Question : I think somewhere in the Bible it says that God cannot look upon sin. So…what if we die in a car accident or something, before we have a chance to ask forgiveness, what happens to that sin?
Answer: Concerning your thought that God cannot look upon sin. May I say that God looks upon sin endlessly when He looks upon His creation, for we are told in Ecclesiastes 7:20,
“For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
Romans 3:23 further states,
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
The answer to this question lies in distinguishing between our salvation and our service to the Lord.
Our salvation was bought and paid for by the death and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is offered as a free gift to anyone who will receive it by faith. Romans 6:23 says,
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You never have to ask Christ to forgive your sins to be saved; because He already did that 2,000 years ago upon the cross. Contrariwise, Christ is asking everyone to receive His forgiveness by believing He died for them, personally. (Acts 13:38,39). John 3:15 promises,
“That whosoever believeth in him (Jesus Christ) should not perish, but have eternal life.”
When we sin after we are saved, we are to confess that sin. Confession and forsaking the sin restores the fellowship with the Lord, and others, that we had before we sinned. 1 John is written to Christians. In 1 John 1:9 we are told,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This is for fellowship, not salvation, as 1 John 1:7 states,
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…”
Every Christian, when they get to Heaven, will stand accountable for how they lived their life after they were saved. They will receive rewards or suffer loss of rewards accordingly. 1 Corinthians 3:14,15 makes this perfectly clear.
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (14) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (i.e., of rewards): but he himself shall be saved…” (15)
Therefore, should a Christian die without confessing some sin or sins, they would suffer loss of rewards; but, not loss of their eternal life.
Remember, Heaven is never a reward; but, a free gift. Rewards have to be earned after we are saved.