God does not keep a record of our sins


I have read more than once that God keeps a record of all the sins we have committed , and on Judgement Day each one of us will be confronted by God with that list .

It doesn’t make for a pretty picture , neither does it give a good image of God .

Anyway it’s not true . How do I know ? I know because God’s Word tells us so .

In Psalm 130:3 the psalmist prays , “LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?”

In Psalm 103 :12 through the psalmist God teaches , “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

In Isaiah 43:25 God’s Word goes even further when through Isaiah God says , "“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

In 1 Cor 13:5 St Paul teaches that love “keeps no record of wrongs” .

In Romans 4:8 St Paul says , "Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

I read an interesting take on creation ex nihilo , creation out of nothing in a book by Father Raniero Cantalamessa . He says that God does the reverse with our sin . In forgiving , absolving us if our sin God makes them “nihil” , nothing . They cease to exist .


This is an idea worthy of thoughtful contemplation, research and prayer for guidance. The avoidance of sin plays such a large part in our religion and rightly so since the avoidance of it is like safety barriers on a narrow mountain path. However the utility of sin is not the aim of this discussion I can see but the attractive concept of reunion with Our Heavenly Father.

Personally I’m going to consult on this. Thank you Rob.


Although NDE “evidence” is not part of the teaching of the Church and is debatable from a scientific viewpoint, there have been cases of people being shown their sins in some way after death as part of a life review.

Presumably if/ when they are taken to heaven, such sins are all erased, but if you are going to Purgatory you are probably well aware of why you are there and the sin has not yet fully “ceased to exist” if you are still serving temporal punishment for it. It may have “ceased to exist” from a standpoint of God forgiving you for it, but it’s still on your permanent record in some way until you get out of Purgatory.


Purgatory of course @Tis_Bearself
What does Father Raniero Cantalamessa say with regard to Purgatory?

The OP is saying though that he has read that on judgement day we will be confronted with that list, the list of our sins and called to account for them. His opinion is that this is not so, that our sins have been forgiven. This is presumably after having been to Purgatory.


He doesn’t mention Purgarory . The part that I have quoted of Father Cantalamessa was only said by him in passing as he was dealing with some aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit in the forgiveness of sins .

I keep my thinking on Purgatory as simple as possible which I think the Catechism does when it says , " All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned."

I go no further than that .

In my earlier days , usually stemming from hymns which are thankfully no longer used , there were notions of Purgatory which conjured up concepts and images which went far beyond what the Church teaches .

The whole of truth about the life after death is mystery in the depths of God , and it is wise to be guided by St Paul’s words which teach ,"“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard , and what has not entered the human heart , what God has prepared for those who love him,” this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God."


This is why many don’t believe in the concept of purgatory.


The purpose of our faith is to restore justice and order to God’s universe, which means to ultimately have His will done. And sin opposes His will.This planet provides man the freedom to experiment with sin, with evil as well as with good, to see which one we’ll eventually choose, which one we’ll orient ourselves towards. God helps us, without forcing us, to choose rightly. Faith is a gift that we cooperate with that begins this process. He doesn’t want us merely forgiven of sin, but to ‘go, and sin no more.’

So His forgiveness of sin carries with it an obligation, that we’ll also start getting our act together. He’ll continue to forgive when we fall, then repent, but if we persist in serious sin without caring, without having a change of heart and repenting, then His forgiveness will not have its effect on us; we’ll be denying Him and His love, choosing ourselves and our selfishness instead. Read the most important New Covenant prophecy, Jer 31:31-34, and realize that this still depends on our allowing God to enter and work in our lives:. It depends on our communion with Him, ‘apart from whom we can do nothing’ John 15:5:

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them declares the Lord.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

All a work of His, of justifying us, but a “synergistic” work, meaning one that we must participate or cooperate in because our very own wills are involved in our very own justice.


Matthew 5

17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.


It is not so much a list, and God has no need for a list. Consider this passage:

1 Corinthians 13:12
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

At the Final Judgement, everyone will know fully. Everyone will be able to apprehend all of creation over all time. We will see not only our sins and failings, but the interconnectedness of all things. We will see the history, background, and causes of our sin, which may mitigate in our defense. We will see the unintended consequences of our sin, and the consequences of consequences which are like ripples spreading out into the moral fabric of family, friends, and society.

This will be an awesome, fearsome thing. But it is the truth. It is the reality of what we have done, and on that day we must know it. Lord, have mercy!

It will also be a glorious thing, because we will see the full, unabridged history of our salvation. We will see God’s tremendous love which overcomes evil, and we will rejoice and give thanks and praise to God. Therefore be hopeful.


Yes, and so with the New Covenant the obligation for man to be righteous still must be fulifilled but the right way now, with God’s direct help rather than apart from Him. The very first aspect of injustice for man that needs to be resolved isn’t for him to start acting lawfully or sinlessly first of all -but rather to enter initmate communion with God first of all, from and through whom all justice or righteousness flows because then He places His law in our minds and writes it our on our hearts. We humbly come to Him to be justified, rather than coming to Him and saying, “Look, aren’t I just now, aren’t I worthy already?”

Anyway this communion is our justice. And through it He transforms us into His image, the image of love that fulfills the law by it’s very nature.


I would not worry about whether or not any kind of record is kept, as long as sins are forgiven and we are restored to friendship with God.


God is all powerful, however, He cannot act against His nature. God is omnipotent. He knows everything, Talk of God “forgetting” our sins is a poetic way to say that our sins are forgiven. At the end, we will rejoice because our darkest deepest sins were forgiven. Those who were forgiven for the most vile sins will have the most rejoicing!


The answer to the list of sins is Jesus.


In my Baptist teen years, we had a speaker at a youth retreat who stated “our sins will be shouted from the roof tops” at the final judgment. We all were freaking out - thinking with our teenage minds about our teenage sins/thoughts. Our youth director told us this was not true. Thinking back, I’m sure we were thinking about being embarrassed in front of others. Now, as I think about the last judgment, I don’t see being embarrassed as an issue. My focus is a mature line of thinking - of not wanting to hurt or disappoint my Savior.


That is one of Christ’s beautiful sermons about trust in God.


“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.

Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one."

It is also recounted in http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew/10

Christ was teaching us to trust and have faith, promising us that bad things will happen and to still trust God.



God bears our sins on His strong left arm, and with His right arm He brings His salvation.


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