The unpardonable sin

Someone asked me a question based on these scriptures.

1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don’t say that he should make a request concerning this.

Mar 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.

The question is “what is the unpardonable sin? Is it blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? If that is so, what constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Is it sexual sin?”

Let’s begin this way,
Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

I find it interesting that Jesus, in this text, is not said to take away the sins of the world but the sin of the world. It suggests to me that while God was communing with John the Baptist about his assignment, there was only one thing God wanted to do above all else and that was to take away the sin of the world. In spite of all the sins rampant in the human race, why would God single out just one? My guess is it is because that was the most important and perhaps the real sin that gave birth to others, you could say the root sin.

Jesus, speaking later also mentioned a certain sin.

Joh 16:8-9  And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me.

It would appear that the only sin that really really posed a trouble, that really needed to be dealt with was this sin of not believing in Jesus.

Let’s see another set of scriptures.

Rev 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

You might notice that there were two sets of books opened. There are the books of works out of which actions were judged but no one was thrown anywhere based on the contents of the first books. Then there is the second book, a single book, the book of life. This book of life is presented here as more of a roll call and its content is used in the judgment of people, not their works this time, and based on it they were either spared the second death or cast straight into it.

This should make one think that getting into the book of life is more critical than having good records in the books of works, shouldn’t it? I think that’s exactly what God is thinking. I think it is better to have everlasting life with little or no rewards for good works done than to have a truck load of rewards for good works and then be cast into the second death where the rewards for your actions mean nothing. It would seem that all the other works were overlookable but not the absence of your name in the book of life. And how does one get into the book of life? By believing in Jesus. This means the sin that keeps people out of the book of life is the same one Jesus was referring to in John 16:8-9.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Joh 6:27-29  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Now in Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus mentions one sin that will not be forgiven either in this world or in the one to come but He called it blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I know Jesus is not confused so it makes me think, I just saw that not believing in Jesus was the unforgivable, make or break determinant of the eternal destination of the immortal soul of man but what of this blasphemy business? Am I missing something? Possibly? Most likely.

Let’s consider it again, this time in more extensive context provided in the following scriptural account.
Mat 12:23-35  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 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. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Let’s summarize what happened here: Jesus healed a man and people celebrated Him and began to consider that this strange fellow might the one foretold “son of David” but some people accused Him of using demonic powers to cast out demons. Jesus in response asked them to think, if He being a stranger was suspected of using satanic powers to do good works, what about the people who grew up among them whom they knew very well had no satanic powers and yet were doing the same good works. And then he says you can’t be working against the devil using the devil’s powers any more than you can work with me without using my powers. Next he brings up the blasphemy thing and then says, essentially, you can’t become good by doing good but rather you become good and then good works will come naturally.

So what was that all about? What is Jesus saying here? He is saying, “out of the nature I have and the power of the Holy Spirit who gives me that nature, I do these good works. If you do good works and based on that compare your evil nature and the satanic power that drives you with the Holy Spirit inside me, you are in violation of the simple rule that determines who has eternal life and who does not and you are actually dead so at the end you can’t escape the second death.”

The blasphemy is to think of gaining eternal life by doing good works on top of a satanic nature and we just saw in the earlier scriptures that only those with the life of God in them will escape the second death. The blasphemy is to overlook the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming a man’s nature or as Jesus put it “making a tree good” and think that it’s no big deal, you can do it on your own. The blasphemy is to reduce the life transforming power of the Holy Spirit to a mere list of good works. He won’t count you good because of good works but because of your God-imparted good nature.

So the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and refusing to put your faith in Jesus as the son of God to take your sin away are one and the same thing.

So let’s now apply all that has gone before to some questions

1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don’t say that he should make a request concerning this.

So, what is the sin that is unto death apart from rejecting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? What other sin have we seen in the light of the earlier considered scriptures that sends a man to eternal separation from God? If you look at death as God sees it, you will find that this isn’t hard to understand at all.

Death is not a cessation of existence but a disconnection from life. God warned Adam he would die if he ate a fruit and when Adam did, he died. But he didn’t cease to exist, he was simply separated from God who is life and he was joined to Satan in death.
So the sin that is unto separation from God is to separate yourself from Jesus. If you separate yourself from Jesus, you have died already, God doesn’t even need to kill you and nothing can be done about it.

1Jo 5:11-12. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

If that makes sense, then you will understand why the following scripture is the way it is.
Heb 6:4-6; For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

The shame of the cross was a one-time deal for Jesus Christ and thereafter He was to the glories that would follow. Bringing Him to public shame again would definitely not be palatable to Him and well, there is only judgement for that. There is no more redemption because Jesus was sent as the last Adam and not the second Adam. After the last there is nothing else. That is why praying for a person in such a situation is pointless which is what John was saying.

1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don’t say that he should make a request concerning this.

So, the only sin that is unpardonable for which no intercession will work and that is the blasphemy of refusing Jesus Christ as Lord but expecting to be accepted in to eternal life.

What was Jesus’ reaction to sin when He was here on earth? He forgave them. Jesus never allowed people’s sin to stand before Him, he always forgave them so He could minister what was needed, be it healing or grace for righteous living.

Joh 5:5-9  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. (Joh 5:14)  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Joh 8:2-5  And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? (Joh 8:10-11)  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Mar 2:3-5  And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (Mar 2:10-12)  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Please read John 5:1-14, John 8:1-11, Mark 2:1-12 for the full stories.

Now if that was Jesus’ response to sin when He was here, before he became the atonement for our sins, should we expect Him to be different now that He has died for us?

Rom 5:1-11 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Heb 4:14-16  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

So what about the other sins, like sexual sin or some other obviously sinful acts? Does that mean it is okay to sin since it is only refusing Jesus that brings eternal damnation?

Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Sin is of the devil and gives access to the devil into our lives and when he enters, he has the legal right to do damage. It is of the flesh to which we sow corruption that we reap the punishment for our misdeeds, not of God.

So if you do something wrong and evil comes, don’t accept it as the just punishment from God for your sin. God is not punishing you for your sin, He already punished Jesus for that. What you need to do is run to God and lay claim to the mercy Jesus purchased for you with His blood. And then turn and rebuke the devil for trying to take advantage of your mistakes to bring destruction into your life.

Just to be clear, sin, even the one that is not unto death, is not okay. It is a deadly slippery trap an if you make a habit of it because you know God will not come after you to punish you right away you will eventually fall for the devil’s trick and commit the unpardonable sin. How does that happen? That is for another day.



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