The Unpardonable Sin

(Chapter 10)

Fred R. Coulter—August 7, 2004

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I want us to understand the parallel between the times near the close of the apostolic age in which Hebrews was written. Hebrews was written in 61A.D. and sent first to all of the Jewish congregations, and it went to Jerusalem and I'm sure that copies went to all of the churches in Judea and Galilee and Samaria. The reason that this is important and the reason that it was written in 61A.D. and not centuries later, is because there had to be a warning given to those churches, and subsequently the warning went out to all the churches not just the Jewish churches, because James was going to be martyred in 62A D.

The reason we know that the book of Hebrews was written before James was martyred is because his name is not mentioned in here as being martyred. At the end when we get to Heb. 13 he says, 'Follow your leaders'—not in the past tense but in the present tense.

The events beginning with the martyrdom of James, which was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 62A.D., also began to unleash the events leading up to the end of the apostolic age. The first phase of the end of the apostolic age was the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened after the death of Peter, after the death of Paul and probably several of the other apostles. John and Andrew and Philip continued to live until close toward the end of the first century. The things that were taking place then, we are seeing taking place now. {note sermon: The Two Generations}

You can read in the writings of John—the Epistles of John especially—just like it is today it's like it was then, John says, 'They went out from us; they were not part of us, that it may be manifest that they were not of us. Beloved, many antichrists have arisen.' That's the day we are living in now. What we are going to see is a re-enactment in our day, what was occurring back in their days.

Because all of the apocryphal: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Apocryphal Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of different ones there, all came from the Nag Hammadi Library in southern Egypt. Those things were beginning to be circulated from the time of the destruction of Jerusalem until after the death of the Apostle John.

We are living in the same time where we are getting so many of these assaults against The Bible, and against the New Testament in particular, and a direct subversion of the Words of God that are printed like this one that I just did the sermon on: Good As New, A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures. That's what was going on at the close of the apostolic age. At the close of the age before Christ returns we're going to see a repeat of it.

We are going to see that Paul in writing the book of Hebrews was preparing the brethren who were there in Judea, Galilee and Samaria—as well as the rest of the Church as a whole—for the destruction of the temple and the removing of everything that they thought and understood up to that point was what God desired and represented. Which then gets back to a very profound principle: Before God corrects people in the world, He corrects His Church first! Have we not seen that today? Have we not seen a destruction—though not by armies but by infiltration and changing of doctrines—of one of the largest Churches of God that we have ever witnessed probably in the history of the world to this time? Yes, we have! So, there is a similar parallel.

We all know these Scriptures, so I'll go through them quite rapidly. This is so that we have a key and understanding as to what it was like, and so we can see the same things are being done here and we are gradually going into this in exactly the same manner that Jesus outlined.

Matthew 24:1: "And after going out, Jesus departed from the temple; and His disciples came to Him to point out the buildings of the temple. But Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things?.…"

Remember from the top of the Mount of Olives looking across over to the temple area as you view the temple, it was at the top of a 450-foot wall that went clear down into the Kidron Valley. Then on top of the temple area it had the wall around it, and then the highest pinnacle was 105-cubits high above it. So, here they are looking at this and this is, like a 45-60 story building as you're looking at it. Very impressive! It would be almost like today saying, 'See these twin towers here? I tell you that in one day they are going to fall.' And you would say, 'This guy is out of his mind.'

So likewise, v 2: "But Jesus said to them 'Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, there shall not be left here even one stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.'…. [that was absolutely true, did happen] …And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him alone, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming and of the completion of the age?'…. [then false prophets]: …Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Be on guard, so that no one deceives you.'" (vs 2-4). Later on we have '…no one deceive you by any means.'

Verse 5: "For many shall come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ'…"—and that can be interpreted two ways:

  • many will say that Christ is the Christ
  • that the individual himself will proclaim that he is Christ

Like 'Reverend' Sun Yun Moon today who was supposedly just anointed with a crown back in Washington, D. C., to be 'the savior of the world.'

"…and they shall deceive many" (v 5). Were the people attending there deceived? Yes, indeed! Even some congressmen were there, too.

