That’s a great question. The reality is, when Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago, all our sins were in the future.
There are people who argue that there is no Scripture that says all our future sins are forgiven. They teach that when we receive Jesus, all our past sins are forgiven, but our future sins are only forgiven as we confess them and ask God for forgiveness.
First let me address those who claim that there is no Bible verse stating that our future sins are forgiven. Let me put it to them that there is no Bible verse stating that only our past sins are forgiven! But there is a Scripture that clearly states, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7, emphasis mine). In the original Greek text, the verb for “have” is in the present tense, which indicates durative action, meaning we are continually having forgiveness of sins, including every sin we will ever commit.1
Furthermore, 1 John 2:12 says, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” The Greek perfect tense is used here for “are forgiven,” meaning this forgiveness is a definite action completed in the past, with the effect continuing into the present. 2 This means that God’s forgiveness avails for you in your present, and continues into your future.
Let me give you another clear Scripture that states that all our sins, including our future sins, have been forgiven:
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
—Colossians 2:13–14 NLT (emphasis mine)
Jesus forgave all our sins! The word “all” in the above Scripture is the Greek pas, meaning “every kind or variety . . . the totality of the persons or things referred to.”3 It refers to “all, any, every, the whole.”4 So “all” means all. God’s forgiveness of our sins covers every sin—past, present, and future! When we received the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we received the total and complete forgiveness of all our sins.
In Hebrews 10:11–14, the Bible says, “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
Now, according to this Scripture, as a believer, for how long are you perfected?
How can you be perfected forever, if your future sins are not forgiven?
Excerpted from Grace Revolution, chapter 4, Receive the Greatest Blessing.
1. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from www.preceptaustin.org/ephesians_17‑8.
2. Retrieved February 13, 2015, from www.preceptaustin.org/greek_quick_reference_guide.
3. NT: 3956, William Edwy Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
4. NT: 3956, James Strong, Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.