Will I Go to Hell If I’m Not a Virgin?

“Will I go to hell if I’m not a virgin?” a single girl asked me.

I wish I could scoff, “Of course not!” But the truth is, it all depends . . .

Hell: Our Default Destination

Let’s start with this basic understanding: Every person’s default destination is Hell. That’s because without exception:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).

While our culture ridicules the notion that sex is off-limits to everyone other than a man and a woman united in marriage, God says otherwise.

We all sin in countless ways, but let’s specifically address this girl’s question about choosing to have premarital sex.

While our culture ridicules the notion that sex is off-limits to everyone other than a man and a woman united in marriage, God says otherwise.

First Corinthians 6:13–20 explains:

The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her?

For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Choosing to have sex outside of marriage is sin, and all sin results in death—physical death and eternal death in hell (Rom. 6:23).

That’s because our God is stunningly more holy than we can imagine:

You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong (Hab. 1:13).

Believe me, I get how hard it is to swallow the fact that all of us deserve hell. To us, hell seems like “a divine overreaction.” But as author Randy Alcorn writes:

If we understood God’s nature and ours, we would be shocked not that some people could go to hell, but that any would be permitted into heaven. Unholy as we are, we are disqualified from saying that infinite holiness doesn’t demand everlasting punishment.

So the million dollar question is this. How can this girl who is no longer a virgin—and how can you and I—exchange our one-way ticket to hell . . . for heaven?

How to Exchange Our One-Way Ticket to Hell . . . for Heaven

We can’t on our own. But Someone has done it for us. Jesus chose to endure hell for you and me so we might have the option of entering the joys of heaven.

He [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus chose to endure hell for you and me so we might have the option of entering the joys of heaven.

Because of our sin, you and I deserve hell. But Jesus has made a way for us, instead, to enjoy Him forever in heaven. In response to this girl who asked, “Will I go to heaven if I’m not a virgin?” I have to ask:

Have you accepted Jesus’ unbelievably heroic, extravagant gift?
Have you confessed and turned from your sins?

First John 1:9 promises that:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hell will be full of those who have sinned sexually (and in other ways). Heaven will also be filled with people who formerly sinned sexually (and in other ways). What’s the difference? It has nothing to do with the sins you’ve committed, but with whether you have embraced the Sin-Slayer, Jesus Christ, your righteous Substitute . . . and turned from your sin as a result.

Have you?

PS: I am indebted to Randy Alcorn for his insights on hell in chapters 3 and 4 of his book Heaven.

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Sofia Kaye

    Does this mean that if I look at pornography I’m no longer a virgin?

    • Tiana

      I’m not 100% sure, but I think you’re still a virgin as long as you don’t have pre-marital sex. But porn is a sin, and you should ask God for forgiveness.

    • Dear Sofia,

      A virgin is someone who hasn’t had sexual intercourse, so yes, you’re still a virgin if you look at porn but don’t have sex. However, looking at porn is lust, which is sin, and it is a serious matter. Please confess this to God as sin and ask an older, godly woman you know for help to flee this sin.

      Praying for you now,

      paula

  • sue

    Hmmmm… Yet apparebtly it was OK for King David to have hundreds of concubines. And serial killers can go to Heaven if they confess on their death beds?

    • Sarah, with Revive Our Hearts

      Yes, Sue, the gospel is the saving grace for all. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 caps for emphasis are mine) It is a grace that we cannot fathom. Every person has the offer to repent of his sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” (Eph. 2:8) I trust you know this experience for yourself, Sue. If you have further questions, take time to view this short video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKKsAP1WoxY&feature=player_embedded

  • paige

    if i have had sex before marriage and i’m christian and i’m in love, been with my boyfriend for a long time, and i’ve asked for forgiveness but i still have sex sometimes, will i go to hell?

    • Heaven is gained through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Once we have received His free gift of salvation, we do not have to fear going to hell. Sin builds a wall between us and God. He will not nor can he condone sin. Sex outside of marriage is sin. He is always waiting to forgive us when we confess and repent of our sins (1 Jn. 1:9). Repent means turning away from the sin and not doing it any longer.

      When we consider what Christ did for us – taking our sentence of death onto Himself and dying in our place, we certainly do not want to continue in sin. (Romans 6). We encourage you to confess your sin to an older godly woman who can help you to establish some healthy boundaries so that you are not tempted to continue having premarital sex with your boyfriend. God always provides a way out of temptations so that we do not have to sin. The challenge for us is to choose His way out. I’m praying for you, Paige!

      “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)

  • paige

    but if i ask for forgiveness everytime after sex will i be forgiven?

  • Kim

    If I’m still a virgin but really want to have sex, will I go to Hell?

    • Sarah, with Revive Our Hearts

      There is only one thing that takes you to Heaven and keeps you out of hell, and that is believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) The way of salvation is clear: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

    • Britt

      I can say the same, but hey. . .wanting to isn’t tech a sin. . .because we are hardwired to want that.