Will There Be Sin in Heaven


John Hoole – January 25, 2015





The easy answer is, “Of course not. We’ll be perfect in heaven, incapable of sinning.”  But is the answer that easy?  Would Heaven still be Heaven if sin had a place there?  I think the answer is a definite “NO!”  Will we be entirely and forever free, not only from the consequence of sin, but from our sin natures that plague us now by pulling us away from God.


Revelation 21:5-8 NKJV


5       Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6       And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

7       He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

8       But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."


The Bible is clear that the “unbelievers” and the “corrupt” will be in the “lake that burns with fire and sulfur” (Rev. 21:8).  This implies that the believers and those who are not corrupt will be in heaven. 


Charles H Spurgeon says, in one of his sermons (Preached 3/27/1881, Metropolitan Tabernacle).


“All Heaven and heavenly things cry, ‘Write the decree and make it sure; there is no way anything that defiles shall enter into it.’”


But someone might say, “Adam and Eve were perfect, living in an idyllic and sinless place, and yet they sinned.”  Could it happen again?  It is true that Satan tempted them, but he too, originally, was a perfect being living in a perfect environment  Not only was there no sin prior to Satan’s rebellion, there was absolutely no sin in the entire universe.  Yet Satan sinned.


Hence, by itself, Heaven’s perfection is no guarantee there’ll be no future sin.  Lucifer was created by God and he lived in a perfect and holy place.  How do we know it can’t start all over again with us?  There are, in fact, other elements involved.


Since we know that Adam was created in a perfect state and yet his free choice to disobey God introduced sin into the world, then in what way do we retain that same type of freedom and yet never disobey God in all eternity?  And if we lose the ability to choose, does this not render humanity to a lower estate than before?  No one wants to become a robot or android that would happen not to have a choice.


Our original question now takes on two important elements. 

Now, it is impossible in this short lesson to consider all that has been debated on the issue of free will down through Church history.  This is indeed a much tougher question to answer.  Will we have free will in Heaven?  If so, does that mean we might sin and fall again?  If not, what kind of free will would we have there?  And if God can harmonize our free will and sinlessness in heaven, why doesn’t He do so in this life?




Of course, if we do not have a free will in Heaven, then the answer is not difficult, for then there will be no possibility of God allowing sin in Heaven.  On the other hand, if we do have a free will in Heaven, can we be tempted to sin?  If we do have a free will, I believe the Bible says that we will never exercise that freedom of will to sin.  In other word, we will not sin, because we will not ever want to sin.


I should probably add at this point, that I strongly believe we will have free wills in Heaven.  Let me illustrate my thought process by asking you a question.




God didn’t make us like robots, whom He pre-programmed so we would automatically worship Him.  What kind of worship would that be?


As a parent, I want my children to love me because they make that choice.  That has a whole lot more satisfaction than if they were forced to love me.  Isn’t that the same way it is with God?  Wouldn’t it please God so much more to have men and women who choose to love and worship Him because of who He is, rather than pre-programmed to do so without choice?


If that is true today, I have another question – will that not still be true in Heaven?  Anything but voluntary and grateful worship and adoration would not really be worship and adoration at all.  Imagine a husband who desires his wife’s love, and to ensure that love, he injects her with a chemical to remove her free will, to make her love him.  It is difficult to even imagine such a thing.


I know some people suggest our free choice is a temporary condition for the present life, and that it won’t characterize us in Heaven.  But it seems to me that the capacity to choose is part of what makes us human.  It truly is hard for me to believe God would be pleased by our worship if we had no choice but to offer it.


It’s one thing for Him to enable us to worship.  It’s quite another for Him to force us to do so or to make it automatic and involuntary.  Christ woos us, his bride – He doesn’t “fix” her so she has no choice but to love him.


I can’t imagine total happiness and joy – a state of bliss if you will, if we do not have the agency of free will.  If we do not have individual free will, then to ever think independently, so that I can study this or that interesting subject, or explore the milky way, would not be possible.


God created mankind with a free will, and He is not going to strip that from us at some point in time or eternity.  God knows, and assures us, that we will never use our free will to rebel against Him.


In speaking of our heavenly home, the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:27  (NIV) says;


27     Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.


                      Nothing associated with sin will ever enter this place.


