Are we at risk of eternal suffering?

A few weeks ago, I was reading Leviticus.  I was puzzled by the reference to sin offerings for “unintentional” sins.  Why the particular reference to “unintentional” sins?  We all sin – it’s part of our human nature.  But if the bible makes a particular reference to unintentional sins, then it seems like there would be a reason for doing so.  Is there some explicit or inherent distinction between unintentional and intentional sins?  Maybe the two are subject to different consequences.  And if this is the case, what are the consequences for intentional sins?  This concerns me because many who profess to be Christians live in sin – in complete disregard of God’s call for us to be obedient.  With great intention, we abide in sin.  Often, Christian leaders effectively teach us that this is okay, that we cannot be perfect, that sanctification is work in progress, and that the blood of Jesus atones for our sins.  All these statements are true.  However, how do you reconcile these statements with Hebrews, which teaches that if we intentionally continue to sin after receiving knowledge of the truth, there is no longer a sacrifice for our sins?  And if the process of sanctification is interpreted as providing an excuse or license for our sins, then what was the point of Jesus teaching that He came to fulfill the law, not to do away with it?  And why does the New Testament teach so much about repentance unless it plays some role in the continued work of Jesus, in our sanctification, in our salvation?  It’s seems like obedience and repentance remain important.  And repentance demands that we turn away from our sins.  In order to repent, we must strive to be obedient to God, to do His will.  Without the law, what do we use to gauge our behavior, whether it is sinful, whether it is within God’s will?  If we don’t repent, if we continue to live in sin, in violation of God’s will, contrary to His law, if we sin intentionally, considering the teachings of Hebrews, then are we at risk of eternal suffering?

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