Archive for the ‘sin unto death’ Category

Revisiting “The Unforgivable Sin.”

April 20, 2015

 

Yesterday my husband, son and I attended a wonderful service at Life Mission Church.  The topic was “The Unforgivable Sin,” also known as “The Sin Unto Death.”

Previously, I brought over a post on this topic from my former blog and posted it here on 2/3/15.  A good discussion began in that comment thread!

My goal here today is to share a brief opinion about the approach to this topic, share Pastor Jobey’s outline and some of my own notes, and Scriptures related to the topic.  I welcome comments, questions, and even challenges from each of  you, dear readers,  regarding what is written.

What I liked about Pastor Jobey’s initial discussion was his humbleness in saying that this topic – the unforgiveable sin – is very difficult.  We are taught in Christian faith that all sin can be forgiven through belief and repentance of sin via Christ’s death on the cross at Calvary.  However, the passage in Matthew 12:30-32 describes that there is an unforgivable sin.

Outline:

WHAT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?

Matthew 12:30-32

Mat 12:30

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

Mat 12:31

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

Mat 12:32

“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Jesus says there is a sin that is unforgiveable, but what is it?  Let’s first get some context to help us see what He is speaking about.

This was during another confrontation with the Pharisees.  What are they doing?

Before:  The Pharisees were knowingly and willfully hardening their hearts, not simply toward the miracles, but toward Him, denying the very facts that were plain before their eyes.  They are “denying His power.”

After:  Jesus then continues to talk about recognizing true believers from those who claim to be believers.

What it is Not:

*  Not simply a Christian’s momentary denial (like Peter).

*  Nor is it even a guarantee that a non-believer who is totally opposed to Jesus is beyond salvation (like Saul of Tarsus).

What it Seems to Be:

*  A sin that an unbeliever commits, not just once but perpetually until death.

*  An ongoing and persistent rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit, when someone is willfully and adamantly denying, as the Pharisees were, the true nature of who Christ is, they stand in a troubling position of potentially blaspheming the Holy Spirit’s work.

*  When someone who is plainly and clearly admitting, to some depth, who Jesus is (the Pharisees admitted Jesus was a miracle worker, Judas followed Jesus as the Son of Man, etc.), but still, in the end, reject Him by hardening their hearts towards the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 6:4-12

Heb 6:4

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

Heb 6:5

and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

Heb 6:6

if they fall away, [fn] to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

Heb 6:7

For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;

Heb 6:8

but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Heb 6:9

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

Heb 6:10

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of [fn] love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Heb 6:11

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,

Heb 6:12

that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 

WHAT SHOULD CONCERN US?

For both those who don’t believe in Christ, and for those who do call themselves a Christian, Jesus’ words, “whoever is not with me is against me,” are sobering ones.

There is no neutrality with Christ.

Jesus’ claims leave no room for that.

The cross demands a response.

2 Timothy 3:1-17

 

*******

A pause from the outline.

 

There are weeks worth of study in 2 Timothy 3:1-17!  However, just reading it through once gets a clear message across regarding in Whom we need to trust vs. those who would appear to be “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” We are warned, “And from such people turn away!”

The rest of the verses describe exactly HOW we can avoid error, heresy, and apostasy – which the book of Jude also warns us about!

Pastor Jobey mentioned that “people are not saved through cultural Christianity.” It is NOT just “head” knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It requires something much deeper…namely the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the heart to bring us to remembrance of all that Jesus has said in the Scriptures as well as all that is written within the Bible in its entirety.

Contrast these two verses:

Jhn 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Note Proverbs 24:16 –

Pro 24:16

For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

We are also told in Proverbs 24:17 –

Pro 24:17

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles

Jesus desires that ALL people come to repentance! However, after sharing the Gospel with those who refuse to believe, there are times when we must “shake the dust from our sandals” and go on to the next person. Not all will desire to know the truth – which COULD set them free. But we do our job when we share; despite the rejection of some. The celebration when just one person comes to Christ is big in heaven! We rejoice as well!

Why?

Because we know the truth!

There is NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God once born-again through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and once the Holy Spirit indwells the heart!

However, defiance of knowing what is true – which is a willful, wicked rejection of Christ and the Holy Spirit leads to “whoever is not with me is against me” mentality!