Verse 6: "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you do not let these things disturb you. For it is necessary that all these things take place, but the end is not yet" (vs 5-6). Today you can pick up your paper or watch the news and every one of these things are happening.

Verse 7: "For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. Now all these things are the beginning of sorrows" (vs 7-8).

As I have said before, I think we have entered into the time which is the beginning of sorrows and we're going to see the groundwork laid to bring about all of the rest of the things that it says here for our age, just like it was done back at their time.

Verse 9: "Then shall they deliver you up to affliction…" It will happen!

I got an e-mail from a man in Egypt who wants to know about baptism. He says, 'I am afraid for my life. I have repented, I keep the Sabbath, I want to keep the Holy Days, and if I let anyone know it they will surely kill me because they think that it is Jewish. Even members of my own family would do this.' So, those of us who live in modern Israel today—United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Europe—we don't know what it's like, but it is going to come here.

"…and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake" (v 9)—because we're going to be made the enemy and the terrorists. All you have to do is make the definition lower and lower and lower and pretty soon they will get to us. Robert Reich said in an article, that religionists and those who believe in God are worse than terrorists! So, it's going to happen!
Verse 10: "And then shall many be led into sin, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." Is that not already set up? Yes, it is! Do you not have 800-numbers you can call and anonymously leave a tip or an accusation against someone? Yes, indeed!

Verse 11: "And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many." That sure is true. There are more religions; there are more prophets; there are more Bibles. If I set before you all of the spurious Bibles that I have, plus a lot of those if I could get my hands on that I don't have, and show you how men are so absolutely dedicated to destroying the Word of God, being tools of Satan the devil to work within the seminaries, work within the colleges, work within the translation committees. And people read it and say, 'Oh, that's wonderful.' Just like the Archbishop of Canterbury said of A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures, Good as New: 'An extraordinary work of power.' Absolute lie!

Here's where we are, v 12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied…" That's what we're into. Lawlessness can be best defined not only against the laws of God, but where your standard of behavior becomes what you believe to be true, whether or not it is true. Because you have no standard of the Word of God—which is absolute Truth—to base your conduct, or base you morality, what you believe, your set of values and ethics, to you is true. That also affirms the Proverb, which says, 'Every man is just in his own eyes.'

That's what we are living in today. You can hear it on any radio or television program. If you think when you watch the news, that you're getting the news, you're not! That's all that the person sitting there telling you the news is, is a reader of what the editors behind the scenes want you to know. The more they have their private agendas to do what they want, and in this world we are living in a time when people are making their own reality by thinking that their thoughts will create the reality they want. There is nothing that describes better this coming Presidential election than that. That's what lawlessness is multiplied everywhere: deception, lies and so forth. {note sermon: True Lies #1 & #2}

Verse 13: "But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved." We have to endure to the end, very important. The problem with the book of Hebrews was too many were not enduring to the end; because it didn't turn out the way they thought, therefore, God is wrong, rather than thinking, 'Well, it didn't turn out the way I thought, maybe God has something else in mind.'

We can understand that those at the close of the apostolic age really had a very difficult time, and it was very difficult for them to comprehend that Christ wasn't going to return in their lifetimes. If we can understand that then we can see how important faith becomes because the way God is going to work it does not depend on our complete understanding of the situation, but it depends on:

  • our faith
  • our belief
  • our steadfastness
  • our enduring to the end

That's what it depends on. Look just from the turn of the century here:

  • Jehovah Witnesses: Jesus was to return in 1918—He didn't!
  • Seventh Day Adventists: Jesus was to return in 1844—didn't happen!

You can come down through our age:

  • It was going to happen because the WWII and all the armies were gathered around Jerusalem—didn't happen!
  • It's going to be in 1975—didn't happen!

How many people subsequently gave up and fell away because they didn't have the faith of God and weren't grounded in the Truth enough to endure to the end? Many did, unfortunately!

Verse 14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come."

