We’ve all done it. We felt that we needed to keep doing a behavior that the Bible says is wrong, so we rationalized it. We re-interpreted. We theologized. We made it ok for ourselves. But deep down, the guilt remained. Eventually the weight of that guilt became so heavy it began to effect our lives. Our sleep. We found it hard to function; depression, anxiety, we found band-aids like medication, even drugs, or some other addiction to cover up the uneasiness.
Eventually someone said something — God’s messenger got through to us — and we probably repented, went back to the Bible, and realized the thing we’d been doing was just plain wrong according to Scripture and we stopped. The uneasiness went away. That’s called repentance. Repentance isn’t to be sorry about doing it… it’s to stop and never do it again.
Most of our society functions under the burden of guilt. The problem is, they don’t even know where the guilt is coming from. Their spirits are anxious, troubled, and unhappy because they are doing something bad they are calling good. They can’t sleep well; they take sleeping pills. They have panic attacks; they take anxiety medication. It all comes from the torment of their spirit, and the sad part is that most people are so ignorant when it comes to right and wrong that they don’t realize their actions are wicked.
I’ve seen it again and again. I’ve been called upon by God to bring to many people’s attention that what they are doing is not jiving with scripture. And I mean that: I am called by God to do it. That means first, it doesn’t happen often; God only sends me someone every couple of years. Second, I don’t want to do it on my own (I don’t feel like I should ever get in anyone else’s business, I just honestly hate butting in anywhere), third, the person is ready to hear it (they usually start the conversation and ask ME the question), and fourth, I deliver the scripture gently and often as a part of enjoyable friendly speculation and debate. There is no arm-twisting, no uncomfortable moment, no force used at all. God is gentle and loving; if someone isn’t being gentle and loving (and accurate, and respectful), they were not sent by God.
Over and over I’ve seen these people I was sent to do the same thing: they contemplate the scripture, think about it for a moment, roll it around in their thoughts, then come up with some reason why they just don’t want to do it. That reason usually has nothing to do with any solid logical reason why not; they just don’t want to. One reason for refusing I get a lot is that the person feels like God is a mean person because either 1) He ordered people killed in the Old Testament or 2) He never answered a prayer they asked, therefore because He is a mean Being, they simply do not feel like doing anything He says.
Obviously they never really studied the Old Testament or figured out why God would order such a thing… (not)surprisingly it turns out there were reasons… nor did they ever do the kind of study that would explain why their prayer fell flat. They just pulled a card out of their hat, pulled a number out of the dispenser, came up with a rationalization they could fall back on and feel ok with. “Well, God is mean so everything He says to do is void.”
These people trot along their merry way and continue to sin without hesitation, sure (in their mind, by stubborn force of will alone) that what they are doing is right. Yet their spirits continue to be troubled. These same people that I speak to often continue to tell me for months afterward that they just can’t find peace, they don’t feel settled, they just can’t find truth. Eventually they get into trouble and hardship, and some even die.
While they still feel guilt, they have not yet committed the unpardonable sin. But eventually that weight of guilt becomes so heavy that they feel compelled to act — to do something about it. And that is when it happens.
And there are many, many who commit the unpardonable sin.
Let me explain to you what the unpardonable sin is. We find it mentioned in the Bible in terms of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Luke 12:10)
What is blasphemy? It is the act of being defiantly irreverent to God; also, attributing evil to God. Let us be clear that God does no evil. If something clearly evil happened, God did not do it. Period. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
No variation; God does not change. No shadow of turning: God does not switch from light to dark, from good to bad. Sweet and bitter water do not flow from God; only the sweet. Verses which seem to indicate that God gives both good and evil originate from old translations of the Old Testament and are a result of very poor translation. There is no such concept of God being both good and evil in the original Hebrew.
God is good.
Maybe you do not understand why so-and-so died at such a young age, but please do not say that “God called them home.” God does not kill children or youths or anyone before ripe old age, what the Bible calls “the full number of days.” Stop blaming God for the devil’s work: that is blasphemy. God does not kill. He does not steal. He does not destroy.
Normal blasphemy like this, saying that God called a young person home because the young person died unexpectedly, is performed constantly in Churches. However this is not the unpardonable sin because the people who are doing this are usually painfully ignorant of both God and the Bible. They don’t realize what they are doing (attributing evil to God) is wicked. They are ignorant, and because of this their sin is light.
Honestly, many Christians are too ignorant of God to commit the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin cannot be committed by anyone who does not know God, and know God very well. To commit this sin, a person must first be extremely well educated in the exact area that they are about to commit it. In other words, the Unpardonable Sin is NOT a sin of ignorance! It is the opposite: a sin of full knowledge.
Knowing God and God’s commands in the Bible, a person must fully comprehend what God said, that God is good, that what the Bible says is right, and ON PURPOSE must turn away from that command and especially from the leading of the Holy Spirit within themselves and declare, by choice of will, that God is evil, that the Bible is wrong (when they know it is right), and walk away forever.
You might think this kind of thing doesn’t happen… but it does, and more often than you can imagine.
