In Part 1 we examined the words of Jesus in Matthew 12 as He described the unpardonable sin. We know now that the unpardonable sin is not an immoral action you do, like lie, cheat or steal. It’s not even unbelief, because that, repented of, can be forgiven.
We saw that the unpardonable sin is specific blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is a sin against light. It is attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit when one knows better. There are consequences for doing this. A person who commits this sin opens himself up to deception.
The Deceiving Power of This Sin
One of the most terrifying verses in all the Bible is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:10b-12
…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Why would God send them strong delusion? “That they should believe a lie.” Why would God send delusion that people would believe a lie? “That they all might be damned.” Why would He do that? Because they “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” They had the truth; they wouldn’t believe the truth.
Why wouldn’t they believe the truth? Did they have intellectual problems? No. They believed not the truth because they had pleasure in unrighteousness.
It may surprise you to know, but the opposite of truth is not error. The opposite of truth is sin. When they “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness,” they wanted their sin more than they wanted the truth.
The progression is this: God speaks to them, giving them the light. They have the truth. They said in their hearts, “I don’t want the truth.” Not because of intellectual problems. They took pleasure in unrighteousness. They wanted their sin more than the light of the truth. “For this cause” God says He will send them strong delusion. They cannot have their sin and God’s truth at the same time.
You see, when you hear truth, you don’t just say, “How interesting. I’ll put that in my pocket and spend it if I ever need it, but in the meanwhile I’m going to live it up in sin.” No. When you choose sin, the baggage that comes with that sin is error, and God will send you strong delusion. When you have seen, when you’ve known, when you understand, and you willfully sin against the light, it is part of the righteous judgment of God that He sends along with it strong delusion.
In contrast, when a person says, “I want God,” God says, “I’ll bring you closer.”
There are people with eyes wide open, knowing better, who sin not only against redemption and reason, but against revelation. That choice brings with it deceiving power. And when you talk to a person who has committed the unpardonable sin, he’ll say, “Well, I just don’t see it.” He’s not lying. He doesn’t see it. Romans 11:8 says,
“According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear until this day.”
The Deadening Power of This Sin
When a person commits the unpardonable sin, something dies within him. If you have rejected Jesus Christ and crossed the deadline, you may be one who’s saying, “Well, you know, preachers don’t preach like they used to when I was a boy.” Some of them do, you just don’t hear like you used to.
Have you ever been out in the woods and seen a stump from a tree, blackened and charred? Yet there’s green all around it. Why is the stump blackened and charred? Because in years past a forest fire came crackling and burning and consuming. All of the foliage and trees were ablaze. This stump, fat with rosin, began to burn brightly. The fire went past and the outward part of the stump burned, but it never really caught fire. The fire went out, and it’s blackened.
Another year and the underbrush grows up. Another fire comes along. The stump that was blackened and charred, if the fire is intense enough, will begin to blaze again, only not as bright as the first time. And it will go out more quickly this time.
If that happens several times, when a fire comes again to that old charred, burned-over stump, roaring and consuming everything, it will just jump over that stump. The stump won’t even glow.
They are people like that. Some in a congregation will be brought under conviction as the fire of God’s Holy Spirit touches their hearts. Others, like the hardened stump, when the Holy Spirit comes, He’ll just jump over them. In the deadening power of that sin, they don’t hear the Holy Spirit speaking. This is why the Lord says,
“Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if you will hear His voice, Harden not your heart.” Hebrews 3:7-8.
You can sit in a service with a hard heart while others are being blessed and saved and not feel a thing.
You say, “Well, I’m not afraid to die.” You’re probably not, your heart is so hard.
Therefore, there is…
The Damning Power of This Sin
This sin puts you beyond the pale of redemption. Hebrews chapter 6:4-6 warns about this. Look at it phrase by phrase:
“For it is impossible”
—When God says something is impossible, we should pay attention
“for those who were once enlightened”
—Remember that the sin against the Holy Spirit is a sin against light
“and have tasted of the Heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost”
—the Greek means they have gone along with the Holy Ghost
“and have tasted the good word of God”
—Not ingested and digested, just tasted
“and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance”
—It is impossible to renew them to repentance. Why? Because
“they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.”
You can come to a place where it is impossible for you to be saved, because with eyes wide open you crucify Jesus afresh.
Some who nailed Him to the cross did not know what they were doing. But you can reject Jesus, fully aware of what you’re doing with eyes wide open, and say, “I will not pay the price, I will not.” When you do, you commit a greater sin than those who literally nailed Him to the cross. You are crucifying the Son of God afresh. That’s the deceiving, deadening power of this sin.
No one can be saved unless the Holy Spirit opens his eyes. But when you say no to the Holy Spirit, you put out your own eyes, and the Holy Spirit ceases to strive. “My Spirit will not always strive with a man.” (Genesis 6:3) You can sin against light, and that’s when light goes out on the road to Hell.
The sad truth is that many will not get into the grace of God unless they turn from their sin and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. And many are close to a deadline.
If they cross that deadline, they will have committed an unpardonable sin and will be destined for Hell in this life before they die, with no chance whatsoever of redemption, just as much bound for Hell as if its iron gates had already closed shut behind them. They will have committed an unpardonable sin.
There is a time, I know not when.
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men
To Heaven or despair.
There is a line by us not seen,
That crosses every path.
The hidden boundary between
God’s mercy and God’s wrath.
The Good News
If you feel the slightest desire to come to Jesus Christ, I beg you, come to Him. Don’t be like an old stump. Don’t let God send you strong delusion. Don’t cross the deadline. Don’t sin against such light.
There are millions in this world who would shout for joy to hear what you’re hearing: that God loves you, that Christ died for you, that He invites you, and that the Bible says, “Whosoever will may come.”
If you think you’ve committed the unpardonable sin, I will tell you this: if you want to be saved, you haven’t. Anybody who wants to come, will. And Jesus said, “If any man will come unto Me, I will never turn him away.” Never.
Don’t sin against redemption, reason, and revelation. Come to Jesus and join this holy throng and let’s go to Heaven together. When we meet around Jesus’ feet, you’ll remember the day that you said yes to Christ and were saved.
The Holy Spirit says, “Come.” The Word of God says, “Come.” Jesus, with open arms, says, “Come.” Your own reason says you ought to. God’s Word says you ought to. And if you’ll believe on Christ today and trust Him, “though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow.”
If you have never actively, fully, clearly, opened your heart to Christ, you can at this moment. Read the words of our Lord Jesus in the very last chapter of the Bible. It is an open door invitation:
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, “Come.” And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:16-17
Pray, “Oh, Lord Jesus, thank You that the Spirit says, “Come.” The Bride of Christ, the church, says, “Come.” And thank You that You say “Come.” Thank You for accepting me. Thank You for inviting me. Thank You that whosever will may come and take of the water of life freely. Thank you for the water of life. O Lamb of God, I come. I come.”
Just as plants need certain essentials to grow---light, water, and fertile soil---so do new Christians, babes in the faith. Without these essential basic truths of the faith, they will never establish strong roots or bear fruit.Adrian Rogers has written this book to give believers the nurture and care their faith needs to blossom and grow. What Every Christian Ought to Know seeks to give intellectual truth, and also provide the "spiritual nutrients" required to produce mature faith.