This doesn't tell us by whom, how many, what duration. No it doesn't! It doesn't tell us, or give us permission that since we're a small group or whatever you could use for an excuse, that we shouldn't do that, we'll leave it to the two witnesses. Well, we can't do that either.

Here is an admission by the apostles to tell us that they understood that when the temple was destroyed that the 'abomination of desolation' did not occur in that timeframe 66½A.D.-70A.D. with the destruction of the temple

Verse 15: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place (the one who reads, let him understand)."

When Jesus spoke these words, that parenthetical statement was not there. It was put there probably by John and the elders who helped canonize the New Testament and in reading that, they realized they did not understand that prophecy even though the temple was destroyed. But they did know that the words of Christ were true and it was going to happen some time. So therefore, they added the parenthetical statement "…(the one who reads, let him understand)..."—because 'we don't understand it.'

Now we live at the end of the age when we can understand some of these things. But even at that, even though we have the framework of these things, do we really know what's going to happen in detail? No! But when something happens, we can recognize it for what it is. We are also given the promise back in Dan. 12 that the wise, at the time of the end, shall understand. That understanding has to come from God because of being faithful and enduring to the end.

You can take that enduring to the end and you can break that down in many ways. You can start out this way:

  • you have a problem or difficulty, you endure until there is a solution and an end to the problem
  • you endure to the end of your life and are safely tucked in the grave, your place of safety

If you live in the time of the end, which we probably are—how close the end is we really don't know—but you still have to endure to the end. He's saying here: What do you have to endure unto the end? Everything:

  • false prophets
  • wars
  • famines
  • earthquakes
  • pestilence
  • betrayal
  • affliction
  • arrest
  • martyrdom

—all of those things. I am afraid that too many today are like many were back then in Jerusalem; they didn't believe that it was going to happen when the book of Hebrews was written in 61A.D., and they could not see the gradual apostatizing from the Truth because it didn't work out the way that they thought. And that's the whole purpose of the book of Hebrews.

Heb. 10—we will do a little review. It's talking about the New Covenant, because we are going to talk about the unpardonable sin in this sermon in a very direct and profound way. The people who worry about the unpardonable sin are the ones who won't commit it. The ones who don't care whether they commit the unpardonable sin are the ones who will commit it.

Here is the reason for the unpardonable sin. A lot of people don't like it that there is going to be a lake of fire. A lot of people are angry at God because He is going to sentence the incorrigible wicked to the second death. But we will see how profound the unpardonable sin is.

Hebrews 10:16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord… [and this is a prophecy going back to the book of Jeremiah] …'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds; and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again.' Now where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin" (vs 16-18). That is animal sacrifices.

Verse 19: "Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh)" (vs 19-20).

Here's why there has to be an unpardonable sin and the penalty for it, because God has given people direct access to Him through prayer right into the Holy of Holies in heaven above. 

  • doesn't need to be a temple
  • doesn't need to be a priesthood
  • doesn't need to be a go-between except Christ

That's what's important. God has not given that to the world. Though there are some in the world who could commit the unpardonable sin. But since He has given that to us and has given us His Spirit, He wants us to respond back to Him.

We're going to see some parallels here between Heb. 6 and 10. Let's see where he talks about this in relationship to Abraham. We have the covenant that God has given to us because of Abraham. If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.

Hebrews 6:12: "So that you do not become lazy…" That's the whole purpose of this book. When do people become lazy? When everything becomes easy and you can just lie back, or as they say today, 'Just kick back', or 'Just hang out' just kind of sitting there sort of quivering, doing nothing except maybe flapping the tongue. The truth is laziness is a choice just like anything else.

Verse 12: "…but that you be imitators of those who through faith and steadfast endurance inherit the promises. For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself, since He could swear by none greater" (vs 12-13).

That's what's so profound! God is personally involved in your life, and you are personally involved with God. He has given you His Holy Spirit. He has given you His Word. Great treasures and blessings! That's not to be treated lightly.
Swearing by Himself, v 14: "Saying, 'Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.' Now, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise" (vs 14-15).

