An email arrived from someone who wonders if their past is so bad that God will not forgive them. Have they sinned so much and so greatly that their sin is quite literally unpardonable?
The answer is not hard to find. There is such a thing as the unpardonable sin. Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 12:30-37. And in answer to the question, I can say with certainty that the person who wrote that email has not committed the unpardonable sin. I say that even without full knowledge of all their transgressions—big or small as the person may judge them to be. I don’t need to know the whole record, and God alone knows the whole truth about any of us.
But this much is certain. The unpardonable sin represents an intentional, highly personal refusal of the grace of God in the face of overwhelming evidence and repeated exposure to the truth. It is locking the door of your heart from the inside and then throwing away the key. The one great sign of that sin—the only sign—is a hard-hearted callousness toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Someone with that sort of callousness would never ask, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin?” because he wouldn’t care one way or the other.
The person who sent me the email cares enough to worry about the state of their own soul. That in itself is a very good sign.
“Have I committed the unpardonable sin?”
If you care enough to ask the question, the answer is no.
If it never occurs to you to ask the question, the answer might be yes.
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