Most people think they’re in the process of accumulating a positive balance before God, and if the good outweighs the bad, then the Judge will make the ruling in his favour, in the end. The truth is that when you arrived on the planet, you were actually born a sinner (1). You had the capacity to do wrong which you manifested in various ways toward God and to men (2).The consequence of sinning, and therefore breaking God’s laws, is that we will receive God’s righteous judgment (3). Is there any escape from our sin? Yes because God has intervened in this world’s history. “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1John 4v14). So Christ died for our sins and rose again “that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3v15). God gives the best advice and command for the greatest blessing. If you repent and believe the Gospel then all your sins can be blotted out (4)
But what if you will not believe? You will sadly remain in the same state as you are (5). Also the wrath of God will remain on you (6). So believing, or not believing, is the highly important and critical issue for salvation or judgment.
Every unbelieving sinner is already condemned before God (7). Faith in Christ is the only way that the “condemned already” verdict can be removed, the wrath of God withdrawn, our life’s slate cleaned and the sinner forgiven. So it’s important to remember:
* What brings people under God’s judgment in hell is not because of some Divine decree made by God.
* What takes people to hell is not some deficient provision in the sacrifice of Christ.
* What consigns people to hell is the fact that they have sinned, and will not come to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. That’s the issue.
The Lord Jesus spoke of the “unpardonable sin” and the probably the clearest passage about that is Mark 3v22-30. This is a classic case where context clears up misunderstandings. In v28-30 (8) the Lord Jesus states the terrible doom of the unbelieving and religious scribes (v22) and Pharisees (Matthew 12v24), who were accusing Him of casting out demons by the power of the devil. The power was actually that of the Holy Spirit by which the Lord Jesus did the miracles and so they were, in effect, saying the Holy Spirit was of the devil. In v28-29 we are told that all kinds of sin can be forgiven, but this particular sin has “never” forgiveness and so is an everlasting sin.
Some believers wonder if they have committed this sin. The contextual factor must be taken into account and other Bible verses. The context was the Lord Jesus speaking to the scribes who did not believe in Him. These people were sinking to one of the lowest spiritual levels by saying that the Lord Jesus did His miracles in the power of the devil. Secondly there are Bible verses which say that believers are: “cleansed from all sin” (1John 1v7), “having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2v13), and “God hath (past tense and with no exceptions!) for Christ sake, forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). For the one who trusts Christ as their personal Saviour, all sin is forgiven and cleansed (9)! How can any believer, therefore commit the unpardonable sin? They cannot do so. Hallelujah! Also no genuine believer in the Lord Jesus would attribute the power of His works to the devil.
If a believer is afraid that they have committed the unpardonable sin, then that is sure proof that they have not! The scribes and Pharisees who committed the unpardonable sin had no godly remorse or guilt. They had no interest in the forgiveness of God which is in contrast to Peter who denied the Lord Jesus three times “and … went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62) and the Lord later restored him (1 Corinthians 15v5 (10), John 21v15-17 (11)).
There is, however, another sin which if persisted in is unpardonable. When people will not believe in Christ as their Saviour, they are sadly rejecting His gifts of eternal forgiveness and eternal life (12). Therefore they are, in a sense, committing the unpardonable sin of unbelief. If persisted in then this sin cannot be forgiven because he who commits it chooses to reject the very Person and work that would bring him forgiveness (6, 7). If such people continue in unbelief until they die, they will not be pardoned (5). Such people will wretchedly spend ETERNITY IN HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE, without God, and His truth and love, and without hope (13, 14, 15).
As we have seen, the Lord Jesus states that the sin of attributing His works, done in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the power of the devil cannot be forgiven, whereas He states that unbelief can be forgiven (16, 17). Examples of former unbelievers receiving forgiveness may be seen by “a great company of the priests” in Acts 6:7 (18) and the apostle Paul in 1Timothy 1v13 (19).
Those who sincerely desire God’s forgiveness and trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation will be forgiven of all things, including their previous sin of unbelief (20) and receive every spiritual blessing from God (21).
- Psalm 51v5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
- Romans 3v10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”
- Romans 2v2-3, 5 says “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? … But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
- Acts 3v19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
- John 8v24 The Lord Jesus said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
- John 3v36 says “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
- John 3v18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
- Mark 3v28-30 “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”
- Ephesians 1v7, 12 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; … who first trusted in Christ.”
- 1 Corinthians 15v5 “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.”
- John 21v15-17 “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
- Romans 6v23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
- Revelation 20v10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
- Revelation 20v14-15 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
- Revelation 21v8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
- John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
- John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
- Acts 6:7 “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
- 1Timothy 1v13 “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”
- Acts 10:43 “To him (Christ v38) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (No exceptions are given!)
- Ephesians 1v3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”