The Unforgivable Sin!

“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).

Whoever has received the wondrously radiant gospel, and has known the way, yet willingly and knowingly rejects all the benefits, promised through baptism into the Name of the Triune God, and who becomes apostate, blasphemes the Spirit and crucifies again the Son of Man (Hebrews 6.4-6). There is no forgiveness for such outright rejection of the gospel whereby the sinner hardens himself. Whoever rejected Jesus in the days he walked on earth could still expect a subsequent pardon, namely, the arrival and work of the Spirit, but whoever opposes that too, and hardens himself, can expect nothing more. He remains in sin. For him, repentance will no more be possible.

Hence this terrible sin can only be committed by those who have received the gospel. In the life of believers, it sometimes happens that a person considers himself guilty of this sin. Sometimes that becomes an obsession (a delusion) which can lead to serious psychic disturbances, or can even cause incurable depression; it has even led to suicide. One does well to realise that those who are guilty of this sin are not worried or concerned about it. Their heart is hardened to such an extent that they delight in blaspheming the Mediator and the way of salvation. Therefore, whoever fears he has committed this sin, has not yet committed it. Difficulties with the gospel, a struggle to accept it, occasions of aversions to it, or the inclination to reject it during such a struggle, is not an act of blaspheming the Spirit. That occurs when there is outright and conscious rejection. Nevertheless, the knowledge that man can arrive at such a horrendous and unforgivable sin makes us careful not to reject the gospel; it makes us careful to subject our thoughts to the obedience of Christ.

(James R Hamilton, written July 2020)

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