That was that Isaac was born. Before you can become like the stars of heaven—as the promise was given to Abraham concerning his spiritual seed—you must become part of the sand of the sea first. You must become human first. The physical offspring of Isaac becoming as the sand of the sea, and then the spiritual offspring becoming as the stars of heaven, you must be a grain of sand first and, pray tell, you're not much bigger than that when you are first conceived. Amazing!

Verse 16: "For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath" (vs 16-17).

This is the thing that's profound and important: God changes not! His purpose is not going to change irrespective of the choices that people make.

Verse 18: "So that by two immutable things…" That He would bless, that He would multiply, having sworn by Himself.

"…in which it was impossible for God to lie…" (v 18). That's what's profound and important and all these false prophets have the same attitude as Satan the devil, because they come from him, 'Yea, has God said?' They always accuse God of being a liar, one way or the other.

"…it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us" (v 18).

I am going to reiterate again, and we will see again and again, as we've said in the past: We are to walk in faith, believe in hope and live in love! Those are the things that are going to see us through. Everything else is extra.

Verse 19: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast…"—which means that regardless of the trial—and there will be many—that we will go through. As long as we understand and know the hope and realize that it is going to be by the power of the resurrection and through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, it doesn't matter what the circumstances around us are God is with us and in us and He is going to work His purpose. It doesn't matter!

Notice how this ties in with what we just read, v 19: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil; where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 19-20).

If you have a problem that gets you so discouraged and so down—and all of us will have these—remember this: Go back and read about the account of Stephen when he was being stoned. You can't have anything any worse than that. You're being stoned! What did he do? He looked up in heaven and he saw the Son of man standing at the right hand of God! When he said that he saw that, all of his enemies, being the Sanhedrin, went out there and just did him in. What did he do? The very same thing Jesus did when Jesus was on the cross dying. He said, 'Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.' And Stephen said, 'Lord, lay not this to their charge.'—and he said that of his enemies. So, he was fulfilling what it says here.

Again, you're going to see this pattern of writing in the book of Hebrews is this:

  • hope/correction or correction/hope
  • problems/solution or solution to view problems

all the way through the book of Hebrews. After some correction and needing to keep the Sabbath and so forth:

Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." That's what the key is with the Bible:

  • no other book has that
  • no other book can convict of sin
  • no other book can tell you what your mind really is

in short, simple, easy to understand terms, like the Bible. As we have covered:

  • there is a way that seems right to a man, the ends thereof are death
  • the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked

It is the only book in the world that exposes the sins of those that could be called in literature as heroes:  such as David, such as Solomon, and so forth. That's what makes the Bible, among other things, and the Word of God, among other things, the Truth. Because if men were writing it and admiring men, you don't admit their mistakes and write them down and have them published in perpetuity.

If you don't believe this, all you have to do is watch any political campaign. Watch any political convention. Those who write the history to uphold the Democratic Party will never say anything wrong about their Presidents. Those who write the history about the Republican Presidents are never going to expose anything that was wrong unless you're going to be honest.

What you're dealing with in the world is the victor writes the history, and so what they want you to know, that's what they tell you. You get their version of it. The Bible isn't that way. It goes right to the heart and core of everything. That's what it's saying right here. It tells you, 'You shall not…' and God expects you to obey. It tells you, 'You shall…' and God expects you to obey. No other book does that.

Notice how powerful it is, because it brings you into the presence of God, especially with the New Covenant:

Verse 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. Having, therefore, a great High Priest…" (vs 13-14). In other words, what this does is it takes away all pretense and all hypocrisies and all pretending. You can't fool God any time.

But to help you out, to give you hope, v 14: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens… [and that's what we're talking about in Heb. 10] …Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses…" (vs 14-15).

Not just sympathize, but empathize because He went through it because He took on weak human nature!

"…but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin. Therefore… [this gives us the solution] …we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 15-16).

Another aspect of the book of Hebrews is:

  • coming to God vs coming to a man
  • coming to the Holy of Holies in heaven above vs having a priest go into the Holy of Holies once a year on your behalf

Tremendous thing!

