Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The fear of the unpardonable sin has distressed many sincere people. It discourages some and keeps them away from the joyous eternal life that the Lord wants them to experience.
They are told repeatedly that the unpardonable sin is continued, persistent sinning, to the point that they can no longer hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit. But almost everybody in the world can realize that he or she has indeed sinned in one way or another, persistently, continually.
We must look again at the context of what Jesus Himself said about the unpardonable sin; it's in Matthew 12:22-37: Jesus healed someone demon-possessed. "All the multitudes were amazed" and wondered positively if Jesus might be the long-awaited Messiah (as we today wonder if our long-awaited "Elijah" may have already begun his work of "turning hearts"). But "the Pharisees ... said, 'This fellow ... casts out demons ... by the ruler of the demons,'" Satan himself. They reacted negatively to the utmost.
This had happened earlier, in Matthew 9:34. These leaders of the one true church of that day had already attributed the work of Jesus to Satan (which is the unpardonable sin). Now Jesus has given them another chance to repent, but they have repeated that awful sin. Jesus then goes on to tell the Pharisees that "if I cast out devils by the [Holy] Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you" (12:28) and you didn't know it, or recognize the blessing! The church leaders went on and on in their way until they felt driven to cry out in Pilate's presence "Crucify Him"!
The way Matthew (chapter 12) and Luke (chapter 11) tell the story about the Pharisees, the people would have been willing to believe the truth and repent, but their church leaders hindered them and "in a great degree" blocked the way.
This action of the Pharisees was the Unpardonable Sin. Let's not repeat it. But if you fear and tremble, there's hope! Thank God.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 17, 2006.
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