That passage does not say: “If someone in Heaven becomes impure or shameful or deceitful, that person will be evicted from Heaven.”  As much as we could heartily wish that evil had never entered into the original world, we earnestly reject the idea that it will ever contaminate the new world.


Three times in the final two chapters of the Bible, we are told that those still in their sins will have no access to Heaven, and never will (Rev. 21:8, 27;  22:15).


Let’s return for a moment to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  How can we really say with confidence that no sin will ever enter the holy presence of Heaven, when Adam and Eve did sin in the perfect world into which they were created?


Adam and Eve’s situation was, in fact, very different from that of God’s resurrected saints.  The first man and woman were innocent, but not righteous.  That is, they had not been made righteous by the atoning work of Christ.  All people who will be in Heaven, on the other hand, have been made righteous through Christ, as we are told in Romans 5.


Romans 5:19 NKJV


19     For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.


The fact that evil will have no footing in Heaven and absolutely no leverage to affect us, is further indicated by the words of Jesus, when He says, in Matthew 13:41-43, “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  They will throw them into the fiery furnace….Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”


Hebrews 9:26 says with an air of finality that Christ sacrificed himself, Why? – to “put away sin” (NAS) or to  “do away with sin” (NIV),  Sin will be a thing of the past.  The verses that follow in the 9th chapter of Hebrews emphasize that Christ died ONCE to deal with sin, and He will never again need to die.


Hebrews 9:28 NKJV


28     So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.


By a single offering of Himself for the sins of all mankind, He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.  The Apostle Paul makes this point clear in the next chapter of Hebrews.


Hebrews 10:10, 14 NKJV


10     By that will [by God’s will] we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

14     For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.


                   On the cross, validated by His resurrection, our Savior purchased our perfection for all time.


1 Corinthians 15:52 says we will be raised “incorruptible.”  “Incorruptible” is a much stronger word that “uncorrupted.”  Our resurrected bodies – and by implication, our new beings will be immune to corruption.  Christ will not allow us to be vulnerable to the very thing He died to deliver us from.


One author that I was reading believes we will have free will in Heaven, and He says, “but since we will no longer have sin natures, we will be able not to sin.”  He goes on to say, in Heaven “we would never choose to sin.”


I would probably take his statement a little farther.  We will no longer have sin natures, so we will be able not to sin, and, unlike Adam and Eve, we will not have any to tempt us.


The inability to sin does not inherently violate free will.  My inability to be God, or an angel, or a rabbit, or a flower is not a violation of my free will.  It is simply reality of my nature.


No, we will not be robots.  But, out of love, we will serve and obey God forever.  God knows the future, and He tells us in the Book of Revelation that Heaven will forever be free of sin.


Revelation 22:3 says, “No longer will there be a curse.”  The curse was the result of Adam and Eve’s sins.  In Heaven there will be no sin, so the curse has been lifted.


Will we in heaven be tempted to ever turn our backs on Christ?  What is it that would tempt us to do such a thing?  What is it that tempts us in our present life?


                   1.  The Devil and his demons – They will never approach you  and tempt you again.


                   2.  Our sinful nature – That will never be present in us in Heaven.


                   3.  Other humans – Those in heaven will never cause us to commit a single sin.


There will be nothing in Heaven that will tempt us.  We will never desire to sin, ever.  We will see sin as God does.  It will be stripped of its illusions and will be utterly unappealing.


Living the Christian life today has its difficulties.  One reason for this is that we each have a sin nature within us.  That means we have a bent and inclination toward committing sinful acts.  We also live in a world that offers many enticements to engage in sin.  Still worse, we live in an environment infested with evil spirits who not only are the archenemies of God, but also seek to attack any person who is committed to Christ.


With this in mind, I want you to consider the implications of our relocation to Heaven.  One obvious thing is that, unlike the world today, Heaven will provide no enticements to sin.  You and I as Christians will no longer have a sin nature in our resurrection bodies.


Someone asked, “If we are sinless, will we still be human?”  Although sin is so much a part of us now, it’s not essential to our humanity – in fact, it is foreign to it.  Sin is what keeps us from being what we were originally created to be, and one day we will be.  Our greatest deliverance in Heaven will be from ourselves.  Our deceit, corruption, self-righteousness, our self-sufficiency, hypocrisy, will forever be gone.  And, unlike Adam and Eve, Satan will not have access to any of us.  Satan will be eternally quarantined away from us in the lake of fire.