We are coming to God, that's what it's all about. Know and understand this: The Gospel is preached, but God does not send hound dogs to sniff you out. You have to come to God. God won't come to you until you come to Him first.

Hebrews 7:25: "Therefore, He has the power throughout all time to save those who come to God through Him because He is ever living to intercede for them."

That's how we're coming to God and all of this is important to understand: why there is the unpardonable sin and the very dogmatic and profound way that the book of Hebrews talks about the unpardonable sin. We'll see this is another part of the theme of the book of Hebrews: Coming to God.

Hebrews 11:6: "Now, without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him"—vs later on becoming lazy as we saw back there in Heb. 6, but I want you to get the point of coming to God! Coming into the Holy of Holies in heaven above! If, in our prayers, we really keep this in mind and we believe the Word of God, and we believe God, this is going to help us in having our prayers answered and having a profound relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:18: "For you have not come to the mount that could be touched… [here it is speaking of Mt. Sinai in that particular case] …and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; and to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words, which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. (For they could not endure what was being commanded: 'And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow'; and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I am greatly afraid and trembling'). But… [compare that] …you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels" (vs 18-22).

Then he gives this, I think, for those who are alone, v 23: "To the joyous festival gathering; and to the Church of the Firstborn, registered in the Book of Life in heaven…" The Greek says, 'registered in heaven.' Other places tell us it's the book of life, so it's perfectly all right to add the italicized words there to clarify it.

"…and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected" (v 23).

Think of the fantastic opportunity that God has given us. This is why He wants us:

  • to be diligent
  • to be on fire for God
  • to have a passion for the Word of God
  • to have a love of the Truth

—that's why! It is with God's Spirit there is an absolute direct connection between you and God! So that's the whole theme as to why this is so profound and important.

Hebrews 10:21: "And having a great High Priest over the house of God." See how that ties in with Heb. 4, 6, and 9—all of these things connect. The whole book of Hebrews was written to those who knew and understood the Truth for a long, long, long, time. What happens is that when people have been in the Truth for a long, long time unless they remain diligent, unless they remain zealous, they are going to become complacent, and complacency leads to laziness, and laziness leads to sin and continuous sin can lead, unfortunately, to the acceptance of sin, and living in sin, and hence, the unpardonable sin.

That's why he is going through and expressing this, because we have lived through a cycle in the Church where we have seen that happen. I'm afraid there are probably a lot of people that we may have known in the Church of God, who attended in the past, who—if they were converted—may be on the verge of committing the unpardonable sin. Just remember this one caveat: As long as there is life, there is hope! As long as there is some degree of conscience, there is hope; but when that is lost, they have given up their hope.

Verse 22 tells us how to approach God. I want you to understand how Paul leads into the thing concerning the unpardonable sin, and how then he gives comfort and encouragement after he defines it.

Verse 22: "Let us approach God… [as we just covered: come to God] …with a true heart… [the Holy Spirit and the Word of God know everything] …with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience…"

That is a progressive thing that takes place. It takes time to cleanse the mind, to purify the mind, to expunge out of that mind—which God can do with His Spirit—a regurgitation of things in the past regardless of what they may have been or how bad they may have been.

The human mind is able to go back and kind of relive those things, but with the Spirit of God those things can gradually be cleansed, purified. That's done with the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and living God's way. That's how it's done.

So therefore, he says, "…our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water" (v 22). That's obviously talking about baptism. Baptism is a conjoining into the death of Jesus Christ.

Verse 23: "Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful." Therefore, it is you be faithful as He is faithful. That's what it's talking about here.

Verse 24: "And let us be concerned about one another… [that's what we need to do] …and be stirring up one another, unto love and good works."

That's how we need to do. Unfortunately, too many people are after everybody else's throats. After you get tired of that and it says there in Gal. 5 that if you backbite each other, surely you are going to devour each other.

