The Unpardonable Sin
In 1944, a cargo ship loaded with supplies and explosives ran aground in the River Thames in England. Her hull broke in half, and no one knew what to do with a sunken ship full of explosives. So today, the SS Richard Montgomery is sitting there in fifty feet of water. 1500 tons of explosives still sit in the ship. One day someone is going to have to deal with the issue, because doing nothing is a bad option.
Like a sunken ship sitting dormant, doing nothing with what we have learned about Jesus during these past four weeks is not a good option. One day the decisions we have made or did not make will be set forever. Revelation 22:11 indicates that a time will come whenever whoever is unjust, filthy, righteous, or holy will be set as those things forever. Matthew 12:30 says that whoever is not with God is against Him. Inaction = against God. Matthew continues on saying that all sins will be forgiven, even ones against Jesus, but the sin against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, in this life and in the next.
This sounds morbid, but to realize that God will forgive us of sins of blasphemy, even sins against Jesus shows how patient He is with us. 1 John 1:9 says that God is faithful to forgive us and keep us clean. Psalm 86:5 shows that God is always ready to forgive.
To understand the sin against the Holy Spirit, which we refer to as the unpardonable sin – or the sin that cannot be forgiven, we need to understand the work of the Holy Spirit and its purpose. John 16:8 reveals that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit is there to guide you (like the law). You can find this reinforced in John 14, where the Holy Spirit is there as a Comforter, bringing Jesus’ teachings to your memory and guide you. The Holy Spirit pulls us away from sin when we get near it by convicting us.
We see this work at Pentecost. As Peter was preaching the truths of God Acts 2:37 reveals that the listeners were convicted and wanted to know how to correct their ways. Conviction calls for a response. For the listeners, they were told to repent and believe (Acts 2:38). When the Holy Spirit convicts you of what you are doing, the response should be repentance and belief in Jesus.
What happens if you do not repent and ignore the Holy Spirit?
Ephesians 4:30 warns us not to grieve the Spirit of God. We can grieve the Spirit by doing things our way instead of God’s way or by doing nothing. James 4:17 reveals that whoever does not do what is right despite knowing the right thing to do is sin. When you have been blessed to know the truth, when the Holy Spirit has spoken to you and you know in your heart what the right thing is, please do not ignore it! Please do not grieve away the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 reveals that we should not quench the Spirit. Like a fire warning you when you are close to danger quenching the Spirit will make falling into danger much easier for you. The Holy Spirit is a safeguard for you. The Spirit is there to help you. Hebrews 2:3 ponders this question, “How can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” See the key word neglect? Your connection to God will fail to be a connection if you neglect it. You do not have to reject God to be lost, you can be lost by neglecting God.
Look no further than the Revolutionary War to see the consequences of neglect. Colonel Rall was commanding Hessian troops in Trenton, NJ. On the night George Washington was to cross the Delaware River to attack, a Loyalist delivered a message to Rall warning of the impending attack. Involved in a card game, he put the note, unread, in his pocket to read later. Unfortunately he forgot. The note, along with a musket ball was found on his body, killed because he was taken by a preventable surprise.
John 16:13 says that the Holy Spirit guides us into truth. Any new things you have learned recently that you can validate are Biblical? That is the Spirit guiding you into truth. Romans 8:14 reveals that those led by the Spirit are called Sons of God. Jesus says that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Jesus called humble fishermen to change the world. He told them to follow Him. They dropped everything and followed their conviction to follow Him. They did not say, “I will pray first” or “I am not too sure let me think about.” They were in tune with God and when the time came for them to move by the Spirit they moved.
In the Air and Space Museum in Dulles, VA, you can see the Enola Gay on display. The Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the atomic bomb over Japan. It left at 2:45am and five and a half hours later dropped the bomb. During that trip the pilot had the option of turning around. But once the bomb was dropped, there was no turning back. The dropping of the bomb was either good news or bad news, depending on whose side you were on. Good because the war would soon be over, and bad for all the lives lost.
The Second Coming is similar. Depending on whose side you have chosen will determine if the Coming is good or bad for you. Will you cry out to the rocks to hide you from Jesus as they do in Revelation 6? Or will you be excited and say, “This is our God, we have waited on Him, and He will save us” (Isaiah 25:9).
In the days of Noah people were given the message to come into the ark for the storms were coming. There was only one way to be saved from the impending disaster. They had year after year to make that choice. But eventually, that choice was gone when the doors to the ark were shut, and the rains came. By then it was too late to choose to come in. The majority of people did not follow their conviction.
In Acts 24:24,25 we see that Paul had been sharing the wonderful truths of the Bible with governor Felix. But Felix could not handle the conviction and told Paul to go away. He did not make the choice to choose Jesus when the time was right, and as a result he quenched the Spirit. See each time we reject the Holy Spirit the voice becomes quieter, the conviction becomes more numb, and if left unchecked will eventually fade away. Not because God stopped communicating with you, but because your heart reached a point of hardness that nothing could penetrate it.
In Acts 26:27,28 we see King Agrippa also given an opportunity to follow Jesus. He was convicted and even told Paul he was almost convinced to be a Christian. He was “almost persuaded.” But he did not follow through with his conviction, he did not listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The unpardonable sin is not forgivable because God does not choose to forgive that sin. It is not forgivable because we as humans do not choose God, either by rejecting or neglecting Him. As we continue to reject the voice of the Holy Spirit, we turn that dial down, until we can no longer hear the frequency or wavelength that the Holy Spirit is speaking on. This is a very dangerous position to be in, and that is why when we are convicted we want to respond immediately. We do not want to postpone our response to Him.
Friends, we have had a long journey Unlocking Revelation, and there is still more! We could study it forever if time permitted. But we have gone through many topics and truths that require much digestion. It is not easy taking in all of this information. That is why we encourage you to prayerfully study your Bible, to contact us if you have questions over how we see things, and if convicted, follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit. Please do not wait till tomorrow. Please choose now to follow Jesus.
Will you choose to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit immediately and repent and follow Jesus today?