Is God really willing to forgive YOU?

Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son


Will all sins be forgiven? Can all YOUR sins be forgiven? Is forgiving even more sins part of God’s plan?

Does God want YOU saved?


The Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Now, 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 have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).


16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

Yes, God will forgive you if you will truly confess your sins and repent.

Is there any sin that will not be forgiven?


What is an (the) unpardonable sin? Simply put, the unpardonable sin is a sin that will not be forgiven. The Bible makes clear that God is willing to forgive our sins if we confess them and repent of them (1 John 1:9; Acts 2:38).

But what if that does not happen?

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 specifically, one may ask, is the unpardonable sin that leads to death?

Some who fell away, who have been associated with the Church of God and have made efforts to come back, have wondered if they have committed the unpardonable sin. Others have wondered if various sins that they committed in their lives can be forgiven. (Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.)

From time to time I get emails from people who are concerned that they may have committed the unpardonable sin.

This is not a new concern. Back in the Good News magazine in 1959, Al Portune of the old Radio Church of God wrote:

Fear of the Unpardonable Sin

THE MOST destructive and terrifying thought that can enter a Christian’s mind is the thought that he has been completely cut off from God by having committed the unpardonable sin.
Think of it for a moment! How would it feel, after having known the depths of God’s wisdom, after having seen the glorious reward of eternal life in God’s very own family — as His Son — to live forever fulfilling His purpose throughout the endless reaches of the universe through joy and wisdom and service — having been glorified like Jesus Christ and made like Him — shining as the sun in its full strength (Rev. 2:16), and then after having known all these things to realize you had LOST IT ALL through the commission of the unpardonable sin!

Cut Off from God FOREVER

Think of what it would be like to be CUT OFF from God forever. Sin SEPARATES US FROM GOD (Isa. 59:1-2). The unpardonable sin cuts us off from God FOREVER. Cut off from God, He would never hear your voice again in prayer. No matter how long or how hard you prayed or cried out with tears, He would NEVER HEAR YOU AGAIN!

The fear of having committed the unpardonable sin is very real. It is a fear that many of God’s people have had. It is one of the most potent weapons of Satan the Devil, to make us believe we no longer have access to God — that we have been cut off forever.
Fear of this kind can utterly destroy us, can throw us into such a fit of despair we no longer want to live. To a true Christian there is no life but service to God, and if one feels he has lost his connection with God, then there is nothing else left to live for. In this frame of mind, Satan can easily overpower us and destroy us, which is his goal.

In order to be sure we do not fall into this destructive trap, we need to fully understand what the unpardonable sin is. We need to look into the Bible — the word of God — for the answer.

What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

There is only ONE “unpardonable sin”! Let’s notice WHAT it is. Jesus Christ said in Mark 3:28,

So let’s look at that:

28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3:28-29)

Because of the apostasy that hit the old Worldwide Church of God after the death of Herbert Armstrong, people who stayed with the apostate group too long, as well as others who left the Church of God entirely, have wondered if they have committed the unpardonable sin.

No, if they have repented they have not. Sometimes God will allow them more time. Notice what Jesus taught:

“A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'” (Luke 13:6-9)

Jesus is teaching that while God may grant the unfruitful time to produce fruit (and this can apply to almost everyone), there are limits to the amount of time that will be granted. Do not remain unfruitful anymore.

Notice something else that Jesus taught:

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:42-48).

Jesus is teaching that believers were subject to being treated as unbelievers and that those who had more given to them will be held to a higher standard than those who received less.

Some 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).

Those who never received God’s Holy Spirit as well as those who were deceived and departed from the COG but have repented of that have not committed the unpardonable sin.

However, the following in Hebrews concerns various ones:

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)

Now while this sounds very bad, some forget that the Bible teaches the following:

13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

Mercy is one of the weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23) and mercy will triumph over judgement.

Notice also some passages from the Book of Ezekiel:

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, most likely 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.

For more information, check out the article What is the Unpardonable Sin? and/or watch the related sermon: The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.

God’s plan includes forgiving more sins than most think (see also our free online book: Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation).

God will forgive YOU if you confess your sins and repent.

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 called and chosen in this age (Matthew 20:16) while nearly all others will be forgiven in the age to come (Matthew 12:32).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
About Baptism Should you be baptized? Could baptism be necessary for salvation? Who should baptize and how should it be done? Here is a link to a related sermon: Let’s Talk About Baptism and Baptism, Infants, Fire, & the Second Death.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.

Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.

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