The Unpardonable Sin
Roy Blizzard III © 6-1-2014
Text Matthew 12:31 & John 12:39
I’m going to make a statement that may confuse some of you or even upset some of you, but this is a very important subject and we need to properly understand where this fits into our theology. Now, listen closely, whether or not a sin is unpardonable depends upon the view point from which you look at it. Okay, did you get that? Let me repeat it so it sticks into your memory. Whether or not a sin is unpardonable depends upon the view point from which you look at it.
You are probably asking yourself, “what is he talking about?” Right? Well, let’s look at some very important point to consider. Many things, at the very least, that we call unpardonable are in fact, pardonable. The problem is that we tend to judge things from a human standpoint, but these same things, when looked at thru God’s eyes of infinite mercy and love fall together within the limits of his pardon.
The news often reports to us of people who do enormous atrocities to their loved ones, people who kill their spouses or their children for whatever reason. When we read of such things, one of the first things that may cross our minds is, “this is just unpardonable!” However, such things aren’t unpardonable. What do I mean? Just this, pardon depends altogether upon the viewpoint; God can and does freely pardon what you and I find almost inhumanly hard to pardon.
Now, you may be ready with this verse in 1 John 5:16 where he says that there is a sin unto death. Even Jesus says in Matthew 12:31&32 that it was possible to sin in this world such that he may never be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the world to come. Now, if this is true, it would appear to me that it is mighty important for men and women who may be liable to fall into this fearful condition of the soul, to know something of what Jesus and John meant.
Way back in the 6th chapter of Genesis, God tells us that, My spirit will not always strive with men.” And this is just as true today as it has ever been. Three times God tells Jeremiah not to pray for certain people because there was no hope for them. God said concerning Ephraim in Hosea 4:17, “Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone.” Suppose God should say that of a human soul? You remember Paul in Romans 1:26 speaks of some men whom even God had given up on?
God Pity the men and women, if the time comes when God would say to us, “He has joined to his sin; Let him alone.” “Let him alone conscious!” “Let him alone preacher!” “Let him alone Holy Spirit!” “Let him sleep on in his sin and his unconcern until the very darkness of eternal night wakes him up to realize his everlasting shame and contempt!”
In Proverbs 1:28 we read, “Then shall they call on me, but I will not answer, for they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord; therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own doing and be filled with their own devices.”
As we pass on into the New Testament we are confronted with the words in John 12:39 & 40, “Therefore, they were not able to believe because moreover Isaiah said, “Their eyes are smeared over with sinfulness.” It doesn’t say they wouldn’t believe, it says they couldn’t believe. Something had made it impossible for them to believe, and if they couldn’t believe, by the very nature of the case, they couldn’t repent and therefore they were unable to be forgiven!
In Hebrews there are two very solemn passages; one in chapter 6 verse 4 where it speaks of certain people for whom repentance is impossible, And in Hebrew 10:26 it says if a man continues to live in willful sin after he has received a knowledge of the truth, there remains no longer any sacrifice for that man’s sin. It says, if we willfully sin, but the present participle is used in Greek, so it would literally mean if we continue willfully in sin. And this is exactly how the Hebrew would render it.
But actually, the most explicit testimony of the Bible is the words of Jesus himself in Matthew 12:31 where he says, “that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and this, he says, shall never be forgiven, neither in this world or the world to come.”
What then is the meaning of this serious Scripture and its implications for us? I’ve had people tell me that they have committed the unpardonable sin. That they had been so wicked, fought against God for so long that they were sure that they had committed the unpardonable sin! You know what I told them? I told them that they had no need to worry because with God, there is no such thing as an unpardonable sin, as long as one seeks pardon from God! When a man once sins against the Holy Spirit in the sense to which the Savior made reference, God lets him alone for he is joined to his sins and there is no hope for him. No penitent man or woman will ever be rejected by God for “the unpardonable sin”, for by his very penitence he or she proves he has never committed it!
A man could not be penitent if he had committed the unpardonable sin. This is the true meaning of John 12:39, “Therefore they could not believe…”. These people had so repeatedly refused to believe, in the day when the power was still within them, that their faith faculties had become atrophied or had become petrified. The unpardonable sin in a word is better seen in this phrase, “Spiritual Suicide”; and it would be as impossible for a man dead in this spiritual sense to repent and believe as it would for a dead man to perform functions of the living human body.
But, as long as a man has the power to repent and the disposition to do so, there is no sin that will put him beyond the pale of God’s forgiveness!
For your own edification, let me tell you a few things that the unpardonable sin is not. The unpardonable sin is not profanity; if it were there are men in heaven that would have no right to be there or stay there. It is not licentiousness, for Jesus himself said to the woman taken in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” It is not drunkenness; for some of the mightiest men of God have been men for whom God has pulled from the very quagmires of drunkenness and shame. It is not murder; for Paul’s hands were stained red with human blood and God saved him and brought him home after a might service to God. Even the Jewish leaders, who have been so often wrongly accused of killing Jesus, were forgiven by Jesus on the cross!
I think that if we examine the history of the Jewish nation for a minute, we will discover the nature of the unpardonable sin. The opposition of the unbelieving of the Jewish nation against the salvation of God didn’t begin on the day that Jesus cured the demoniac or when he healed the cripple or even when he was crucified. That opposition began even before the very foundations of the Jewish nation when the children of Israel refused to believe God for the miraculous even when he brought them out of bondage, led them by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud of smoke by day, fed them manna in the wilderness and provided water from the rocks. No, that opposition to God’s salvation and forgiveness for the “unpardonable sin” began in the Garden.
