One of the most common questions I get asked after teaching about the wonderful gift of Salvation given to us in Christ is, “What if the believer dies in sin?”
The other formats the question usually comes in include, “what will happen to a Christian who died in sin?”, “where will a Christian who died in sin go to?” Oftentimes, they usually expect me to say “Hell”.
While I am aware that some people ask these questions with the intent of trapping you into saying something they will cherry-pick and use against you, I am also aware some do so out of the sincerity of heart, to learn the truth of God’s word. However, the question wouldn’t have even been an issue in the first place if we had taken some time to study what the Bible has to say concerning sin.
What does the Bible call sin?
There are actually two of them. Unfortunately, the first is where most people stop at. I implore you to not learn about the first alone but also pay enough attention to the second.
The first thing the Bible refers to as sin is wrongdoing or wrongful acts. That is not rocket science. Nearly everyone knows this. The wrong acts here include lying, cheating, stealing, idol worship, fornication etc. But that is not all there is to sin. As a matter of fact, these wrongdoings are better referred to as sins.
The second thing the Bible calls sin which is actually the main thing the sacrifice of Jesus dealt with on the cross, is the evil “nature” passed onto every man from Adam. This nature is the main thing that separated us from God, or you can say “killed us spiritually” since spiritual death is simply a separation from God. It qualified every man as a sinner even without us doing anything evil.
Romans 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned
The sin nature is what produces the sins (the wrong acts) we see present in the world. As long as a man has not received or accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for himself personally, this nature is still very much active in him. It can drive him to do anything, all manner of evil, without remorse. It is just his nature.
Apostle Paul explains it better like this;
Ephesians 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 
Ephesians 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 
Ephesians 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Did you notice that in verse 3, he referred to us before encountering Christ as the Children of wrath by nature?
He took time to explain that the reason we committed all manner of sins (wrong acts), was because we had the nature of sin within us. As long as that nature was within us, we could do anything, anytime, anywhere. Without minding what anyone would say or do.
In his prophetic explanation of the reason for Christ’s coming, John the Baptists tells us clearly “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)
What sin was he talking about? Lying, stealing or fornication? Not exactly.
He was referring to the root of sins which is sin in itself. That is, the sin nature.
So how will Jesus take away that sin seeing that He was not born into it like every other man? How will he take it away if he never had it in the first place?
On the cross, Jesus willingly had His nature of righteousness stripped from Him and took upon Himself that sin nature and became “sin” or a “sinner” like every other man. Not by evil actions but by nature.
2Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 
In His death, he died bearing that sinful nature in Himself for all who would believe and come to God through Him. He died and was buried with it. But in His resurrection, He resurrected a new man, with a new nature - the nature of righteousness.
This new nature of righteousness is automatically reproduced in all who will receive it by faith in His death, burial and resurrection for them. By receiving it through faith, they become qualified to be called Righteous men, even without doing any good thing at the moment. They become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
2Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 
So, the major thing the Bible refers to as sin in the Bible is the nature of sin. That is what makes a man a sinner before God. As long as you don’t have this nature anymore through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, you are not a sinner anymore. You may still do some bad stuff occasionally, but that doesn’t make you a sinner again in God’s eyes.
In the same way, you can do all the good things in the world, help the poor, pray etc as many times as you lie. As long as you have not accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for yourself, you are not a righteous man. You are a sinner in God’s eyes. If you die that way, you will perish in Hell.
So what will happen to a Christian who dies in sin (nature)? 
First, the Christian can never die in that state seeing that His sinful nature has been taken away by Jesus according to John 1:29. He has a new nature in him which is the nature of righteousness. Also if he dies committing a sin (wrongdoing), apostle John tells us his fate.
1 John 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 
1 John 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
That scripture is not only valid when the Christian is alive, it is valid as long as the word of God is alive. That is forever and ever, and ever! When the Christian is present on this earth or gone.
Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 
That is what the Bible teaches. Not that he will end up in Hell even after being born again in the image of God. There is no single scripture in the Bible that supports the notion that if a sinful believer dies, he will end up in hell. If that were to be the case then everyone will end up in Hell since there are over 613 sins that we can consciously or unconsciously commit before dying. Saying we didn’t do any of it intentionally is not a valid excuse before God. Claiming ignorance does not also work with Him.
Romans 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Our only hope is in Him, His sacrifice, forgiveness and His words. At all times. Including moments of our death.
Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
He only is our hope for rapture, redemption, glorification, immortality, eternal peace and entry into Heaven.
Should we then take that as a license to go on a sin rampage? God forbid! Apostle Paul tells us:
Colossians 3:8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 
Colossians 3:9  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 
Colossians 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him
He says “put off” all forms of wrongdoings. That is, stop them.
Why? Because you no longer have the “old man” which is the nature of sin in you. You now have the “new man” created in God's image. In righteousness and true holiness.
So What Will Happen To A Believer Who Died In Sin? 
In summary, his sins will be forgiven and he will not be cast into Hell like the unbelievers. This is because his sinful nature has been dealt with once and for all by the sacrifice of Jesus, who is also his advocate and eternally making intercessions for him before God. This is the Gospel. This is what the Bible teaches.
I hope this blesses you! Glory to God

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