I'm 17 years old and I've been trying my best to be a faithful worker for the Lord Jesus Christ. I really just wanted to say I love your web site; it seems to be well put together and full of helpful articles and lessons. But I have quite a question to ask of you, but I want you to be aware of the full story before you answer.
In my early teens I had become someone you would never expect if you knew me today. I began using many types of drugs and drinking, and boasted of being a atheist, and I had even said I was a Satanist at one point. I was the most heart hardened person I think I could ever be. I opposed the blessed Trinity with my whole tongue and heart. But did I really believe what I was saying? No, I didn't. I did believe in God and Jesus for the most part, only halfheartedly though. I was on the devil's side, completely in love with sin. I had went back and forth with belief and unbelief. I was made to attend church back then, until my mom had had enough and quite fighting with me over it. My grandfather, who was like my father to me, had been diagnosed with cancer back then. She was talking to me and telling me that my grandpa wouldn't be around forever, and that I shouldn't waste the time I was given with him or let him leave this earth knowing how evil I was. I said a prayer then in my heart, that the Lord would help me become His servant before my grandpa left this earth, but I was by no means going to do it back then. This was my first confident prayer; I had to believe in God and that He'd do this for my own sanity.
Fast forward to more recent times. I was doing hallucinatory drugs at I and my girlfriend's "shack." I had moved out of my parents home into a life of fornication. Oh, was I having such a ball. Until the news Osama Bin Laden had died got me. I turned on the news and saw it was true, and I started having a panic attack. Like many people, at the time I had believed the false doctrine that the book of Revelations held revelations on what was going to happen immediately before Jesus returned. I was under the belief Osama's death was part of this, I had even believed he was the beast of chapter 13. I started thinking about what hell was going to be like, as well as what it would be like for the people who got to go to heaven. They were so vivid and so very frightening to me because of the drugs. When I had recovered from my panic attack, I had announced that I was done with my life of sin, after all the end of the world couldn't have been closer than the death of Osama, right? (Emphasizing my own, stupid thoughts.) I called my parents to come pick me up.
Soon I was baptized into the Lord.
I continued my thinking that Jesus' return was so soon I could taste it. I realize this was sinful of me now. However, I eventually realized that Revelation had passed quite soon after the book was written, and that it was a symbolic message to those getting ready to endure persecution, and for those of the seven churches, and to encourage them to give them a glimpse of what heaven would be. I realize that there are no signs to the return of the Messiah now.
But to get back on track, I continued progressing. Stopped drugs and drinking, stopped using curse words and using the Lord's name in vain, stopped smoking, and I eventually even had moved out of my girlfriend's house. She lived alone and, by the way, had family in the Lord's church as well and actually repented with me. We eventually got married and she was baptized into Christ soon after our marriage.
Alright, let's get to the point. After I was baptized, my grandpa was told his cancer was back. No long afterwards, the man who taught and encouraged me so much about doing the Lord's work went home to be with our Father.
Now that I've bored you with my story (please believe me, I'm not proud at all of what I was like then) I want to get to the real question. I saw your article speaking about having your heart so hard that you could never repent and it being an unforgivable sin (I have searched and studied about this particular subject on Mark 3:23-30). Now after the time I prayed for the Lord to help change me, I had a very hard heart and had opposed and cursed God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in numerous ways. I think I had said these things a while after I had said the prayer. Is it possible God answered my prayer because I believed then, but then became an unforgivable soul because of the way I cursed and acted towards Him? Is it possible He helped me become who I am today just because I prayed and not because my soul would be saved? I personally believe that the thought I am unforgivable is the devil's way to try to get me and come back to evil, knowing I won't leave God now for anything. Am I right, that the devil wants me to believe this because I won't wander from God? Or is he mocking me, saying I screwed up my own eternity and that it doesn't matter that I'm serving the Lord today? Am I damned, or saved?
I would like to thank you for if nothing else, reading this. I know it was long but I felt the need to include my story so you could see exactly how far away from God I was.
On another side note I had asked both an elder at my home congregation, and a trusted evangelist about this. They both say that it is never coming to God and never repenting in your life. I trust them, but I didn't give either of them the full story like I have you. I would appreciate your answer if you don't mind taking the time to read and reply. Thank you and God bless,
You've packed quite a bit in a short life.
It seems that people have it so ingrained in their mind that the unforgivable sin is God refusing to forgive a sinner that they never consider that this view is wrong because it contradicts several passages that clearly state that God wants to forgive everyone. "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). He didn't say "some" or "most." God wishes to forgive all sinners when they repent -- that has to include you or the statement is a lie.
I've explained this a number of times, but people refuse to look at the evidence. They put blinders on -- usually the blinders of "I am too sinful, so there is no way God would want me back." Look at II Peter 3:9 again. The only thing standing between a sinner and forgiveness is his repentance.
""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?" ... "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23, 30-32).
Notice what God was saying to the sinful Israelites. Who was keeping them from being saved? It wasn't God. They were harming themselves by refusing to change. Peter makes the same point. If God wishes to save everyone, why isn't everyone saved? Because some people refuse to repent.
"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).
What Jesus states is that there is one category of sin that doesn't get forgiven: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. He doesn't state why here, just the fact that forgiveness isn't obtained. What you and numerous other people do is assume that it is because God refuses to forgive, but in holding that position you are contradicting II Peter 3:9. The lack of forgiveness must be either because of God or because of man. God states that He wants to forgive all men, if they will come to repentance. Therefore, since the problem isn't on God part, it must be on man's part. It has to be that men don't repent of this particular sin. Jesus didn't say, "anyone who does not repent will not be forgiven" because that implies that people who commit this particular sin might repent. Jesus' point is that people who do this sin don't regret it and so don't repent and ask for forgiveness. Other sins can lead to death (a lack of repentance), but this one particular sin always leads to death because to do this sin you have to have the mind-set that you will never turn back.
It is always wrong to assume when a verse doesn't tell you why. You have to establish the "why" by other verses if this one doesn't tell you.
Now look at yourself. You did repent, and I'm sure there was much rejoicing in heaven as well as on earth. "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15:7). You were baptized. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:6-9). You partook in the blood of Christ when you were baptized, and God said that cleanses you from all sin. You repented of your past and confessed your wrongs to God and God said that He is faithful (trustworthy, reliable) to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. I'm absolutely positive that God did not lie about these matters.
But I do know someone who does lie all the time. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him" (John 8:44). Satan wants people to believe that God will reject them, so they won't try to live righteously. Put your trust in the one who cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
Granted, you were a stubborn case. But the results speak for themselves. Solomon notes, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). It took an unusual route to get that fear in you, but that inaccurate fear germinated into true knowledge.
"For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Hebrews 3:14).
"Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:35-39).
Thank you very much for this bit of info. It means a lot to me. I had done much prayerful studying on this, but the deceiver just keeps attacking my thoughts, wanting me to believe that I was a "living dead," I guess. God bless you for helping me out with this.