and i became not only a true christian but a baptist also. I’ve lived a living hell for years before that but thank God that i’ve finally found the truth about salvation. That it wasn’t about repenting of my sins, giving my life to Jesus and doing all these works to prove that i’m saved or to maintain my salvation by living a good life. I am all for living a godly life and keeping the commandments but the problem is that most “christians” today openly preach that we have to live a good life and keep the commandment to prove that we are truly saved and those who fall in sin, backslide to live a sinful life are not saved or had lose their salvation or they were never saved to begin with even if these same people still believe on the Lord. According to them you’re a true christian as long as you live a godly life but if you backslide and you die in that condition, you’re not saved because you didn’t persevere till the end and this is what salvation by works is. Perseverance require putting the effort to continue which is works this is why i believe calvinists are not saved they had put their trust in themselves instead of what Jesus Christ had done at the cross.

  12. Thank you Lori for all that you do. Be sure I am praying for your health. I am a long time reader and respect your viewpoints and pray you are healed.

    I am interested to know your opinion on two items.

    1. If once saved always saved, is it possible to forfeit your salvation if you either drift from the belief of God or commit a grave offense against God and not seek repentance?
    2. If one commits a grave offense but repents, must they then perform a recompense to God (other than not to commit the grave offense again)?
    Thank you Lori. I will read up on TULIP. Take care and be safe. Know that I am praying for your health.
    Jo

  13. Thanks for your clarification anonymous, Darly Lambert is a good example of the lack of knowledge and hatred that I was speaking of. Calvinists don’t think God damns people to hell for no fault of their own. None of the rebuttals of Calvinism made here make any sense and are all straw man emotional arguments. Calvinism is wrong because of feelings bro, that’s what people are basically saying. Reading books about why Calvinism is wrong that are written by people who don’t like Calvinism is the most biased unreliable way to discern truth I could ever think of. Has any one ever read anything written by calvin or the theologians who follow in his footsteps? Or does everyone’s knowledge of Calvinism come from emotional discomfort of people hundreds of years after his time? God can’t be sovereign because man has free will, except the bible doesn’t teach man has a free will, Jesus Christ says that everyone is a slave to sin, the unregenerate person can’t chose to do good. The verses in John and romans I posted teach that God predestined specific people to be called, justified, and glorified. All of this is the work of God and he is successful in all he desires to do. How could God desire people to be saved but then they end up in hell? So God is not powerful enough to save them? Christ gave his own life for them but his sacrifice was not enough to get them to heaven even though that’s what he wanted? This kind of thinking makes God not powerful instead of all powerful. It’s good to discuss these things and I thank Lori for posting my comments and for this space to banter with fellow heirs with Christ.

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