Now if you have done something similar to this (turned away from following something in the Bible you knew you ought to do), you have probably not committed the unpardonable sin. Most people during their Christian life see a part of the Bible they don’t want to follow, or can’t follow at the time, and turn away from it.
That’s normal; that’s just average growth. Don’t worry, later you will be led back to that place by the Spirit and you’ll probably be able to follow it once you grow up a bit. Don’t worry about that. That’s not what I am talking about. The unpardonable sin is not made when a person is uncomfortable about following some scripture and hesitates to do it; the unpardonable sin is a permanent decision where a person decides that the Holy Spirit is literally evil and turns away from Him forever.
People who commit the unpardonable sin sear their conscience. We find this concept in 1 Timothy 4: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…”
When the conscience is ‘seared,’ that means it is literally burnt so that a hard crust forms. Those who cook, you know about searing a steak on a hot pan to seal in the juices; what does this searing do? It is sudden, super-hot heat on the outside of the steak which causes the fibers of the meat to close up and become a solid ‘skin’ to keep the juice inside. To sear one’s conscience means to permanently close it up so that it can no longer feel guilt over something.
People who go for a very long time with a guilty conscience eventually come to a day of reckoning. The misery of a guilty conscience is so heavy that something has to be done about it someday. A human just can’t go their entire life without dealing with it. (And to be honest, many humans ‘deal with it’ by committing suicide. I’m not saying everyone who commits suicide is trying to escape a guilty spirit and a heavy conscience, but many who do commit suicide feel so miserable that they just have to stop the pain somehow; and in some cases the pain comes from lack of repentance for sins, even those done in ignorance.)
When these people come to their day of reckoning, they have to make a choice. On one side is the scripture and the witness of the Holy Spirit which tells them one thing (X is bad, stop doing X), and on the other side they have their pet sin which they like to do and wish to continue doing (X makes me feel better, X helps me get through the day, I was born with X, I can’t help doing X).
These people clearly know that the Holy Spirit is telling them that X is bad. There is no question in their mind about that. They have to be able to recognize the Holy Spirit, know that He is God, know that He is telling them to stop it.
The unpardonable sin is committed when the person decides that sin X is literally more valuable to them than the Holy Spirit, Scripture, and God is. This person purposefully, with full knowledge, turns against the Holy Spirit and says that He is evil; that the Scripture is evil, and that God is evil for speaking against sin X.
Deep down this person knows with clear vision that what he is doing is wrong, but he does not care. He loves sin X so much that he is willing to sacrifice God in order to hang on to it.
Paul speaks of this situation in Hebrews 6:6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
Clearly if a person has made a final, firm decision in his or her heart to reject the Holy Spirit and classify His teaching as “evil”, nothing more can be done for this person. Their conscience is immediately seared; they feel no more guilt for sin X, and from my observation, they feel no guilt for ANY sin any longer. In every case these people immediately drift off into more, and more, and more extreme sins until none of their family or friends can believe what they are into. They change into different people. This is what used to be called “losing one’s soul.”
The reason the sin can’t be forgiven is not because God is mad with them. (Trust me, God never gets that mad with any human being.) It’s because they literally lose the ability to commune again with the Holy Spirit. They have cut that part of themselves off. They have shut a door that they can’t open again.
God can try to get through to this person, but it’s totally futile and He knows it. This person will see ANYTHING from God as “evil.” His or her perspective will shift around backward so that everything that the Bible calls evil he will see as a good thing, and everything the Bible calls a good thing he will see as an evil thing.
It is heartbreaking to me to watch people make this final and tragic decision. These people become permanently deceived and cannot see anything correctly anymore. They are spiritually blinded. They can’t seem to tell when anything is wicked anymore. Those who were once sincere believers now scoff at God, and really enjoy blasphemy and mocking Him openly.
They get into perverted stuff. They do weird and nasty things. Even if they don’t ever commit a sin as extreme as physically attacking someone, they always end up hurting others somehow. And they enjoy it. Often they become an extremist or a fanatic and go to war against another group just because they are now drawn to violence.
“My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.”
This is the way our world is going. Perhaps you know people who have made this decision, and you know very well what I am talking about. It doesn’t matter what sin it was that enticed them into rejecting God permanently; for some it is vanity, or prideful arrogance, the desire to be powerful, the desire to commit sexual sins without repercussion, I’ve heard many reasons. The end result is the same; this person becomes a predator among Mankind, a harmful being who lives for the enjoyment of controlling and punishing others.
In Noah’s day, the world became so full of these people that God had no choice but to end it. As the Scripture warns: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:27)
People going about their daily lives, but they did not listen to God anymore. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” (Genesis 6:13) Eventually things will reach a tipping point and God will have no choice. He is waiting as long as He can… but He will not wait forever.
The moral of the story is this: don’t fool with scripture. If the scripture says it’s bad, take that seriously. Don’t blow God off. He is not an ‘alternate religious choice.’ He is not one of many. He is not an old fusty tradition. He is the Judge, and the Judge has his gavel in his hand and has raised it to strike.