Man refused to accept responsibility for their actions all throughout history and have turned their backs on the free gift of forgiveness given to them. Truly, there is no special form of sin that will not be pardoned if a man would only seek pardon at the hands of God. There is no sin that Jesus’ blood will not atone. There is no depth of hell on earth that can’t be emptied, if a man will but take the way of escape that God has given to him.
You know, when Jesus walked the earth and miracles flowed from him to his people, these miracles should have been enough to convince people of the forgiving nature of God, but what happened? When Jesus turned the water to wine at Cana the people didn’t rush to acknowledge him as Messiah. When Jesus healed the man with a withered hand, the Jewish leaders didn’t see this great miracle and believe in the glorious nature of God and his forgiveness. No, they saw this and conspired against him because of their love of power. What is stranger still is when Jesus was brought a man with an unclean spirit and the demon recognized Jesus and acknowledged him as the Messiah. When the demon obeyed him and came out of the poor man, although many were amazed at what happened, they had hardened their hearts and could not believe that Jesus was from God.
Even when Jesus raised a young boy from the dead, the Jewish leaders could not believe!
The last straw seemed to be when Jesus was going to the grave of Lazarus. Men thought that Jesus would certainly not try to raise this man from the dead because he had been in the ground for four days and smelled. What would Jesus do? Jesus calls forth in a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come Forth!”, and as before, the great Omnipotent One waited upon Jesus voice and that dead man Lazarus that was buried, lived again! Once more the Jewish leaders stood face to face with a great question, “Is this not proof enough of the divinity of Jesus?” And once more they answered with, “Away with this evidence, we can’t believe!”
And so it has been from the very beginnings of man down to this very day. Many people have cried out with great enthusiasm, both Jew and non-Jew alike, “This man is my savior! But what have so many leaders done as they did in Jesus’ day? To have admitted the fact that Jesus is whom he claims to be would be to have to repudiate all their past resistance against acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah. This is what they have determined in their own hearts what they absolutely would not do! They could just escape the necessity of believing. They are confronted with the truth of God, but they have shut their eyes and have determined to not see.
They can’t deny the facts, but they will re-interpret them for us. In Jesus’ day, the Jewish leaders ascribed his great miracles to the devil. In our day, our so called “leaders” claim that it is all fantasy and myths and only those in need of a “crutch” would ever believe in Jesus or the Bible.
In Jesus’ day, the mindset wasn’t rational acceptance of God’s miraculous workings through the actions of Jesus as a continuation of the great Jewish heritage of miracles; rather it was a mindset of blame and accusations. Ascribing the miraculous to the devil; whether false and against the Law of God, the Jewish leaders thought they knew what was best for their people and their own political power structure. Anything under the sun was better to ascribe the miraculous to than God because that would have necessitated a change in their hearts and they simply could not believe!
This was and is the unpardonable sin. Not some special form of sin, not so much some oddball mistake or act, but a conscious, determined, persistent, and hateful resistance to the Jesus, sent by God to bring salvation to man and bring man back to an intimate relationship with God. A resistance in spite of the evidence blazing all around. And the danger is that any man who so persistently denies Jesus, who embodies the salvation of God, in spite of the great light of his glory, so repeatedly insults the Holy Spirit who is trying to draw all men to God that men are in danger of driving that spirit away forever and being left alone in their sins.
You may be guilty of many hideous crimes and yet not have committed the unpardonable sin, but you may be still sitting in your sins this very morning and still be saying No to the Holy Spirit of God and may be in danger of committing that unpardonable sin by walking away from God.
Look for a moment at the testimony of nature. It is the law of nature that if a man will not do a thing the time is bound to come when he can’t do it. Tie an arm to your side, put a bandage over your eye, put a topper in your ear, harden your heart; long enough and eventually the time will come when you will one day have lost all capacity to even feel or believe, “Therefore they COULD NOT Believe.”
This is the psychology of sin. Age fossilizes, and habits harden or soften the soul according to its nature. You are what you Will to be, and many years ago, with some of you listening, when the first call came for a definitive decision for Jesus, you thought it over and said, “No.” Because you said no the first time, it was easier to say no the second time. Metaphysics teaches us that the first thoughts on a subject, when the moment of decision is comes round again, is the thoughts that are registered on the plastic cells of the brain when you first willed to say no to God. And every time you say No to God again, that decision becomes stamped deeper and deeper into your very nature until today every former decision you have made unites with every other and at the call by God to come and finally receive Jesus as your savior, your whole being, brain, blood, and soul hurls back at God the No that has become inscribed on your very being.
This is the psychological law of nature that explains why decisions for Jesus are made in youth for most people. People often say, “Isn’t that strange that so few elderly people decide to accept Jesus?” No, it isn’t strange at all. It would be stranger still if we saw this happening as it is against nature. 9/10ths of all decisions made for Jesus in the US are made before the age of 20.
Do you realize what this means? It means that if you are 25 years of age and still without God’s salvation, the chances of you becoming saved are over 5,000 to one against you ever doing so. If you are 35 the chances run up to over 25,000 to one and if you are 45 over 80,000 to one. Once you hit 50, your chances of getting saved fall to 1 in over 150,000 and if over 75, you almost may as well pack your bags for hell now and be done with it.
I just pray that if you do not have a relationship with God and Jesus that you will come in an attitude of repentance to Jesus and earnestly ask that the Holy Spirit of God will arouse you as never before, before it becomes too late for you to say Yes.
You know, for me as a teacher and minister; I would almost rather not give an invitation for you than have you stand in the presence of God this morning and say that fatal No to Jesus. But, as both a servant and an ambassador of God, who stands in Jesus’ stead here before you, I must give you once again the opportunity, though you may have said no thousands of times before. If there is any spark of desire within you, there is hope for you. And while God’s spirit still pleads and we are praying for you, won’t you please say Yes to God.by