CROSSING THE DEADLINE
The Unpardonable Sin!
By Dr. John R. Rice
"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." -Genesis 6:3 (KJB)
"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." -Matthew 12:31-32 (KJB)
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." -Hebrews 6:4-6 (KJB)
There is a sin that "shall not be forgiven unto men." There is a sin which, if a man commits it, "it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." There is an unpardonable sin. A beloved brother has a great sermon on "The Sin Which God Will Not Forgive," and he means that God will not save one who will not trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Strictly speaking, that sermon is misnamed. God will forgive the sin of past unbelief when one turns from the sin and trusts Christ for forgiveness. But there is a sin beyond that which can never be forgiven. Men never repent of it. This sin, once committed, is irrevocable. When I speak of the unpardonable sin, I mean that there is a sin for which one cannot have forgiveness in this world, of which a man never repents, from which a man never turns, can never be cleansed and forgiven.
This sin can never be forgiven in the next world; but then no sin has forgiveness after death. The unpardonable sin is different in that one may cross the deadline while still alive, mat pass into the realm of the damned, may pass forever beyond mercy while yet alive in this world! How terrible this sin has no pardon, no repentance, no forgiveness!
Powerful reasons impel me to write on this subject. First of all, many people think they have committed the unpardonable sin who have not. I have known numbers of Christian people who feared they had committed the unpardonable sin, and were in torment of mind. They were mistaken. A saved person cannot commit the unpardonable sin.
No doubt there are lost people who think they have committed the unpardonable sin; therefore, they feel that they have no chance for salvation. They do not seek God because they think it would be in vain. They do not repent and ask Christ for salvation because they want a feeling which they do not have, and therefore suppose that they have someway driven away the Spirit of God and crossed the boundaries of mercy. Yet if such sinners want to be saved, they may be saved. Christ's invitation still stands: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." It is still true that one who comes to Christ will not be cast out.
Many errors have been taught concerning this sin that has no forgiveness. We hope, by careful study of the Word of God and under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to correct those errors. There are those who say that there could be no unpardonable sin today, but I believe the Word of God will make it clear that they are mistaken. Men today do commit the unpardonable sin. There are those who believe that the unpardonable sin is simply some blasphemy uttered with the lips, some profanity thought of in the mind. But that is not true. The unpardonable sin is not simply ascribing the works of God to Satan. It is not simply profane words or thoughts. Nor is the unpardonable sin simply rejection of Christ. It is more than that. It is such an insulting and definite repulse to the Holy Spirit who convicts a lost sinner that the Spirit calls no more. It is, after great light and many calls, a final rejection of Christ in which one sets himself against Christ and is left in his sins, unconvicted, unwarned, and so lost forever. This unpardonable sin can be committed only by a lost sinner who is convicted of his sins and who deliberately, after great enlightenment, turns the convicting Holy Spirit forever away from his heart by a definite decision , a permanent, once-for-all decision, rejecting Christ, and so blasphemously and insultingly turning against the holy Spirit who warns at the heart's door.
Yes, the unpardonable sin can be committed now. Any sinner who has heard the Gospel, who has been deeply convicted , who has been enlightened as to his sin and his need of the Saviour, is in deadly danger of committing the sin that has no forgiveness.
Some person you know may have already crossed the boundaries of mercy and entered forever the realm of the doomed and damned! Some person who is not troubled, who neither knows nor cares what he has done, may have driven the Holy Spirit away forever. You will not know who he is, nor will I. But that person is as certainly doomed forever as if the iron doors of hell had clanged shut behind him and he had already entered the torments of the lake of fire!
How awful this subject! How earnestly ought we to warn sinners of their danger! And how seriously ought each lost sinner to consider the folly and danger of longer rejecting Christ.
Let us now show from the Scripture that there is an unpardonable sin which men commit today; let us show what kind of a sin this is so men may avoid it, so people may know whether they have committed it or not. Then let us make clear the results of the unpardonable sin and give solemn warnings about it.
I. Bible Reveals the Unpardonable Sin in All Ages
II. Mistakes of Those Who Believe There Is Now No Unpardonable Sin
III. Further Proof That Lost Men Are in Danger of Committing the Unpardonable Sin
IV. What Kind of Sin Is This Unpardonable Sin?
V. Results of the Unpardonable Sin
VI. Solemn Warnings About This Sin Which Can Never Be Forgiven
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