The epitome of the opposite of this we can see in the so-called Holy Land today, which is very unholy. The only way the Palestinians and Jews are ever going to decide to have peace is when they are so tired of killing and being killed that they want to stop it. God does not want that with His people. He wants us to learn to love each other and He has given us some obstacles to do that, but the obstacles are each other. But we can! We can learn to love each other. That's what he is talking about here. Listen, the day is going to come when you will be very happy to see someone that maybe you had difficulty getting along with some time ago. That's what he is saying here, this is what we need to do.

Verse 25: "But rather be encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near…. [we are living in that time when it is drawing near] (notice how he comes into this; very profound): …For if we willingly go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins" (vs 25-26). That's something!

What does this verse mean? Willfully, means to be deliberate, with desire, with forethought, premeditation, continuing to go on sinning or practicing sin, as it says in other ways. Willfully means intentional with the connotation of defiantly, much like we see of Cain, who knew better than to bring the sacrifice that he did. And God was kind to him at first and said, 'Look, if you do well, shall you not be accepted?' Cain didn't want to do it. So then he got mad at Abel and killed him. He defiantly went against the commands of God.

That is vs unintentional sins, like we have covered there in Heb. 4 about going and confessing our sins, 'If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins' (1-John 1). So, if you have consciousness of sin then you are not going to commit the unpardonable sin. If you have no consciousness of sin—but you are defiant, you are calculated and you have renunciation of the Truth—it is that kind of deliberate attitude.

I want to finish what he has written here so that we understand it, v 26: "For if we willfully go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of inevitable judgment and of fierce fire, which will devour the adversaries of God" (vs 26-27). That's why there is the Lake of Fire.

Verse 28: "Consider this: anyone who rejects the Law of Moses…" You can check that out in Heb. 2; that there was swift punishment. You check out the Old Testament in Deut. 16 & 17 about judgment and so forth.

"…dies without mercy under the testimony of two or three witnesses" (v 28). This also shows that the temple was standing when it was written.

Verse 29: "How much worse punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, as an unholy thing, and has scorned the Spirit of grace?"

So the unpardonable sin is not just something that you go along and you sin, your conscience bothers you and you're really concerned about it; that is God's Spirit convicting you of sin so you can repent! That's what that is! Another fault of too many churches and ministers is that if the brethren don't agree with the minister, he threatens them with the unpardonable sin. That in itself is almost unpardonable. No! God is the only One Who threatens with the unpardonable sin because that sin is against God!

The unpardonable sin is a deliberate, willful choice and rejection of God the Father and Jesus Christ, and a repudiation of the forgiveness of sins and the gift of salvation through Jesus' sacrifice and His blood.

That's what the unpardonable sin is.

Matt. 12 is important to understand, where Jesus is also talking about the unpardonable sin. Why did Jesus offer forgiveness to those who crucified Him while they were standing out there jeering at Him and telling Him, 'We'll believe you're the Christ if you come down off the cross.' Why did He offer forgiveness to them? Because as bad as that was, that was not the unpardonable sin, because He said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'

When they preached repentance on the day of Pentecost, they were preaching repentance to those who had, just 54 days ahead of that, crucified Christ! That's what Peter said. He said, 'You of wicked hands have crucified Him.' Those who were standing there saying, 'Yea, Crucify Him! Crucify Him!' They were standing there listening to Peter give that sermon, and they answered Peter by saying, when they were struck in the heart, 'What should we do?' He said, 'Repent and be baptized.'

Matthew 12:30 talks about the unpardonable sin: "The one who is not with Me is against Me, and the one who does not gather with Me scatters. Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men" (vs 30-31). We are reading the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

  • it is willful
  • it is deliberate
  • it is premeditated
  • it is continuing

Verse 32: "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age."

So, lo and behold, guess what, what does Jesus say, or Paul say of Jesus and the crucifixion: We have all killed Christ! Though we weren't there doing it, our sins did it. Have we been forgiven? Yes, indeed! Once you have been forgiven and receive the Holy Spirit then here is the warning.

The unpardonable sin is a deliberate and calculated renunciation of God.

I want you to think about what has happened with the leadership in what we knew to be the largest Church of God in the world in our time.

