We have been discussing the question submitted by Kyle. The original question was…
After becoming a Christian, are there any sins that will put me beyond the “point of no return” so that I cannot regain salvation? What sin or sins will put me in such jeopardy, so that, after becoming a Christian, I would be doomed to hell without any recourse? Please be specific and give me clear Bible references.
In part one I pointed out that there is no such thing as a specific that God will not or cannot forgive a person for. However, there are conditions of sin that will make it impossible for God to forgive us because we will not seek His forgiveness.
I identified those conditions as the sin unto death, the seared conscience, the willful sin and blaspheming the Holy Spirit. We have already looked at the sin unto death in part one and the seared conscience in part two. We will continue in this article with the last two, the willful sin and blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
The Willful Sin
The Hebrews writer refers to this in Hebrews 10:26, 27.
This willful sin does not refer to a single act of sin that causes us to be irrevocably lost. Rather, it refers to making a willful choice to leave Christ and go back to the world. Notice the description in Hebrews 10:28, 29 for the one who sins willfully; and the verses just prior to the willful sin reference in Hebrews 10:23-25.
In its proper context, it becomes very clear what the willful sin is referring to. It is not a single act of sin, rather it is a condition of sin. It is a returning to the sinful lifestyle from which one repented when they first received the knowledge of the truth. By so doing, they have made a proclamation, by their actions, that the blood of Christ means nothing to them. As long as they so live it is impossible for them to be forgiven. There is no sacrifice for sin outside of Christ!
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
Jesus refers to the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Mark 3:28, 29.
There has been a great deal of speculation over what this “unpardonable sin” is. However, by a careful examination of the text and parallel passages, it is not difficult to understand what Jesus was talking about.
There is no question that, whatever Jesus is talking about, it is something that causes a person to be in a condition for which there is no salvation. In Mark 3:29 it says that the person guilty of this has “never forgiveness” and is “in danger of eternal damnation.” Luke 12:10 and Matthew 12:32 say “it shall not be forgiven him.” As long as a person is committing this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit it is not possible for them to be forgiven.
What had been done, in the context, that Jesus could be referring to as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Jesus had just cast a demon out of a possessed person and healed them (Matthew 12:22).
The people were amazed and began acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, the son of David (Matthew 12:23). But the Pharisees, unwilling to accept Jesus as the Messiah, claimed that he cast out demons by the power of Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24).
So, what Jesus claimed to do by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28) they claimed to be the power of the devil. They were essentially calling the Holy Spirit the devil.
When Jesus said they were subject to eternal condemnation, Mark goes on to say it was “because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:30). They called the Holy Spirit an unclean spirit!
Now, when people claim that the work of the Holy Spirit is the work of an unclean spirit they are in danger of eternal condemnation. When we relate that to the revealed word of God, the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21), we see how people can be guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit today.
As long as people reject the revealed will of God as anything less than a divinely inspired production they cannot be saved, they have “never forgiveness.” Coming to salvation through obedience to the word of God, those who later turn away from it and reject it as man-made opinions are just as guilty and just as much in danger of eternal condemnation. As long as one is willing to deny the divinely inspired word of God to justify their rejection of Christ and his will, they cannot be saved.
So, in answer to the “question,” any of the sins from the New Testament, or “such like” (Galatians 5:21), could be the sin that makes it impossible for a person to be saved. But it is up to them. It is not because God is unwilling to forgiven that sin (1 Timothy 2:4).
Any sin that a person refuses to repent of, for whatever reason, is the sin that makes them irrevocably lost – as long as they are in that condition. If they will hear the word of God (Romans 10:17), believe what it teaches about Christ and his kingdom (Acts 8:12), repent of their sins (Acts 17:30), confess their belief that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38), then they can be saved.
Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950 or BibleQnA@NormFields.com.