Very sobering!

Perpetually denying who Christ is, what He accomplished for us via the cross, and rejecting the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling the heart leads each individual to the “sin unto death.”

As the end of the verse in Romans 6:16 says, “OR of obedience unto righteousness.”

That is the ultimate choice that we have!

Continuing with the outline:

HOW CAN WE FIND HOPE AND ASSURANCE?

For those who don’t believe, or for those who say they believe but their lives don’t look like it, you are invited to cry out for God’s grace and forgiveness toward you. He tells us that is we “confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9,10). This Jesus is real. He really walked this earth, He really died so that you could live.

The ultimate purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring a message of mercy, grace, forgiveness and love! We all must answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”

The Sin Unto Death

February 3, 2015

Back in 2007 at my former blog, I wrote a post entitled, “The Sin Unto Death.”  I brought it over here today because a commenter here at Talk Wisdom wanted me to answer his question regarding “the unpardonable sin.”

The Bible calls the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit as the sin unto death.  It is explained (as best I could) in the post below, using Scripture and sharing the reasons why such a sin is unpardonable.  Briefly, it’s because the need for confession of sin, repentance of such sin, and the request to invite Jesus Christ the Savior to enter into the heart and live within you through the power of the Holy Spirit – is out-rightly rejected.  Those who have heard the gospel, yet deliberately reject it for their entire earthly lives,  and then go even further – by blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God –  commit the final sin in their lives.  The result is rejection of God for all eternity.

One extra note.  The link in the post to the debate between two Christians and two atheists no longer displays the video at that site.  However, it can be found at You Tube for those who would like to see it.

 

You Tube video: Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort debate atheists.

 

The following post is by no means absolutely complete.  Those who would like to add more Scriptures, comments, and arguments that discuss the sin unto death, please do so.  Even rebuttals are welcome.

If you take the time to view the entire debate at You Tube, you will see that neither side moved from their positions.  It would be interesting to know whether or not anyone in the audience did.

Pressed for time right now, but will be back to add to this post.

~ Christine

*******

Here is my original post from 2007:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The “Sin Unto Death.”

During the Nightline debate, Does God Exist between Christian evangelists Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron against proclaimed atheists Brian and Kelly, both atheists claimed to have been Christians in the past. Of course, that is between God and themselves, however, we can get a hint about their spiritual condition based on what the Bible tells us is the “sin unto death” and what the two atheists are saying now.

So-called “ex”-Christians are often revealed as formerly false Christians anyway. They may have had “head” knowledge about Christ, but hadn’t made the decision to invite him into their hearts as Lord and Savior. The act of being born-again is not reversible. We get a hint about this fact from this verse:

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (bold mine)

Once the Holy Spirit indwells the heart of a believer, it is a permanent conversion. Believers are then “sealed with God,” just as the angels who didn’t rebel against God (at the fall and casting out of Satan and 1/3 of the angels turned demons) were sealed unto God.

Rom 15:28  When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.

2Cr 1:22  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (bold mine)

The meaning of “until the redemption of the purchased possession” refers to the fact that we were purchased by the shed blood of Jesus at Calvary and when we stand before God at the Judgment Seat of Christ, it will be his righteousness that is imputed upon us for redemption; not anything that we did here on earth.

Also, since we still have that “human sin nature” to deal with, Christians still sin (I just did yesterday), but we regret and repent of it because we know that it grieves the Holy Spirit.

Eph 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (bold mine)

In the cases of Brian and Kelly, [Note:  the atheists in the video link]  their final act of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is not just a sin, but the “sin unto death” (meaning, the only unforgiveable sin leading to spiritual death and separation from God forever). They, as well, have sealed their fate.

Jhn 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

1Jo 5:16  If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

Powerful verses! For easier understanding, read the New Living Translation version:

1Jo 5:16  If you see a Christian brother or sister[fn3] sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.

1Jo 5:17  Every wrong is sin, but not all sin leads to death.

1Jo 5:18  We know that those who have become part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them.

1Jo 5:19  We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one.

1Jo 5:20  And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we are in God because we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

1Jo 5:21  Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.[fn4

Footnotes:
5:16 Greek your brother.

 


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