Yes it can. The journey to heaven is full of traps and enemies. One must learn how to use the weapons God provides us to pave the way. The better we understand and use the spiritual power of God, by studying the words of God, and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, the better and safer our journey will become.
The key is to become more like Jesus Christ. As we become a born again child of God through Jesus Christ, we are given the life of Christ. If we feed this new life with the words of God, the new life will grow. If we starve it and feed ourselves with evils worldly stuff, then our old selves will triumph.
Sin can cause us to become spiritually blind. It can make us think that we are still OK. It can deceive us into thinking that it is not really a sin, or that we don’t really need to repent. It can make the sinner pick and choose the words of God to rationalize this sin away. God sent us the Holy Spirit when we started following the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savor, and one of his role is to convict us of sin. However, we can stifle his voice, and ultimately become too hardened to sense any conviction at all (1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 4:2). This is why sin can be so dangerous. We must learn to be prayerful and repentful, lest we get deceived by sins, the world, false Christians, or Satan (Mark 14:38).
In fact, no sin is too small. When we become the children of God, we are pilgrims of heaven. We are to ever strike harder to get closer to our destination. Let’s not burden ourselves with sin, but run the race with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1).
So what are the Bible verses that says hidden sin can keep us from heaven? (Or read Can You Lose Your Salvation?)
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’ 13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— 15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.
17 “If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible. 18 They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the wrong they have committed unintentionally, and they will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; they have been guilty of[e] wrongdoing against the LORD.”
Sometime we may fail to recognize sin as sin. King David recognized this danger, and so he prayed this:
Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
When we may not recognize hidden sin, we can stay watchful and remain in a repentful state, by clinging to God closely. As long as we walk with God constantly, we will remain safe.
Many Christians imagine that since God is love, He won’t reject us for a hidden sin when we cross over, but this is presumptuous. If we read the Bible carefully, almost each and every book in the Bible is admonishing us to be alert and perserve in our pilgrimages. Almost every single book in the Bible tells us that we must repent fully before we can enter heaven.
What if someone forgets to repent and he or she dies? A faithful Christian will never die in sin. He or she is supposed to be with God 24/7. God gives such faithful disciple warning ahead when it is time to go home. As for those who are carnal, their spiritual senses are dull, and sudden death could catch them off guard. In the Bible, almost every apostle was able to foretell his death, and spent time giving their last words to the churches. Today, I still hear tales of Christians who knew when God was going to take them home before they died.
No one knows when the Rapture is going to happen. If we are not close to God, we don’t know when death could happen. There are many witnesses who have been led to hell and witnessed Christians in there—they died in sins. They thought they still had time, but they died when it was too late. God sent these witnesses to the living world to warn the rest of us.
For those of you who take this article seriously, I give you my blessing. To ensure we can enter heaven, we must have faith. Biblical faith can keep us on the straight and narrow. It’s beyond willpower. Willpower alone will not keep us faithful, but faith can open door to the transforming power of God, and make us more Christ-like everytime we exercise our faith. To receive my words of blessing, go here. To learn what biblical faith is, read Parable of the Mustard Seed.