Geeze, I hope so! Otherwise, I am in BIG trouble!!
Frankly, so are you.
Anyone, and everyone, is a sinner. Whether they commit murder, rob, lie, or just eat ham on Shabbat, they (and we) all are sinners. Adam sinned, Eve sinned, Cain sinned, Nimrod sinned, Enoch (well, maybe not Enoch), and just about everyone else down the line, sinned. Moses was a murderer, King David was more than just a murderer, he was an adulterer who committed murder to cover his crime, Solomon burned his own children to Molech; yet, I don’t think anyone doubts that Moses, King David or Solomon are in heaven.
Look, Yeshua came to earth to die for our sins because we are sinners. DUH! And no one can live a sinless life. As I have said, and will continue to say:
We can never be sinless, but we can always sin less.
So, if sinners can go to heaven why bother not sinning? Oy! Now I sound like Shaul (Paul) in his letters. The reason we try to stop sinning is to demonstrate the one thing that separates the sinners who live and the sinners who die- it’s called T’shuvah, which is the Hebrew word meaning “repentance.”
We have the propensity to sin in our DNA, we are born into it, and it is what (in Hebrew) we call the Yetzer Hara, the Evil Inclination. We also have the Yetzer Tov, the Good Inclination, but the Rabbi’s tell us that doesn’t develop until we are old enough to study Talmud and Torah (unfortunately, that is often the order the Orthodox take. I think it should be the other way around), so we all start out with sin in our hearts. We are all sinners, who continue to sin.
Again, the difference is not who sins and who doesn’t, but who doesn’t want to anymore! I have another saying you might have heard me repeat (often):
Before I was saved I was a sinner who rationalized my sins; now I am a sinner who regrets my sins.
Yeshua (Jesus) came to earth, stripped Himself of His divine nature and took on a mantle of flesh, specifically so that He could act as the substitute for us, to take on the penalty for sin that we deserve. He gave up eternal divinity so that we could have eternal life. But, if being sinless (as He was) is the condition for salvation, then it was all a waste because no one can be sinless. It would have been just plain stupid for Him to give up what He did if we have to be sinless to avail ourselves of His sacrifice.
Let me tell you something you probably already know: God and Yeshua? they ain’t stupid!
The difference is simple- if you have truly accepted God’s grace through Yeshua, have accepted the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and live every day in order to die to self, then you will have done T’shuvah, you will regret your sins, you will live to sin less, and thereby you will be able to spend eternity in the presence of God. That is really what heaven is- eternally in God’s presence.
On the other hand, even if you call on the name of the Lord but do not change your attitude towards sin, if you say you’re a good person because you don’t kill and lie but you cheat on your taxes and fail to give to the poor or tithe, and if you constantly try to get away with explaining your sins as OK because Jesus died for you, then you are going to be very, VERY sadly disappointed when you come before the Throne of God (as we all will); because, when God starts to read off your sins and you turn to the right hand of God and scream,
“Yo! J-man! How you be? Get me outta here, ‘K?”
I am afraid you will only hear Yeshua say, “Get thee away from me- I know you not.”
We all sin, and yes- sinners do get to go to heaven (we can discuss another time that we really don’t go to heaven- read Revelations) as long as they are repentant sinners who have fruits of righteousness they can present to the Lord. We are told never to come before the Lord empty handed, and at Judgement what we bring will not be the blood of goats or rams, but the fruits of the Spirit we have developed, the execution stakes we picked up when we decided to follow Yeshua, and the good works we did in spite of the iniquity within us.
Yes, Virginia- there is a heaven for sinners, but only those sinners who constantly sin less because they are faithfully obedient to God.