In Revelation 20:10, the apostle John describes Satan’s banishment.


10     The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.


Notice three primary factors here


1.  The place of confinement is the Lake of Fire.


2.  The duration of confinement is “day and night forever and ever.”


3.  The punishment in this confinement is torment


But, we will not only know what absolute righteousness is, but also what sin is – or was.  We will always know sin’s costs.  Every time we see the scarred hands of King Jesus, we will remember.  And we will see sin as God does.  It will be stripped of all its allusions, and it will be totally unappealing.


Let’s be clear that Satan will never be released from the lake of fire.  He is consigned to hell without possibility of redemption or release.  After we have been in heaven with Christ for 100 billion years, Satan will still be confined in the lake of fire, and will remain forever.


This is one of the factors that adds significance to Revelation 21:25, which tells us that the gates of the New Jerusalem – the eternal city, will never be shut.  Those who dwell in the eternal city will never have any external threat.  Satan, demons, and unbelievers will be eternally quarantined in hell with no possibility of escape.  Gone forever will be Satan’s temptations toward evil.  Gone forever will be his attempts to afflict us with bodily ailments.  Gone forever will be the seeds of doubt he seeks to sow in our minds.  No longer will we need to resist the devil in order for him to flee from us.


Satan is presently a counterfeiter of the one true God and His divine program.  Satan has long desired to take the place of God.  He mimics God in many ways.  This is hinted at in 2 Corinthians 11:14, which refers to Satan masquerading as an angel of light.                                          


Consider some of the ways that Satan has sought to mimic God:


•  Satan has his own ministers of darkness who bring false sermons. (2 Corinthians 11:4-5).


•  He has formulated his own system of theology, sometimes called “doctrines of demons” or “teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 2:24).


•  His ministers proclaim his gospel, which Paul calls “a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you” (Galatians 1:7-8).


•  Satan has his own throne (Revelation 13:2) and his own worshippers (Revelation 13:4).


•  He inspires false Christ (Matthew 24:4-5).


•  He employs false teachers who bring in “destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1).


•  He sponsors false apostle who imitate the true (2 Corinthians 11:13).


In heaven, such deception will nowhere be seen.  Only truth will permeate the eternal kingdom of heaven.  Jesus Christ, who is the truth (John 14:6), will reign in the kingdom of truth (heaven).  I think the statement found in Matthew 13 to be very interesting – we read it before.


Matthew 13:41 NKJV


41     The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,


We are aware of his last statement that all who practice a sinful life will be excluded from His kingdom.  But the statement just prior to this, He says all things (not just people or devils) that offends – that causes sin, will also be absent from the kingdom of Christ.  Anything that corrupts people or this world will be gone forever.  We will no longer be one step from evil.  Our bodies will be redeemed and we will no longer experience the lust of the flesh.


Because our hearts will be pure and we’ll see people as they truly are, every relationship in Heaven will be pure.  We will all be faithful to the love of our life – King Jesus.  We couldn’t do anything behind His back even if we wanted to.  But we will never want to.  We will love everyone, men and women, but we will be “in love” only with Jesus.


To finish answering the question of sin in heaven, let me point you to Revelation 21:4.


Revelation 21:4 NKJV


4          And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."


I want you to see two things in this verse, though there is much more than these addressed in this verse.  First, notice the last phrase – “for the former things have passed away” (NIV = “old order”).  The word “for,” links what came before it with “the former things.”  In other words, tears, death, sorrow, crying and pain are part of the “former things.”  And these “former things” will forever be behind us.


Now notice one of the “former things”DEATHWHAT DOES THE BIBLE TELL US IS THE SOURCE OF DEATH?


Roman’s 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death,…”


Romans 5:12 NKJV


12        Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned — 


In Revelation 21:4, we read that there will be no more death.  Death is a part of the “former things.”  The sin that caused them will be no longer.  We need not fear a second Fall into sin.  The promise of no more death is a promise of no more sin.  Those who can never die can never sin.


Again, Revelation 21:27  (NIV) says;


27     Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.


                   Nothing associated with sin will ever enter this place.