He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil... (Romans 2:6-9)
I believe one of the greatest things God does for us is extend his kindness toward us, giving us a chance to turn from our independent choices (choices that often lead us into sin), and turn toward him. God's judgment against sin isn't a thing to be trifled with, but neither is his grace! Grace is given freely to all who seek it, but with grace comes the responsibility on our part to allow God to change our heart's attitude toward sin in our lives.
It is a matter of us determining to walk away from sin and toward God - not once, but repeatedly. Why do I say repeatedly? Sin isn't going to just 'go away' - we have to actually walk away from it. As I heard my pastor say this week - we have to create 'distance' between us and the sin. Without that distance, we just keep on sinning. God promises eternal life to those who 'keep on doing good', seeking him and all he offers. It is easy to confess our sinfulness and ask for forgiveness, but it is another thing to actually allow God to change our hearts sufficiently that we don't even want to return to that sin again.
To turn away from sin, one has to first recognize they are a sinner, and their actions are sinful. Sin isn't a thing to be trifled with. It is serious business! We learn to recognize it when we begin to ask God to show us where we are compromising and entering into sin in our lives. This is a tough prayer to utter, but once uttered, be ready...God is about to show you some things you may not want to have realized existed in your life! As we turn away from sin, we need to focus on what the Word of God says. When we hide his Word in our hearts, it actually helps us recognize compromise sooner, and even avoid the actions that lead us into sin. (Psalm 119:11)
One further thing we should do - get in a place of accountability. We need others who are walking with Jesus to help us see what we cannot recognize because we are too close or too invested in the compromise/sin. The time in God's Word and prayer, combined with repentance is important, but having this accountability can be a lifesaver. How? Proverbs 17:17 tells us that a piece of iron actually helps sharpen another - we help 'sharpen' each other's awareness of compromise and sin. Then we help each other walk away from it with haste! Just sayin!