What is the Unpardonable Sin?
By COGwriter

Will all sins be forgiven? Can all sins be forgiven? 

Because of Satanic deception (Revelation 12:9), human society being cut off from God (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 1:4), and personal selfishness (James 1:14-15), all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). 

While the wages of sin is death in this life (Romans 6:23), there is a sin that leads to the final death:

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. (1 John 5:16-17)

So, there is a sin that leads to death, while other sin does not. What, one may ask, is the unpardonable sin that leads to death?

Two-three portions of scripture basically explain what the unpardonable sin is:

31 Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31-32).

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).

1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Notice that the only sin not to be forgiven in the age to come is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which seems further defined as knowing and willingly rejecting/neglecting the Holy Spirit which is received after repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

This is further implied later in Hebrews:

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)

Notice that the above tends to negate the idea that Martin Luther promoted about why one could kill or commit adultery a huge amount of times each day and be forgiven (see The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong)--it is such willful and intentional disregard for the ways of God that one should fear to fall into.

Notice also something from the Hebrew scriptures:

20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die...(Ezekiel 3:20)

24 "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. (Ezekiel 18:24)

The above seems to be consistent with the New Testament.

Basically, the historical position of the Church of God is that those who worry about committing the unpardonable sin, basically have not committed it as the fact that they are concerned about it shows that they have not intentionally turned their backs on God and His ways.

Here is some of what evangelist Richard Ames has written about the unpardonable sin, committing it, and how not to:

Just what is the unpardonable sin? Put simply, it is a sin that will not be forgiven. God is willing to forgive our sins if we repent of them, if we are sorry for them and if we are determined to change. But when one seals his conscience to never repent, he cannot be forgiven. Jesus states the problem clearly. "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation" (Mark 3:28–29)...

Willful sin is a fully conscious and determined act and attitude to never repent of sin. The willful sinner is intractable. He or she has a conscience seared to do evil. This kind of sinner will never even entertain the thought of repenting and desiring to return to God’s way of life (cf. 1 Timothy 4:2). The incorrigibly wicked are not blinded like the rest of the world; they have "knowledge of the truth." They know the effect of Christ’s sacrifice, yet they profane it...

There are two basic ways a converted person can lose the Holy Spirit and commit the unpardonable sin. As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote years ago, one is "by deliberate choice" and the other is "by continued neglect" (What Do You Mean, ‘The Unpardonable Sin’?, 1972)...

One can also lose the Holy Spirit, and go down the pathway toward the unpardonable sin, by continued neglect. Do you neglect prayer, Bible study and fellowship with converted Christians?...

If you are committed to changing your life—if you are truly sorry for your sins and truly repent—you will be forgiven. A vital key to avoiding the unpardonable sin is always maintaining a repentant attitude. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

We need to confess our sins to our God and Savior. Remember the tax collector whom Jesus said went home justified rather than the Pharisee? He prayed: "God, be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). May God help you to seek Him wholeheartedly, because He is able to forgive you your sins, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. If we maintain this repentant attitude, we can know that we have not committed, and will not commit, the unpardonable sin! (Ames R. What is the Unpardonable Sin? Tomorrow's World magazine, Nov-Dec 2001).

For those who have not blasphemed and partaken of the Holy Spirit, there clearly remains an age to come (Matthew 12:32; Ephesians 1:10-13;21) where even infamous sinners will have an opportunity (cf. Matthew 10:15;11:22).

Until that age to come, God has called just a few now to live on the earth to support His work and to show that living God’s way of life can be done by true Christians with God’s help. 

It is better not to be called now than to turn against that calling. Notice:

20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:20-21)

The time will come that, "For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).

Notice that God is willing to forgive all inquities for those who will respond to Him:

25 "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. 26 Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted Isaiah 43:25-26).

Since God wants all saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and would not want humans to commit the unpardonable sin, this explains why only few are chosen in this age (Matthew 20:16) while nearly all others will be forgiven in the age to come (Matthew 12:32).  

This differs greatly from much of what passes for mainstream Christianity as the Catholics and Protestants normally teach that most who ever lived are such horrible people that God will torture them for all eternity.

The 'unpardonable sin' is to knowingly reject God and His way.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God's plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. ArmstrongThis article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the real Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith.  Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah's Witnesses?
SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White.
Five Dissimilarities Between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Continuing Church of God The genuine Church of God is not related to the Mormons and this article explains five differences.
Being Separate: What Did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible Teach About Where Not to Fellowship? Some believe that it is acceptable to attend groups called COG, but who are not actually. What did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible teach about this.

Thiel B. What is the Unpardonable Sin? www.cogwriter.com 2009/2010/2012/2013 1220

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