Scratching the Surface
The Only Unforgivable Sin
(A Brief/Incomplete Guide to Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit)
Jesus said every sin will/can be forgiven except one: “Listen to this carefully. I’m warning you. There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connections with the One who forgives.”
The Holy Spirit’s primary witness is to Jesus as Lord and Savior; meaning a blasphemous rejection of the Holy Spirit is the only unforgivable sin because it is a rejection of Jesus as Lord and Savior: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Albert Truesdale: “The unpardonable sin is a sin that cannot be forgiven. The phrase refers to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is to refuse to accept the fact that Jesus is the Christ. The person who rejects Christ rejects the word of the Holy Spirit. A person cannot be forgiven as long as he rejects Christ.”
Simply, the only one who can keep anyone out of heaven is anyone who chooses not to accept Jesus as Lord of all and forgiving Savior of souls (cf. Matthew 12:22-37, Mark 3:20-30, and Luke 12:8-10 to John 3:16-21 and Hebrews 10).
While I don’t pretend to know everything about, uh, anything as I’m just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus, I know this judgment has caused lots of distress and debate.
Indeed, I’ve often caught myself wondering, especially after I’ve said or done something contradicting Christian confession/conduct/countenance as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture, if I’ve committed this unforgivable sin.
Like everybody else who knows a day is coming when everybody will return from the cemetery but…, I really, really, really wanna go to heaven after my last breath in time.
Sooooooo I’ve spent lots of time scratching and digging and dropping to my knees to understand it and how I can avoid its verdict.
Here’s what I’ve discovered/discerned:
ÿ - Blasphemy is slandering God by ascribing things to Him that are not confirming and consistent with what we know about Him as enfleshed in Jesus and explained in Holy Scripture; hence, it is grotesque irreverence, disrespect, defiance, hostility, and evil-speaking directed at God. It is anti-Christ. It is rejection of God as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
ÿ - Specifically, within the context of the Gospelers’ reporting of our Lord’s judgment, His enemies accused Him of healing a demon-oppressed man by sorcery (viz., exercising powers enabled by unholy communion with Satan); saying, essentially, “The devil made him do it!” Heinous! Evil! Unforgivable!
ÿ- John Calvin observed, “They sin against the Holy Spirit who, with evil intention, resist God’s truth, although by its brightness they are so touched that they cannot claim ignorance. Such resistance along constitutes this sin.” That’s why he said people who are authentic rather than posing Christians show the “signs” of salvation/Christianity; or as Luther noted, “Good works don’t make a person good; but a good person does good works.” No, that’s not “works” righteousness; or working one’s way into heaven. Yes, it means “righteous works” indicate holy communion with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That’s what we mean by the fruit/evidence/proof of being in holy communion with Him (see Galatians 5:16-26). With no apologies to the grammar police, Christians are “more better” than “more worse” and praying and laboring to incarnate intimacy with Jesus. While no one will never not need Jesus as Savior to fill in the gap between human sin and divine holiness, people who are getting closer to Jesus are moving farther away from confession/conduct/countenance contradicting communion with Him. Read James! Shaking some salt, we can see anti-Christianity in behaviors dominated by selfishness, schism, segregation, separation, control needs, greed, inability to serve unless leading, irascibility, irregularity, and irreconcilability that leave little room for Christlike traits like selflessness, unconditional favor, mercy, reconcilable intentions/incarnations, redemptive passions, forgiveness, and other, again, Christlike traits.
ÿ- Anyone who’s ever worried about committing this sin probably hasn’t; or as Alan Richardson encouraged, “People who are distressed in their souls for fear that they have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost should in most cases be told that their distress is proof that they have not committed that sin.”
People who are not committing this sin are less and less and less rejecting Him as Lord and Savior of their lives!
People who receive not reject Him can’t get enough of Him, hunger and thirst to worship Him and work for Him and witness to Him, don’t divorce themselves from Him and His, and resist the dark temptations to separate, segregate, slander, gossip, malign, bite, bark, bruise, beat, batter, or butcher.
People who receive not reject Him remember, “As you do it to/for others…[positively or pejoratively]…you do it to/for Me!”
A favorite story comes to mind.
A man asked a missionary, “How can I be saved?”
Answer: “Too late! He’s already done that for you!”
To reject that/His good news or to talk/act consistently-more-than-less like you reject that/His good news is absolutely…unforgivable.
Our choice! Choose forgiveness! Choose life! Choose Jesus!
Are you still looking for a different way to do church?
Are you tired of the SOSO RELIGION?
Are you put off by posers in pews, politics, and pulpits?
Are you searching for something/Someone real, honest, timely, and true to…?
Try our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belivdere, Illinois!
Sundays at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.
Blessings and Love!
A message that needs to be said frequently. Many Christians carry that burden of thinking they have not been forgiven. We Presbyterians seem to think the answer is to announce at every worship service that the congregation is forgiven, after reading a clever "confession of sins". An old elder told me he did not like the confessions. He said, "They just gave him ideas of things he might like to try". Billy Graham, who had a special gift in bringing people to Christ said he was not able to convince his own father that all sins are forgivable. Thank you for your message. Peder Carlson, Pastor Emeritus of Bethany Presbyterian.
It`s time to wake up people.
Read the words.
You keep teaching us Pastor Kopp.
Will we be Burning or none Burning when we pass on.
Keep telling us about Jesus Pastor It`s working Jesus is in my Heart. God Bless
And here I thought (at least among the Evangelical churches) the unforgivable sin was being divorced -- and especially if you think God has called you to be a pastor or you already are one and it happens to you. Whew. I'm glad Kopp has cleared that one up for me.
Just another thought -- I suppose this sin can really only be committed by the non-elect.
I appreciate, mon ami, the encouragement to keep keepin' on!
Hi Pastor, this was a wonderful KD would it be alright if I was to share it on next weeks Crazy Love Radio show.
By ___, I think he's got it!
Post a Comment