Question:

After days of researching everywhere to know if I am truly safe because I thought I had committed the unforgivable sin, which is the sin of having blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, I found out that I did not because to truly commit that sin, you must have your heart hardened so much that you do not care for redemption.

However, I still get weird thoughts and nasty thoughts about the Lord Almighty, but I do not mean any of them. I feel so bad, but I know that that was not my fault and I know that I could be forgiven.

Recently I got a weird thought and it was kind of like a good thought for the devil. I did not mean it and I hated it after I had that thought, but after I had that thought my mind went all negative and I was so scared. Then I got weird signs: I got a pamphlet about Satanists from my neighbors, my friend got a phone and the digits are with the triple 6's, and much more.

I feel so scared and I have been thinking so negatively, but I know that I should not. I even asked my good Christian friend if I am all right. He said I am because even Satanists can be forgiven. But I don't know. I am so scared and I am being so stressed by this. I am just a 14 year old boy and this is a very rough time for me

Help would be very appreciated.


Answer:

"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord" (I Corinthians 4:3-4).

Like a number of people, you are getting caught in a trap. Ideas that you don't accept are popping up in your head, but because they are in your head you assume that they must be your own idea. Because you don't like those ideas, you sit in judgment on yourself and condemn yourself for having those ideas pop up in your mind. Things then spiral out of control. The more you try to suppress the thoughts, the more they keep coming up, so you decide you must be a really bad person.

So let's back up a bit and see what is happening. Your brain doesn't handle one thing at a time. There are thousands of signals flying around at the same which allows you to read a book, while listening to music, while scratching the dog, while telling your mom you'll get to it in a moment, while wondering what smells so good, etc. We're not conscious of all the underlying messages flying around most of the time. A few people "overhear" some of the internal thoughts. Some have problems with "mislabeling" in their brains: A memory is being fetched, but for some reason the brain labels it as something that is coming from the ears and the person is convinced they are hearing voices when no one is there. A lot of people experience mislabeling in regards to time. Something happens but their brain labels it as a memory instead of current event and the person experiences a feeling of deja vu -- feeling like you been there before.

For most people passing thoughts are just that -- passing through and not given credence. But some people dwell on these thoughts. It seems to be a particular problem during adolescence because during this time your brain is rewiring itself for adulthood. Odd thoughts and obsessive ideas are prevalent among teenagers as a result.

When we are focused on something we tend to notice "related" things. There is the old myth that bad news comes in threes. It really doesn't. Bad things and good things happen all the time, but when a bad thing grabs our attention, we tend to focus on each succeeding bad event until the count of three is reached. You are doing something similar. You had a passing bad thought about Satan and then became "sensitive" to every allusion to Satan thereafter, even though those types of things are around all the time. Those aren't signs; they are a measure of your awareness of events you normally don't notice.

It seems backwards, but the way to handle bad pop up thoughts is to accept that they happen and that you know they aren't good thoughts. You are forgetting that because you know they aren't good that this judgment shows your character -- not the passing thought. Everyone gets tempted by sin (James 1:13-16). Being tempted is not a sin. It becomes a sin when we accept the idea, like the idea of doing it, and are looking for an opportunity to do it. At this point it is a lust and a problem.

But to be tempted, Satan has to get us to think about the sin for at least a moment. Some people face these and think: "That's ridiculous! I'm not going to do that." And then they are able to dismiss the thought. Other people think about it and decide they like the idea and so eventually sin. But there are some people who do neither. They reject the idea, but then condemn themselves for the idea being there. Thus, they fall into a hidden trap.

Like Paul, you need to stop judging yourself. Let God do the judging. Your job is to judge whether something is in accordance with God's Will or not by measuring it against what you know God has taught in the Bible. When you find something is wrong, reject it for being wrong, but don't reject yourself. God judges you, not you -- you are too biased to make an accurate judgment. In such matters, you must not rely on your feelings. Your personal emotions are not an accurate reflection of reality. Your emotions are too easily manipulated. Judge matters facing you as accurately as you can based on facts.

There are going to be times when you will realize that certain things you have done or things you have accepted in your mind are sinful. You will know they are wrong because it doesn't match up with what God said you should do. When you come up short, which we all do on occasion, you change your behavior, take the problem to God, and ask for His forgiveness. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (I John 1:8-10). But stop telling God what He should do with you. Focus on doing your best for God.

I want to thank you so much for this reply. I was thinking about whether you would actually receive the mail and I am very happy to find out that you did. I am very thankful for you taking time to think about my hardships right now.

I am sorry, but I want ask you some more questions and elaborate more about this subject. You wrote that it is not my fault that I have these thoughts in my head. But I forgot to mention that when I had that "good" thought about the devil, I didn't feel remorse right at that second and I didn't repent at that moment. However, I get these thoughts nowadays that say that I will be condemned to hell forever because of that thought I had.

Now, I forgot if I even mentioned it, but my problem is that I don't know if I actually meant it or not, and now I am suffering because of that. I keep thinking that I meant to think this thought.

What I want to know is if God forgives all sins, even Satanists and people who have sold their soul to the devil, if they ever come back to God and repent.

I keep putting myself in the category of a Satanist or something. I asked two friends, but I did not get clarification from them because I wasn't very open with them.

I want to know if God forgives every single sins if we repent and I want to know if I became a Satanist because I don't remember hating the "good" thought about the devil that I had.

I go to church every single Sunday, I pray every day, I always try my best to become a good Christian and I do not want to lose this salvation.

Thank you again for this guidance.

Oh, I forgot to mention that every time a bad thing occurs to me I keep thinking that it's over and that I lost my salvation. I constantly worry. However, when I have good things occur I feel safe for that moment and then it goes away.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

May I ask, what part of "all" do you not understand?

God doesn't look at a person's past. He looks at who a person is, right now, at this moment. It doesn't matter if you reject a bad thought in one second, one day, or a year latter. What matters is your view of the concept right now. "But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).

You're going to make mistakes. You are going to commit sins. That simply is a fact of life living in this wicked world. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). God doesn't want you or anyone else to sin, but what is more critical in God's view is your response to sin. Righteous people will sin once in a while, but they reject the idea; they don't like sin, and they will make effort to get it out of their life so they can continue their journey toward heaven. Sin is not a part of the nature of a righteous person. Sinful people will sin, but they don't care. They won't make any effort to change. Sin is a part of the nature of a sinful person.

A passing thought did not make you a Satanist -- not even close. You've rejected the idea and that is all that matters. Now get off your behind, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and get busy serving God with the joy He deserves.

Thank you so much! You have helped me get this stress out of my back. I did not want to bring up this question to my church teachers or my Christian club teachers. You are like my another anynomous church teacher. Thank you. I will try my best to please the Lord. God bless you.