It is not an accidental sin, nor a sin under temptation, nor a sin through weakness. But the unpardonable sin is a knowing, determined, calculated, premeditated, willful decision and choice arrived at by rejecting any pangs of conscience, leading of the Holy Spirit, pleadings of the Word of God, or ministers and brethren. It is a willful, determination to reject the gift of repentance, and hostile contempt for the commandments of God, the Spirit of God, a willful repudiation of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His blood for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of God. Those who have committed the unpardonable sin have no regrets, no sorrow and no conscience that they have turned their backs on God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the Word of God. It is impossible to renew them to repentance—it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to move them to repentance, for others to move them to repentance, or to move themselves to repentance. They have seared their consciences with a hot iron and there is no power—human or Divine—that is able, or has the ability to renew them to repentance. Their choice is final, their judgment is final and God's judgment against them is final.

Now then, next are the characteristics of terms for sin to display contempt for God; compounds of para many of which occur nowhere else in the New Testament, just in the book of Hebrews. As we've said before, the book of Hebrews was written to long-time Christians who began to trust in the fleshly things again, who began to be lazy, who began to turn their backs on God, step-by-step, who because God didn't do things the way they expected God to do things, began to accuse God.

paradeigmaizein—to expose, to public humiliation (Heb. 6:6)

Those who are beginning to turn their backs might say, 'I don't know about that Passover. We used to take that Passover, but that's really not necessary.'

parapikainein—to rebel (Heb. 3:16)

Such as in the wilderness. They really rebelled. All the times they tempted God! He was willing to take them into the 'promised land' and the last straw was when they sent the twelve spies in to spy out the land and ten of them brought an evil report and they began to accuse God, and He said, 'That's it! Another 38-1/2 years folks and everybody who is over 20 is going to die in this wilderness because you didn't believe Me.'

parapikrasmos—rebellion (Heb. 3:8, 15) pararrein—to drift away, fall away (Heb. 2:1)

The unpardonable sin is committed in steps. If you begin to fall away and start getting a little lazy and BINGO! you have a trial. That's a wake up call. Return to God!

parapherein—to carry away (Heb. 13:9)
pareinenos—being listless (Heb. 12:12)

Those are all words here used in the book of Hebrews.

There is no other repentance than that provided through Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from the purification for sins accomplished by the divine Son in the final period of God's redemptive activity (Heb. 1:1-3). The 'adunatou' (the impossibility), which is used, absolutely and without qualification in Heb. 6:4, expresses an impossibility because the apostate [has] repudiated the only basis upon which repentance can be extended. To repudiate Christ is to embrace the 'impossible. (Lane, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 47A, p. 142).

The Word Biblical Commentary, by the way, is the only commentary that I use because it expounds the Hebrew words and Greek words in a very good way.

Next is about human conscience. Today with self-esteem, people are only taught to have consciousness of what they are in themselves, and if you think it's right; it's right. That's basically a summation of how people think today. Therefore, people do not have a conscience. Women cast aside the newborn that they don't want and throw them in garbage dumps. Men kill their wives for no provocation at all. Women poison their husbands because of whatever they want to do. Children rebel against their parents and they're even talking now that crimes are so heinous that 12-year-olds do, that they're even wanting to lower the age of trying as adult from 14 to 12.

They're not taught to have a conscience. Conscience does not come automatically. I suppose it does when you are a child and you know right from wrong and your conscience will smite you the same way if you are an adult. But if you are not taught it, you have no conscience that automatically works. Here is how it is supposed to. God put the conscience there to be taught, to know right and wrong.

From Cruden's Concordance, definition of conscience:

The human conscience is an inner creation of God in all men and women—part of the heart and mind.

That is, until you sear it.

When anyone sins there is an automatic sense of guilt.

Remember the first time you stole bubble gum from the store? You got away with it the first time, so you did it again, and, lo and behold, they caught you. What happened? If you had any conscience, they would just threaten you with all kinds of things: 'We'll get the police here and we'll have you taken down to juvenile hall and blah, blah, blah. If I ever see you in this store again, taking anything, I'm going to send you away. You got that!' Yes, sir! He just got through to your conscience.

