Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Unpardonable Sin - Martin Wiles

Anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences. Mark 3:29 NLT

Mom pardoned everything … except for one question.

Mom worked hard, at home and at her outside-the-home job. I never knew a time while growing up that she didn’t work an outside job.

Mom tolerated any question we asked her … except one: “What are we having for supper?” We might see the meat lying in the sink or refrigerator, but what she planned to cook with it we never knew. Dad kept his mouth shut. He knew what side Mom buttered his bread on. But we three boys enjoyed devilling Mom. We’d ask the question, which would immediately send Mom into a tailspin and intensify the bad mood normally already attacking her.

Mom’s normal response? “You’ll know when I get it ready.” We never figured out why Mom hated the question … and none of us ever asked. In our house, asking the question equated to the unpardonable sin.

Jesus also spoke of an unpardonable sin—one of a different variety. The religious leaders accused Him of casting out demons by Satan’s power. Jesus told them that attributing the works of God to Satan was unforgivable. Every other sin God would forgive—but not this one.

The church and theologians have given various definitions of the unpardonable sin throughout Christian history—among them suicide and divorce. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlett Letter, provides a good example. Poor Hester Prynne makes the mistake of cheating on her husband with the preacher and must wear a scarlet letter on her breast for the remainder of her life.

With suicide, the argument is that one doesn’t have a chance to confess—regardless of whether they are a believer or unbeliever.

In truth, the only unpardonable sin is unbelief, which encompassed the root of the accusation the religious leaders made against Jesus. They simply didn’t believe His claim of Messiahship.

Rather than living in fear over whether we’ve committed the unpardonable sin, which we haven’t if we believe in Christ, we should take comfort in knowing God wills to forgive any mess up we make—as long as we ask. The danger is in not asking. We are never beyond receiving God’s forgiveness as long as we have breath in our bodies.

No matter what you’ve done, God’s forgiveness is only one statement away: “God, please forgive me.”

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your unending forgiveness.

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