Have I Committed the Unpardonable Sin?

Question from a Site Viewer

Have I committed the unpardonable sin? I think I have. I think I have committed the sin that there is no forgiveness for. I am hopeless and regret my horrid sin. I know that:

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.

Psalm 51:4 (ESV)

This is from Psalm 51, and God is correct. I’m just hopeless—it is so painful. I have emailed a pastor and he thinks I have religious OCD or something.

Tim’s Answer

In the Christian life, the place where our eyes focus is what ultimately drives our lives. If we focus on our sins, we will live in the misery of sin. If we focus on Jesus, we will live in the victory that is found in Him. You ask, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin?” I doubt it.

We all have sinned. And I suppose at some time or another, each of us have thought that we committed the unpardonable sin.

Long ago, I thought a great deal about the unpardonable sin. I came to this startling conclusion. Whether or not I had committed the unpardonable sin, such would not change how I would choose to live my life. I would want to live life seeking God, loving Him, and seeking to follow after Him whether or not I had committed the unpardonable sin.

There would be no benefit to me if I decided to ignore God simply because I thought I had committed the unpardonable sin. Such would lead to a hopeless life. But, if I sought God, then even though He was determined to destroy me, there would always be a hope in my mind that perhaps He would relent of His determination and yet accept me one day.

When Nathan told David that his child was going to die, David knew that perhaps God might relent and so he sought God’s favor (2 Samuel 12:22). David’s son died, but David’s trust in God did not. And when David was again faced with a God who was determined to destroy the people, David again chose to seek God’s mercy and God came through for David (2 Samuel 24:12-14).

David knew something about God’s mercy. David, after sinning with Bathsheba and then murdering her husband, was doomed by God to die. God long before had said in the law that if someone committed adultery or murder, they were condemned to die. But when David repented, God in His great mercy relented of the pronouncement He had made in the law and forgave David’s sin.

And such has long been the character of God. After Israel went away from God one too many times, God said that He was through with Israel and would deliver them no more (Judges 10:11-16). But though God said He was through, they still repented and sought God. And their act of turning to God touched God’s heart, and He relented (Judges 10:11-16).

God is touched by our desire to please Him. Jonah knew this. God said He would destroy the people of Nineveh, Israel’s feared enemy. But Jonah knew of God’s mercy, and he did not want to go to Nineveh. When he finally went and pronounced God’s judgment, the people turned and God again was touched and relented of His pronounced judgment (Jonah 3 and 4).

God’s heart is one of mercy and compassion for those who seek Him (Jeremiah 18:7-8). In 2 Chronicles 15:3-4, when Israel was without God, they sought Him and He was found by them. So my conclusion was like Job’s. Even if He was to slay me, I would trust in Him (Job 13:15). There really is no other way for a person to live, if we fear God.

Once I reached that conclusion, I reached another one. Life is not about me. If I end up in hell but am able to draw some people to heaven, my life would not be worthless. If I can magnify God by my life, then there would be purpose to my life, even apart from heaven.

I am reminded of Paul who stated that he could wish himself accursed for the sake of the Israelites (Romans 9:3). He is saying that there is something worse than him ending up in hell. That worse thing is if the ones he loves end up in hell. So, if I truly love others more than myself, then my concern is not about where I go, but where they go. Again, this thought process brought me back to the idea that serving God is truly the only rational life to live, no matter what happens to me. Life is not about me. It is about living for others.

This, then led me to my third conclusion, since the unpardonable sin would not change the way I live. And since there is a higher purpose in life than my own entrance to heaven, I then reached my third conclusion, which was that I would leave my eternal destiny totally with God and let Him worry about where I would ultimately go. My task was to point people to Him. His task is to be concerned about me. This is what Jesus taught in Matthew 6. And this is what faith in God means. We trust Him fully. We fall on His mercy. We live life in a way that pleases Him and leave our lives with Him.

Of course, there is then the fourth conclusion. If I live life for others and for God, then I have not committed the unpardonable sin. There is not a single shred of Scriptural evidence that the unpardonable sin applies to people who want to serve God. When Jesus spoke of the unpardonable sin, He was speaking about people who wanted nothing to do with Jesus, and were hardening their hearts against the things of God.

If we harden our hearts to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives and reject what the Holy Spirit is saying to the place that we reject Christ and we die in that state, then we have committed the unpardonable sin. But, if we turn from our error and come to Christ, then by Christ’s own promise we are made into the sons of God (John 1:12) and we gain new life in Christ and become new creatures.

No one who seeks to serve Christ by loving God and loving one another has committed the unpardonable sin. John makes this point very clear. If we love, then we are born of God and know Him. If we do not love, then we have no part with God (1 John 4:7-8). So, if we love God and others, we demonstrate to ourselves that we have not committed the unpardonable sin because those who love are of God, as John tells us.

So, my encouragement to you is to turn from looking back at your sin and rather look solely to Christ (Hebrews 12:2). Instead of thinking about your sin, think about Jesus. Instead of dwelling on how badly you have failed, dwell on the extravagant grace and mercy of our God. Hope in His mercy. God delights in all those who do so (Psalm 147:11). I am confident that by changing your focus, your entire life will be transformed.

And if you sin, confess it immediately to God and return to Him with all of your heart. Practice walking in the presence of God. Talk to Him about everything. Pray for the needs of the world. Meditate and memorize His word and let it dwell within you richly. I encourage you to memorize and meditate on Colossians 3 and practice what you find there. If you do so, in a few months your life will be transformed.

yellow sticky note - feedback

2 thoughts on “Have I Committed the Unpardonable Sin?”

    1. It’s hard to say what exactly the unpardonable sin is but I think you’re on the right track. David murdered and committed adultery. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. Manasseh was forgiven. Saul (Paul) was forgiven. The Prodigal Son was forgiven. Even those who murdered Jesus could experience forgiveness.

      Act 3:15  and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 
      Act 3:16  And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. 
      Act 3:17  “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 
      Act 3:18  But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 
      Act 3:19  Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out . . . 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Characters: 0/1000