Have I Committed The Unforgivable Sin?
A reader recently posed the following question:
"I disobeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit after being born again. He was very specific with me, but I didn't want to hear it and I did just the opposite. I haven't felt the presence of God since. I don't believe that I am saved anymore. It's been a lot of years. Is this willful disobedience after knowing the truth of what God wanted me to do a fatal sin? I knew what I was doing. I'm very sorry that I did it and need forgiveness, but I don't know if there is any now.
Three years ago I earnestly sought God on this matter and I felt like He showed me that there was nothing that I could do. His word convicted me of my sin more than ever and I had some very vivid nightmares. I feel like I've come into contact with the God of the O.T. and that would be true if there is no forgiveness through Jesus for me anymore."
I feel your pain. Sometimes things feel completely out of control and hopeless and it can be hard and sometimes it even seems like it is impossible to get out from under those feelings. It is possible that you can't "do anything" that will fix the situation, but God can. This passage in the book of Romans gives us some insight.
Romans 8:28 (KJV)
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
We are all called to His purpose. Some accept, others reject, but the calling is still there in all of us. And this passage does not say that all things that happen are good, but that God can make all things work together for good. You have run up against the God of the Old Testament, but He is the same God of the New Testament. The problem is that people see God through a different lens, a distorted lens, in the Old Testament. The truth is that He has expressed is true character through Jesus. He has not changed. He has always been working to fix the brokenness that Adam brought in to the world through his sin.
There is not any other kind of sin than a "Willful Sin". Every sin is a choice to not do something or to do something. When those choices go against God's Word and truth, we end up in sin. All sin is fatal, no matter how great or small it is. Sin is falling short of God's expectation and every one of us do it multiple times every day. The degree of sin is largely irrelevant because if we stand on our own, the consequence of all sin is death.
The problem with the severity of sin is that when sinful activity is accepted as normal, it becomes easier to move to the next "greater" sin. This progression puts more and more space between you and God and creates a gulf of separation between you. The gulf can seem impossible for you to cross to get back to the other side. However, God does not even see a gulf from His side of things. All he sees is a "bridge" across the gulf that He gave to all of us. And it is not a toll bridge, it is a bridge of free passage. That bridge is Jesus Christ.
There is only one sin that is irreversibly fatal and Jesus said that it is the sin of "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit":
Matthew 12:31 (KJV)
"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."
But what does this mean? Is the unforgivable blasphemy simply saying something bad?
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable because the Holy Spirit is the sign in the road that says, "The bridge is this way". If you reject the sign that draws you to the bridge, Jesus, then you can't find Him. This amounts to you saying, "God, I don't want your Holy Spirit to talk to me, I don't want to hear what you have to say, I don't want your bridge, I don't want anything to do with you." The rejection of God's free gift is the blasphemy that is unforgivable. If you reject Jesus, you reject the bridge of forgiveness.
But God continues to offer His mercy and forgiveness every day. At any time, you can accept His forgiveness and move on with Him.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV)
22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Guilt is a tool that Satan uses to prevent you from accepting God's forgiveness. An act of sin is forgivable. However the results of the sins that you engage in may not be able to be restored in this life. For example, you can be forgiven for the sin of murder, but nothing will restore the life that was lost. If you become convinced that you cannot be forgiven, you will not accept God's forgiveness for you and you will live on in your guilt. This is not the unforgivable sin of blasphemy; it is your refusal to accept His forgiveness. To be successful we must learn to change that.
Ephesians 4:14-24 (ERV)
14 Then we will no longer be like babies. We will not be people who are always changing like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to deceive us—those who make clever plans and use every kind of trick to fool others into following the wrong way. 15 No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. He is the head, 16 and the whole body depends on him. All the parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and to be stronger in love.
17 I have something from the Lord to tell you. I warn you: Don't continue living like those who don't believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They have no understanding, and they know nothing because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost their feeling of shame and use their lives to do what is morally wrong. More and more they want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But that way of life is nothing like what you learned when you came to know Christ. 21 I know that you heard about him, and in him you were taught the truth. Yes, the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.
We have a choice to make that requires a commitment and diligence.
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The mere fact that you continue to seek after God means that you have not rejected Him and He is still offering to obliterate your sins through Jesus. The efforts on our part should be spent in the renewing of our thinking so that our mind can get in line with our spirit and emotionally and intellectually accept God's forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
John 8:31-36 (KJV)
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
33 They answered him, "We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?"
34 Jesus answered them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
I hope my blog posts help you grow in your faith and Biblical understanding. I would like to invite you on a journey of further spiritual growth by purchasing the Ideolatry Book and Study Guide. Together, these tools will give you a strong Biblical foundation when life is difficult to understand.
May the Lord bless you and keep you... Dr. Rich Masek
Jesus will set you free if you let Him !
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