Question: I have heard it said that as Christians our sins are forgiven past, present, and future. Can you tell me the Bible verse, or verses, where this is found? Also, what is meant by the phrase ‘eternal security’?
Answer: There is no verse in the Bible that tells us that all sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven, using those exact words. However, there are many verses in the Bible which teach us that when we are ‘born again’ we are forgiven of all our sins and therefore we can be certain of our eternal destiny, or we have what’s called ‘eternal security.’
What the Bible says About Forgiveness
There are many Bible verses that tell us that when we are born again all our sins are forgiven including our future sins. Consider the following verses:
“in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14, NKJV).”
“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name (Acts 10:43, ESV).”
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).”
These few verses strongly imply the concept of the forgiveness of all our sins at the time we make the good confession (i.e. when we’re born again).
What the Bible says about Eternal Security
This matter of all our sins being forgiven is also referred to as ‘eternal security.’ Again, the words ‘eternal security’ are not found in the Bible, but the concept is taught in various places including in Ephesians 4:30 (NKJV): “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Similarly, this is what is meant in Philippians 1:6 where Paul writes: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Finally, Paul writes: “Now He who has prepared for us this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 5:5, NKJV).”
The question of eternal security comes down to whether a person was ever saved. Theoretically, it’s possible to make the good confession (to say the right words), but in that moment to have lacked authentic belief. In that scenario, you can’t lose something you never had in the first place.
What the Bible says about Assurance of Salvation
It’s important to know that God does not want people to be forever wondering if they are saved or not. He wants us to be confident of our standing before Him and this is what Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 13:18 (NKJV): “Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.”
Our Lord put it this way: ‘I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.’ John 10:28 (ESV)
If you have sincerely asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and invited Him to be your Savior, you are born again and you can be certain of your place in heaven. As a saved person, confident of your place in heaven, you are now called to live your life in such a way that you can have assurance of your salvation and enjoy the fruit of a close relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Written by Pastor Bruce Daze