The worse the sin the greater the guilt and hence, dread. 'Conscience is that facility within us which decides (makes us conscious of actions and thoughts) as to the moral quality of our thoughts, words and acts.

If our consciences have been taught right, because it talks about teaching the conscience. We know right from wrong; we know good from evil. When we do something that is not right, what happens? Our conscience, with God's Spirit, let's us know!

Let's look at the case of David with Bathsheba, we won't go back there and go through all of it because we know the story. What did David try to do? He tried to dam up his conscience! So did Bathsheba! It takes two to tango! He thought he could get away with conveniently having Uriah—her husband the Hittite—killed in battle, 'Therefore, I would be exonerated.' No one would ever know, but, lo and behold, when babies come forth that always tells you a story. I'll tell you this, when women get together and there's a newborn baby and it's not nine months from the marriage date, they're all counting on fingers how many months it really was. They know and they know that they know, especially if they've had children. That's what happened with the first baby born of Bathsheba by David, God was merciful in causing the baby to die.

Lots of times we use the term allow. He caused it! Why? Can you imagine that baby growing up in society known as the bastard, illegitimate child of David from another man's wife? Because he was trying to dam up his conscience, God had to send a conscience reminder to him, in the person of Nathan the prophet. Nathan, as you know, rather than coming in and landing on him with all fours, said, 'David I have a little story to tell you.' Well, what's that? 'What do you think of this? I need your judgment. There was a man who had lots of sheep, but his neighbor had only one little ewe lamb and a man with lots of sheep went over and stole the ewe lamb and killed it for himself. What do you think ought to happen to this man?' David said, Well, thus and such ought to be done to him.

The conscience spoke. Nathan looked him right in the eye and pointed his finger right at him and said, 'You are the man. After all that God has done for you, and God even said that He would do more for you, but because you despise the commandments of God, God's judgment is upon you.' David said, I repent. 'Your sins are forgiven, but you're going to have a correction the rest of your life. Your family is going to fall apart, you're going to have war and it's going to be a miserable life to prove to Me [God] that you love Me and you are never going to do this again.' David said, so be it.

Sometimes we can jam up our consciences, we haven't seared it yet and then something or someone will come along and unblock that conscience.

"Conscience is that facility within us which decides… [makes us conscious of actions and thoughts] …as to the moral quality of our thoughts, words and acts."

Let me just say right here, with God's Spirit, which then amplifies your conscience, when an evil thought comes into your mind—which is a temptation, it's not a sin until you act upon it, by the way, but if you continue to dwell on it, it can become an inner sin—that is giving you the opportunity to repent. That is the first stage of correcting yourself and conscience. If you can catch everything at that point, think how you're going to be able to grow in grace and knowledge and understanding because you're able to take that temptation and, with the power of God and your conscience, get rid of it. That's how to handle those things.

It gives consciousness of the good of one's conduct or motives, or causes feelings of remorse at evil-doing, but its action is involuntary.

It'll just spring up.

A good conscience is one which has no feeling of reproach…

In other words, you don't run around with a guilt feeling all the time.

…against oneself, does not accuse oneself of willful wrong.

—because if you had willful wrong-doing, you would.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References

  • Matthew 24:1-15
  • Hebrews 10:16-20
  • Hebrews 6:12-20
  • Hebrews 4:12-16
  • Hebrews 7:25
  • Hebrews 11:6
  • Hebrews 12:18-23
  • Hebrews 10:21-29
  • Matthew 12:30-32

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 13
  • Daniel 12
  • Galatians 5
  • 1 John 1
  • Hebrews 2
  • Deuteronomy 16-17
  • Hebrews 6:6; 3:16; 13:9; 12:12

Also referenced:

Sermons:

  • The Two Generations
  • True Lies #s 1 & 2

Books:

  • Good as New, A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures, Good as New
  • Word Biblical Commentary by Lane
  • Cruden's Concordance

FRC/jea
Transcribed: 02/06/09
Formatted/Corrected: bo—January/2017

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