no you didn’t

October 9, 2015

crown of thorns

THE UNPARDONABLE SIN

Occasionally someone will express great concern because he thinks he may have committed the “unpardonable sin.” This person may, in fact, be guilty of a truly grievous sin, such as murder, adultery, incest, abortion, or even something not quite so serious. Over a period of time, he then developed an obsessive guilt, perhaps not unlike David’s when he cried out, “My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3, KJV). Some persons then associate this guilt with the idea that they have “sinned away the day of grace.”

 

 

The admission on the part of person that sin is present and that he considers it serious enough to be unduly preoccupied with it is to the advantage of the counselor.  The battle is partially won with such an admission.

 

When Jesus cast a demon out of a blind and mute man, the people were amazed. (See Matthew 12:22,23.) The Pharisees, however, censured Jesus, saying that He had cast out the demon by the “power of Beelzebub,” the Prince of demons. Jesus answered them as follows (vs. 31,32, KJV):  “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. . .but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. . . it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

 

From this reference comes the so-called “unpardonable sin.” the Pharisees, obsessed with the desire to discredit Jesus in the minds of the people, were guilty of attributing the works of the Holy Spirit (through whom Jesus worked) to the devil.  This was saying, in effect, that Jesus was not of God but of Satan. This, said Jesus, would never be forgiven.

 

A child of God is not capable of committing the “unpardonable sin.” Only unbelievers reject the Holy Spirit.

 

 

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the (Holy) Spirit will not be forgiven.”

            Matthew 12:30,31, NIV

The Seriousness of Sin:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 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.”

            Galatians 5:19-21, NIV

God’s Willingness to Forgive Any and All Sin:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9, KJV

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”    Proverbs 28:13, NIV

“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

            Proverbs 28:13, NIV

“He forgives all  my sins and heals all my diseases.”

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

            Psalm 103:3,12, NIV

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit; out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

            Psalm 40:1-5,

Many persons express the fear that they have committed the unpardonable sin and that God will never forgive them.  While the unpardonable sin refers, in traditional Christian teaching, to the total and persistent denial of the presence of God in Christ, many persons are not fully aware of this meaning and are consumed with guilt because they assume (often wrongly) that they have committed the sin.

Christian teaching about the unpardonable sin stems from remarks in the Gospels about the casting out of demons.  Jesus opponents implied that the practice of exorcism showed that Jesus was somehow in league with Satan.  Jesus flatly denied this, saying that his power came from the Spirit of God.  His words are a warning against attributing the good things of God to the power of Satan.  To reject Jesus’ miracles is to reject and spurn the divine presence in the world.  Matthew 12:24, 31, 32 (and parallel passages in Luke and Mark) show that Jesus considered it unforgivable to speak blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (that is, by denying the Spirit’s power or ascribing it to demonic forces).

The unpardonable sin is not a single rash act (as many guilt-ridden people seem to think), but rather the deliberate and persistent rejection of Christ and his divine work.  To encounter Christ and his work and to reject him is to condemn oneself to utter loss.  In a sense, the warning of how important it is to accept Christ and the salvation he offers us.  Paul had been a blasphemer and persecutor of Christ.  No doubt he, like most of the Pharisees, believed that the works of Christ were not the work of God. But Paul told Timothy that what he had done or said was not the conscious, willful act of blasphemy of which Jesus spoke.  In other words, in spite of Paul’s early hostility toward Christ and Christians, he was not guilty of the unpardonable sin.  Words and deeds against Christ do not mean that the person can never receive forgiveness, for Paul did, and so have many others.

Any person who is anxious over having committed the unpardonable sin almost surely never committed it. A person who is a genuine blasphemer would feel no need for repentance.  We have the assurance that God will never reject a truly contrite person, so we can feel certain that a repentant counselee has not committed real blasphemy.

God’s grace is sufficient to calm the troubled person.  The person needs to be assured that, though the unpardonable sin does have eternal consequences, all other sins may be forgiven.

It is helpful to remember that fear of having committed the unpardonable sin is a weapon used by Satan. Such great men as Martin Luther and John Bunyan feared at times that they had committed the sin and were thus forever cut off from God. Satan seeks to destroy our relationship with God by leading us to think that we ourselves have cause the relationship to end.  He would rather see us wallowing in guilt and despair than enjoying fellowship with a forgiving God.  But we can be victorious over such deceptions of the devil.

Rest easy, feeling guilty is actually a good sign.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Steve L. in your prayers

Kim and her fight against cancer

Ray and his parole hearing tomorrow

Joseph and his desire to find his birth parents

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